Source: Sotheby's
Source: Sotheby's

Buy a Pristine Rolex or a Patek Philippe for Less Than $10,000

On Wednesday in New York, Sotheby's will auction off an extremely well-curated selection of vintage and modern timepieces at its Important Watches auction with lots from $1,000 to $2.5 million. If you're a collector on the rise, here are 15 lots to watch.

Sotheby's New York will conduct Important Watches on June 8 at 10 a.m. (Lots 1-100) and 2 p.m. (Lots 101-213).

Lot 5 — Rolex Daytona Ref. 116519
Lot 5 — Rolex Daytona Ref. 116519

Normally seen in steel, this circa 2000 automatic chronograph is made in 18K white gold and runs 40mm wide. "A burgeoning watch collector, particularly one interested in vintage pieces, should look for brand name, rarity, condition, and complications (like the 12-hour and 30-minute registers here) when building his collection," said Nate Borgelt, a specialist in Watches & Clocks for Sotheby's. Estimate: $8,000 to $12,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 6 — Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6000
Lot 6 — Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6000

A modern example of the classic Calatrava, this fine 18K white gold automatic Patek was made in 2006 with sapphire crystal caseback. The 38mm watch has a black leather strap and white stitching, with white numbers on a black dial, plus an outer chapter ring for the date. It comes with the original factory box. Estimate: $8,000 to $12,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 158 — Rolex President Ref. 1803
Lot 158 — Rolex President Ref. 1803

Made in 1977 and known colloquially as the "President," this shiny gold Rolex (here at 36mm in 18K pink gold) is what people mean when they talk shiny gold Rolex. This classic comes with a champagne dial showing automatic day, date, and time. Estimate: $7,000 to $9,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 14 — Patek Philippe Ref. 5107
Lot 14 — Patek Philippe Ref. 5107

Made in 2005, this automatic center-seconds Patek with date aperture is a rare find in platinum. Resolutely classic, and 37mm wide, it's considered by Sotheby's one of the few Pateks that make a great everyday watch. Estimate: $8,000 to $12,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 58 — Patek Philippe ca. 1920
Lot 58 — Patek Philippe ca. 1920

Almost 100 years old, this fine 18K yellow gold "Officer"-style wristwatch (31mm) fronts a white enamel dial with Breguet-styled indexes and blued steel spade hands. High prices don't necessarily correlate with good timekeeping, Borgelt said. This is a special case of an affordable and iconic, manually wound watch that is also well-made and precise. Estimate: $5,000 to $7,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 115 — Jaeger-LeCoultre World Time Ref. 150.8.22
Lot 115 — Jaeger-LeCoultre World Time Ref. 150.8.22

With 41 jewels in the automatic movement and a 46mm width, there's a lot going on with this circa 2006 stainless steel automatic chronograph from Jaeger-LeCoultre. Complications indicate the date, day vs. night, power reserve, plus a revolving chapter ring with 23 cities on a busy black dial with red contrasts. Estimate: $5,000 to $7,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 112 — Ulysse Nardin Ref. 329-80
Lot 112 — Ulysse Nardin Ref. 329-80

The pushers on this Ulysse Nardin automatic perpetual calendar dual-time watch allow the wearer to easily and seamlessly change the local time, which is one of those nifty mechanical complications that can seem like magic. The 38mm timepiece was made in 2010 with silvered guilloché dial and comes in limited-edition platinum. Estimate: $6,000 to $8,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 114 — Panerai PAM 0025
Lot 114 — Panerai PAM 0025

Statement making at 43mm, this spunky, limited-edition titanium Luminor Submersible was made in 2001. Its large "cushion form" case shape is unique and distinctly Panerai with a black textured dial and unidirectional rotating bezel for diving (plus extra rubber strap). Estimate: $3,000 to $5,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 117 — Rolex Daytona Ref. 16520
Lot 117 — Rolex Daytona Ref. 16520

Rolex's blue chip reputation has been built on its sport watches: This 39mm stainless steel automatic chronograph Rolex Daytona has a steel bracelet and a modified version of the famous Zenith El Primero (cal. 4030) mechanical movement inside. "As this particular model has been recently discontinued, now is a great time to invest," said Borgelt. Estimate: $7,000 to $9,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 102 — IWC Top Gun Ref. 3799
Lot 102 — IWC Top Gun Ref. 3799

Made in 2008, this IWC split-seconds chronograph is one of the few complicated watches that are rare but still relatively affordable, according to Borgelt. The matte ceramic case measures large at 46mm, and comes with a matte black dial, 30-minute and 12-hour registers, plus day and date functions. Estimate: $5,000 to $7,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 155 — Rolex Prince Ref. 971
Lot 155 — Rolex Prince Ref. 971

This rare silver rectangular Rolex Prince (26mm by 42mm) was made in 1938. It's also known as the "Doctor's Watch," because of the separated seconds on the two-tone dial. "This watch has seen significant interest in the past, so it may be due for a renaissance," Borgelt said, hinting not so subtly at its relatively conservative estimate. Estimate: $7,500 to $9,500.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 175 — Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Re. 27482
Lot 175 — Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Re. 27482

Made in 2014 and sized to match (44mm), this modern 18K pink gold and black ceramic wristwatch fronts classic Gerald Genta design: octagonal bezel, black hobnail dial, screw-down crown, multiple registers, and date window. Its a solid entry point for collectors into the AP ecosystem. Estimate: $10,000 to $15,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 199 — Patek Philippe Ref. 3802/205
Lot 199 — Patek Philippe Ref. 3802/205

Made in 1995, this Patek automatic center-seconds has an integrated 18K yellow gold bracelet. At 33mm, it's slim and bright enough to wear as a dress watch or even on a daily basis. Estimate: $6,000 to $8,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 159 — Rolex Datejust Ref. 6605
Lot 159 — Rolex Datejust Ref. 6605

This 36mm Rolex Datejust (left) has a rare pink gold case and bracelet (with Oyster clasp) and was made circa 1956. It's an early example of the Datejust, especially one with a black lacquer dial and applied pink dagger indexes; the dial remains in original condition, although with some spotting. Estimate: $8,000 to $12,000.

Source: Sotheby's

Lot 200 — Patek Philippe Dual Time Ref. 5034
Lot 200 — Patek Philippe Dual Time Ref. 5034

Classic Patek: 18K yellow gold case (33mm), dual-time functionality, and 24-hour indication with a useful traveling design. It was made in 1998 and looks particularly fresh with the white dial, yellow gold hobnail bezel, and black strap combo. Estimate: $8,000 to $12,000.

Source: Sotheby's