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Elton John’s watches set new records at Christie’s auction

Elton John and his Rolex Daytona with Leopard Print Dial.

The opening night of Elton John’s Goodbye Peachtree Road auction fetched US$8 million.

Last month, Christie’s announced that it would be holding an auction of property from Sir Elton John’s Atlanta home, with eight planned auctions that would be held both live and online. The city of Atlanta was significant to John’s career and personal life. The auction includes custom-made Versace furniture for the Peachtree Road property, as well as artworks by Julian Schnabel, Banksy, Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, and more.

The Rolex Daytona with Leopard Print Dial, owned by Elton John and auctioned by Christie's.
The Rolex Daytona with Leopard Print Dial, owned by Elton John and auctioned by Christie’s.

The auction began on Feb 21 at Christie’s New York, and the first day has already seen rather significant results. John’s leopard-print Rolex Daytona, which was a Rolex release from 2004, set a record US$176,400 at auction. The watch features 36 square-cut, cognac-coloured sapphires and 48 brilliant-cut diamonds on the hoods between the lugs, as well as diamonds on the hour markers. The initial low estimate for this watch was set at US$40,000. It has a matching leopard-print strap to complement the dial.

Elton John's limited-edition Cartier Crash fetched an impressive US$277,200.
Elton John’s limited-edition Cartier Crash fetched an impressive US$277,200.

Two other watches that were up for auction on the first day were a limited-edition Cartier Crash watch in yellow gold that achieved US$277,200. This was nearly four times its original estimate of US$70,000. A signed Cartier Tank Normale that was estimated at US$20,000 went for US$176,400. The total for these three watches reached US$630,000, well above the estimate of US$130,000.

Leading Elton John's auction was the Flower Thrower Triptych by Banksy, which sold for over US$1.925 million.
Leading Elton John’s auction was the Flower Thrower Triptych by Banksy, which sold for over US$1.925 million.

Leading the sale for the first day was Banksy’s Flower Thrower Triptych, which features a hooded figure throwing a bouquet of flowers. Directly acquired from the artist, it sold for just over US$1.925 million. (It was not shredded, fortunately.) Another significant sale was John’s 1990 Bentley Continental, which went for US$441,000. This was the car he travelled with internationally.

One unique watch that's up for grabs is a concealed-dial Vacheron Constantin watch that's fully set in diamonds.
One unique watch that’s up for grabs is a concealed-dial Vacheron Constantin watch that’s fully set in diamonds.

A total of 31 watches are up for auction. These include some very unique watches such as a concealed dial Vacheron Constantin watch that’s fully set with diamonds; a diamond-set A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia with large date display; numerous gem-set models from Cartier and Chopard; and a unique Chopard watch with skull end-links, designed for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

A Chopard chronograph with skull end-links, designed for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
A Chopard chronograph with skull end-links, designed for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The auction continues today; all proceeds from the sales will go to Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. Head to Christie’s website to join the auction and bid for one of Elton’s watches.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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