Timekeepers Club / December 13, 2020

Phillips Racing Pulse New York Auction 12 December 2020 | Panerai Luminor "Pre-Vendôme" ref. 5218-201/A, worn by Sylvester Stallone in the movie "Daylight” sold for USD 214'200

LOT 47

Panerai Luminor PAM5218-201/A "Daylight"

The exciting hero of the auction – the famous Panerai Luminor PAM5218-201/A (Lot 47) consigned personally by multiple Academy Award™ nominee and Golden Globe™ winner, Sylvester Stallone sold for an unprecedented $214,200, after less than 5 minutes of bidding. This selling price was a nod not only to the incredible provenance of the timepiece, but also to the immense fascination the brand’s early history continues to hold for collectors. The watch achieved almost fabled status amongst enthusiasts and is widely acknowledged as the catalyst for Panerai’s launch on global stage as it changed the brand forever.

We are excited to bear witness to a historic moment so inextricably connected to both Panerai’s beginning and future,” said Jean-Marc Pontroué, Panerai CEO. “As a brand, we have always looked to the horizon of what is possible while keeping one foot firmly grounded in the principles and foundation of our past. After the success of the first Phillips auction in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago, this is a strong signal that Panerai remains in the heart of the collectors’ community. We are proud to have partnered with Phillips to offer watchmaking enthusiasts worldwide a unique timepiece so representative of our pioneering spirit.

PAM5218-201/A Luminor An unparalleled timepiece of historical provenance personally consigned by Sylvester Stallone. Sporting a rare original sharkskin strap with original Panerai buckle, this remarkably preserved watch also appeared in the film Daylight starring Stallone, who loved it so much he did not take it off until the end of the shoot. The actor later declared that the watch, which had been in his possession ever since, “went through hell in every scene”. The Panerai 5218-201/A lot included the original box, two additional Panerai straps with buckles, and its original brass screwdriver. In addition to a handwritten note signed by Mr. Stallone, the watch was also accompanied by an original 1996 studio-issued lobby card from Daylight, also signed by Mr. Stallone, with a specific reference by him to this exact watch.

Estimated: $40,000 - $80,000 USD

Sold: $214,200

Manufacturer: Panerai
Year: Circa 1993
Reference No: 5218-201/A
Case No: 0764
Model Name: Luminor "Pre-Vendôme"
Material: Stainless steel
Calibre: Manual, cal. 6497, 17 jewels
Bracelet/Strap: Sharkskin
Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 44mm Diameter
Signed: Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed.
Accessories: Accompanied by signed note from Sylvester Stallone, original Panerai box, additional straps, and screwdriver. Additionally accompanied by signed studio issued lobby card and Daylight press kit from 1996.

Catalogue Essay

Since its founding in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai (1825-1897) as a small workshop, the firm Officine Panerai has been known for precision instruments, and most notably professional dive watches, depth gauges, and compasses. At the turn of the century, the company became the supplier of wristwatches to the Italian Royal Navy. Guido’s son Giuseppe inherited the family business in 1934 as the last descendant, and ran it until his death in 1972, when retired Marina Militare engineer Dino Zei took the reigns.

In 1993, Zei recognized an opportunity, and under the name Officine Panerai launched a collection of limited-edition watches intended not for military use, but rather for the civilian market, inspired by historical models from the company’s past. Within that endeavor, 677 pieces of the Luminor Panerai 5218-201/a, also known as the “Pre-Vendôme Logo”, were produced. Unsurprisingly, consumer response was quite limited from a company whose public profile was largely unknown.

The pivotal turning point came in 1996, when that now iconic reference appeared on the wrist of actor Sylvester Stallone throughout his action film “Daylight”. Mr. Stallone’s instant love for the brand shined a bright spotlight on the unique design of the Luminor Panerai, and other celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger followed suit in embracing these oversized watches. Within a very short time, Officine Panerai went from relative anonymity to achieving enormous international exposure and recognition. As a direct result, the US market opened widely for this former military supplier in Florence, and “a star was born.” Stallone continued to support and wear the brand’s watches and by 1997, the giant Vendome Group (now Richemont SA) acquired the company.

Phillips is thrilled to offer what is without a doubt, one of the most important modern wristwatches ever produced by Panerai. It is the exact watch worn by Sylvester Stallone throughout the 1996 film “Daylight”, and is widely considered as the watch that launched the popular modern brand.

When explosions collapse both ends of a New York tunnel, one hero helps those trapped inside escape to safety. On Sylvester Stallone’s wrist, was this exact Luminor Panerai 5218-201/a “Logo” manufactured in 1993.

It is fitted on its rare, original sharkskin strap with original Panerai pre-Vendôme buckle, also seen in the film. Stallone loved the watch and never removed it during the entire duration of filming. He would later state it “went through hell in every scene”, and has remained in his possession until today.

The Panerai 5218-201/a is being offered exactly as it was first worn by Mr. Stallone, along with its original mahogany box, two additional Panerai pre-Vendome straps with sewn-in buckles, and its original brass screwdriver. The watch is in superb original and well-preserved condition, showing the wear expected from weeks of filming in rigorous conditions, including lengthy underwater scenes. The dial, hands, case, crystal, crown and strap are all original to the watch, and its case has never been polished. It is further accompanied by a letter personally handwritten and signed by Mr. Stallone on his private stationary describing the watch, along with an original 1996 studio-issued lobby card from the “Daylight” film, also signed by Sly, with specific reference by him to this exact watch.

Phillips is honored to offer this ref. 5218-201/a, consigned directly by the legendary actor himself, that is widely known as the watch that ignited the brand’s enormous global popularity. The Luminor is a model that will forever be associated with Sylvester Stallone, made famous by him thanks to this very timepiece. It is truly an ultimate trophy watch for the connoisseur.

Consigned by the Original Owner


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