Philippe Grandmaster Chime Leads New York Auction Week

Sylvester Stallone’s Patek Philippe Grand Master Chime ref. 6300G, along with a few other watches from his collection, are being sold by Sotheby’s in New York this week, and any self-respecting report of this week’s auctions should probably lead with this fact. It’s Patek’s most complicated watch (20 complications) and the first to ever appear at auction. And it comes from Stallone, a real A-lister and certified watch guy probably most known for his relationship with Panerai. high quality replica watches

It’s also a coup for Sotheby’s, who brought over Stallone after he sold a few watches through Phillips in 2020. It’s a cool story, and Stallone speaks eloquently on YouTube about all the watches he’s selling via Sotheby’s and how a random encounter with Gregg Allman (of the Allman Brothers) got him hooked on watches. In the video, Stallone shows the 6300G still in its seal, and some have raised an eyebrow at the fact that he never wore it. “I bought this as a collector,” Stallone says in the video. “I treat it the way you’d treat a painting… it’s a work of art.” Would it have been badass to see Rambo wearing around a 6300? You bet. But I’m not gonna knock the guy for never wearing a watch, and not just because Sly’s neck is probably thicker than my arms. His story feels like it comes from a place of passion – having been closely associated with watches for 30 years, no doubt he’s developed a love for these things.

Anyway, Stallone is a mega-movie action star, and he’s also selling a Nautilus 5711/1300A (that’s the green dial with diamonds) and a few other watches. He calls his chunky Panerai, Rolex, and Patek watches “door knockers” – a term I find immediately endearing – and since my tastes are decidedly more wimpy, I also wanted to talk about a few of my favorite watches across the New York sales this week, along with one “buyer beware.”
From an important piece of Rolex history to one from Patek. Most already know the Ref. 96 Calatrava as the first Calatrava and the first serially produced watch from Patek. It’s even known as “the watch that saved Patek,” if we want to get dramatic about it.

The 96 was produced for almost 40 years, but the first series is distinguishable because they used a tiny LeCoultre ebauche that Patek had initially ordered for pendant watches. Because of the Great Depression, some of these movements sat unused for years until Patek fit them in their first Calatrava. high quality replica watches

This watch was sold in 1936 and uses one of those JLC movements. Even better, it’s in steel and has its beautiful, original sector dial. It’s about as attractive and rare as it gets for a 96. Like the Zerograph, it comes from the family of the original owner and is about as small as one of Stallone’s fingernails. high quality replica watches

This 96 has an estimate of $30,000–50,000, but also, like the Zerograph, it’s hard to predict where it might end up. It’s important, rare, and beautiful. But it’s also small, niche, super old, a little beat up, but original. In other words, everything I love in a vintage watch. high quality replica watches

Speaking of, there’s one more small watch with provenance to mention: a tiny square Cartier with beautiful enamel inlay on the case that was given to American General John Pershing, consigned directly from the Pershing family. There’s this urban legend that General Pershing received the first-ever Cartier Tank directly from Louis Cartier in 1918, but there seems to be little evidence that was actually true. So here it is: The Pershing Cartier (est. $20–50,000).
The story of the Patek Philippe 1578GM is one of my favorite in vintage watches. Throughout the ’50s, about 20 Pateks were given to big-time General Motors execs, typically for 25 years of service. It might even be the only example of Patek adding a company’s name to a reference number and commissioning a watch like this. The Wenger case has angular downturned lugs, but the 1578GM is set apart from a stock 1578 thanks to its black dial and radial Arabic numerals. Only a dozen or so have ever appeared – a few years ago, I went through the brain damage of documenting all the publicly-sold examples.