On December 12th at Phillips’ Park Avenue headquarters in New York City, 137 watches will go up for auction at an event dubbed “Racing Pulse.”
Why is it such a big deal?
Racing Pulse features valuable and rare watches from coveted brands like Patek Philippe, Richard Mille and F.P. Journe, many of which are racing chronographs. The name, however, mostly refers to two motorsports watches in particular: and a .
What’s so special about these watches?
Two words: celebrity provenance. Rolex Daytonas and TAG Heuer Monacos are extremely popular among collectors, but (as proved) nothing drives interest more than a connection to a celebrity. As such, the hitting the block at Racing Pulse also has a Paul Newman connection, and was given to Newman by his wife, Joanne Woodward, in 1983. This is a different model from Newman’s more famous Daytona, but its engraving on the case back, “Drive Slowly, Joanne,” makes it an exceptionally valuable and rare piece of horological history. It’s expected to fetch well over $1 million USD.
meanwhile, was given by Steve McQueen to his mechanic on the set of Le Mans – a film in which he wore a Monaco prominently, sealing that watch’s fate as a motorsports legend. In addition to its connection to the film that made the Monaco famous, this watch was also engraved by McQueen.
Anything else cool on the block?
Uh, yeah. Among the other lots is a . Stallone may not have the same box office draw he did in the 1990s, but he is still a heavy hitter in the watch world, and is credited with popularizing the Panerai brand after wearing one of their watches in the 1996 film Daylight. The Panerai 5218-201/a is being offered exactly as it was first worn by Stallone, including its original sharkskin strap and a signed letter of authenticity from Sly himself. The official estimate for this piece is $40,000 to 80,000 USD, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it goes well into six-figures.
If you could bid big on any of these watches, what’s your pick?
Wait, we have to pick just one? Aside from the three above, there are a bunch of other cool watches we’d love to get our hands on. Among them are made for the US military in the 1960s by an American Blancpain subsidiary, and thought to be one of only 1,000 ever made. We’re also seriously crushing on and this , a chronograph with an aluminum-case from one of the world’s most respected watchmakers.
Anything else you’re going to be watching?
As a matter of fact, one of the coolest items on the block isn’t a watch at all. . Bids start at $15,000 USD for a meet-and-greet with the Formula 1 legend (as well as H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco) at next year’s event. Monaco Grand Prix tickets are not included, but who cares?