Photographer: Photographer: Kliton Ceku

Fifteen Watches With Bragging Rights From Antiquorum's Fall Auction

The best time of year for vintage watch lovers is fast approaching. From now through November, auction houses across the globe will host top-notch watch sales. Antiquorum kicks things off in New York on Sept. 30, with modern mega-watches from Patek Philippe, vintage watches from two presidential inaugurations, and even a Rolex with a Domino's pizza logo on its dial.

  1. Cartier Ref. 2611 (Lot 17)
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    Cartier Ref. 2611 (Lot 17)

    This cuff might look as if it dates from the 1920s, but Cartier created it less than a decade ago, in 2010. The Declaration, a mix of white gold, titanium, and diamonds, houses a tiny watch in the center that you might need to squint a little to read. That said, it's a total show-stopper and I couldn't flip past it in the catalog without taking a second look. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500.

    Source: Antiquorum
  2. Patek Philippe Celestial (Lot 313)
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    Patek Philippe Celestial (Lot 313)

    The reference 5102 is generally just called the Celestial by collectors because of the prominent sky chart shown on the dial. Here, the face shows the stars you'd see in the northern hemisphere because the watch is one of 50 made for Mercury, a prominent retailer in Moscow. Estimate: $180,000-$280,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  3. Rolex Ref. 4500 Chronograph (Lot 250)
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    Rolex Ref. 4500 Chronograph (Lot 250)

    The ref. 4500 is one of those Rolex chronographs that came before the Daytona and thus lacks a proper name. That doesn't mean it's less interesting. The gold case and parchment dial are beautiful; they look just as they should, coming from 1946, and the watch has both a luminous dial and anti-magnetic protection for the movement. The corrosion on the top right of the case is annoying, but it's not a deal-breaker. Estimate: $45,000-$65,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  4. Patek Philippe Nautilus Jumbo (Lot 293)
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    Patek Philippe Nautilus Jumbo (Lot 293)

    This isn't any old Nautilus. This Nautilus was originally sold by famed Swiss retailer Gubelin and has the signature on the dial to prove it. The ref. 3700 is one of the most famous sport watches of all time, and this one has certainly been worn. The case is a little beat-up and the dial definitely shows wear, but the price is low enough that you shouldn't worry about it. If this sells in the estimate range, it's a heck of a deal. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  5. Roger Dubuis Sympathie Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar (Lot 229)
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    Roger Dubuis Sympathie Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar (Lot 229)

    Roger Dubuis makes loud watches. They are also great watches. If you're into the dark mother-of-pearl dial and funky case shape, this watch is technically brilliant. The Sympathie tells you the date and day of the week with retrograde hands (read: really complicated) and hides a tourbillon, too. I'm not saying you should wear this watch, but I'm not saying you shouldn't, either. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000

    Source: Antiquorum
  6. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (Lot 290)
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    Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (Lot 290)

    Most people think of a basic, time-only watch when they think of the Royal Oak, but Audemars Piguet has taken the basic form and added complications that range from power reserves to tourbillons. This Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar occupies a nice middle ground, keeping the cleanliness of the original while showing off AP's watchmaking chops. Estimate: $18,000-$24,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  7. Patek Philippe Ref. 5204 (Lot 314)
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    Patek Philippe Ref. 5204 (Lot 314)

    The ref. 5204 is Patek's current perpetual calendar split-seconds chronograph, considered by many to be the most appealing combo of high-end complications. This is the first model to use a fully in-house movement, and the platinum case and silvery dial make this over-the-top watch read as relatively understated. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  8. Tudor Monte Carlo Chronograph (Lot 247)
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    Tudor Monte Carlo Chronograph (Lot 247)

    The combination of steel body and bezel acts as an understated platform for the multi-colored dial that includes various shades of gray, dark blue, and bright orange. Monte Carlo is an appropriate nickname for this classic, which looks perfectly at home on the beach. Sure, summer's over, but it's never too early to start prepping for next year. Estimate: $7,000-$10,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  9. Rolex Domino's Pizza Air-King (Lot 162)
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    Rolex Domino's Pizza Air-King (Lot 162)

    Yes, this Rolex wears a Domino's Pizza logo. It's not a fake. The fast-food chain gave such watches to successful store managers until the late 1990s, when Rolex stopped offering customized watches. Whether you want a funny piece of Rolex history or just really like mediocre pizza, this is a fun watch to own. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000

    Source: Antiquorum
  10. Svend Andersen Krone L'Universe (Lot 60)
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    Svend Andersen Krone L'Universe (Lot 60)

    Here's another strange one from Svend Andersen. The Danish watchmaker is known for unusual dials and decorations, and this 44mm watch has a tiny white dial with traditional hands and Roman numerals surrounded by a "glimmering universe" that simulates the look of the night sky. It's a statement, and it's one of only 28 pieces produced. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  11. Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer (Lot 230)
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    Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer (Lot 230)

    Heuer used to make watches for a number of retailers, including U.S. outfitter Abercrombie & Fitch (in the days before the company's naked-model era). The Seafarer chronograph, made for surfers and sailors, packs a special dial at 9 o'clock that shows when high and low tides take place on a given day. This one has clearly seen use, but that's part of its charm. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  12. Rolex Creme Dial Explorer II (Lot 167)
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    Rolex Creme Dial Explorer II (Lot 167)

    This is a rare watch from the moment when vintage watches became modern watches. The creme dial Explorer II was supposed to have a white dial; a few came out looking this way before the dye was corrected and the bright-white versions hit store shelves. This is not the prettiest watch, but it's one that collectors covet. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  13. Pair of Corum Presidential Inauguration Watches (Lots 191 & 192)
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    Pair of Corum Presidential Inauguration Watches (Lots 191 & 192)

    This is a pair of special watches made to commemorate presidential inaugurations. One celebrates President Lyndon B. Johnson's event in 1965 and the other salutes that of President Richard M. Nixon four years later. Each is shaped like a commemorative coin, bearing the inauguration date, various patriotic motifs, and its incoming president's face on the back. Any Robert Caro fans out there? Estimate: $5,000-$8,000 each.

    Source: Antiquorum
  14. Patek Philippe Amagnetic (Lot 115)
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    Patek Philippe Amagnetic (Lot 115)

    Pateks such as this have a serious cult following. On the surface, it's a simple enough, 35 millimeter, yellow gold dress watch, but that swirly "Amagnetic" signature at 12 o'clock makes all the difference. This means that the movement inside is shielded against magnetic forces by a secondary caseback. It's a small thing that means this watch will almost certainly sell far above the estimate. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000.

    Source: Antiquorum
  15. Rolex Gilt Dial Submariner (Lot 173)
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    Rolex Gilt Dial Submariner (Lot 173)

    I couldn't do an auction round-up without including at least one Submariner. This Sub is a transitional model from 1963 that has an inky black dial with gilt printing, meters before feet in the depth rating, and a so-called chapter ring that marks out the minutes. If you don't know what these things are, you probably want a more basic Sub. Otherwise, bid on. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.

    Source: Antiquorum