Timekeepers Club / March 10, 2022

Sotheby's unveils rare vintage F.P. Journe and Rolex as star lots of June Important Watches auction in NYC

Sotheby’s unveils a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona ‘John Player Special’ and F.P. Journe Tourbillon Remontoi D’egalite as highlights of its Important Watches auction on 15 June in New York. The watches will be unveiled in Dubai in a public exhibition from now through 13 March in advance of the June auction.

Both appearing at auction for the first time, the F.P. Journe Tourbillon Remontoi D’egalite is a rare, early example from the firm’s highly sought after ‘Reference T’ series, coming to auction more than 20 years after it was acquired by the present owner in 1999 – the same year the watch was made. The exceptionally well-preserved Rolex Paul Newman Daytona ‘John Player Special’ comes to market for the first time in more than 50 years after remaining in the same family since it was originally acquired in 1970.

Property of an Important Private Collector

F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain 053-99T Remontoi D’egalite with Brass movement. A Platinum Tourbillon Wristwatch with Constant Force Remontoire and Power Reserve Indication, Made in 1999. Estimate $500,000/1,000,000

This exceptionally rare and early F.P. Journe Tourbillon Remontoi D’egalite will make its auction debut this June, after remaining in the private collection of its original owner for more than 20 years. The present watch is from the highly sought after first, or 'Reference T', series of the Tourbillon Souverain with remontoire d’égalité visible in an aperture on the dial.

Introduced at Baselworld in 1999, the ‘Reference T’ is not only F.P. Journe’s first production watch but also the very first wristwatch ever to use a constant force remontoire - a mechanism to improve timekeeping – showcasing F.P. Journe’s technical and design genius in the creation of a highly complicated modern wristwatch yet one whose roots are firmly in the great horological traditions.

The Tourbillon Souverain series originally used the caliber 1498 rhodium-plated brass movement. From 2004 onwards, it was replaced by a caliber 1403 gold movement. Consequently, early examples with rhodium-plated brass movements and made in the ultra-desirable 38mm diameter platinum case are now recognized as an important milestone in the brand’s history, and highly prized by serious F.P. Journe collectors.

Rolex Ref 6241 Paul Newman Daytona ‘John Player Special’. A Yellow Gold Chronograph Wristwatch, circa 1970. Estimate $600,000/1,200,000


A rare and exceptionally well-preserved Rolex Reference 6241 Paul Newman Daytona ‘John Player Special’ yellow gold chronograph wristwatch further highlights the selection (est. $600,000/1,200,000). On offer from the family of its original owner, where it has remained since it was first acquired in 1970, the watch will make its auction debut this June. Named for its resemblance to the John Player Special sponsored Team Lotus cars of the 1970s, this grail watch is characterized by the black and gold contrasted Paul Newman dial with yellow gold case. With only about 3,000 examples of the Ref 6241 produced, it is estimated that only a fraction of that number was further made in this configuration. The present example is on offer in outstanding condition with its original bracelet and certificate.

Additional Highlights

Additional highlights scheduled for the June sale include an F.P. Journe Chronometre a Resonance (est. $200/300,000); a Vacheron Constantin Ref 80251 (est. $200/300,000); and a Richard Mille Ref RM005 (est. $100/150,000). Further details about the sale will be released closer to the sale date.


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