James Dean’s Lucky Watch Fetches Eight Times Its Estimate

This week Antiquorum sold actor James Dean’s lucky watch, and it looks like the auction house may have benefited from some of that luck! Dean’s Elgin pocket watch No. 3071580 fetched more than eight times its estimate during Antiquorum’s Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces auction, held on June 22 at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.

Dean, who died in a tragic car accident at the height of his Rebel Without a Cause fame, remains a pop culture icon. His pocket watch, which the famously superstitious Dean referred to as his “lucky watch”, was purchased by the actor in 1951 and was worn by the actor in East of Eden. No doubt that lore helped make this a highly collectible timepiece; according to Antiquorum, the lot drew tremendous attention from bidders around the globe. The winning bid for the watch was HKD$325,000 (approximately US$41,899).

In total, 626 timepieces were sold during the Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces auction, fetching a total of HKD$62,111,250 (approximately US$8,007,444). Other highlights include; an 18K pink gold minute repeating Patek Philippe Ref. 5029 wristwatch which sold to an Asian phone bidder for HKD$3,270,000 (approximately US$421,571); a platinum split seconds chronograph A. Lange & Söhne “Tourbograph Pour le Mérite” wristwatch with tourbillon which sold for HKD$2,670,000 (approximately US$344,219); a platinum and diamond Patek Philippe Ref. 5004 (Lot 549) wristwatch with split seconds chronograph which sold for HKD$2,370,000 (approximately US$305,542); and a Patek Philippe Ref. 5971 with baguette diamond bezel which sold for HKD$2,550,000 (approximately US$328,748).

Julien Schaerer, the Managing Director & Watch Expert at Antiquorum Geneva, told us, “We are delighted to see the outstanding results for the collection offered by a Japanese gentleman in today’s auction. The extraordinary outcome confirms that once again a carefully curated collection of rare timepieces drives strong competition and remarkable results.”

Photos courtesy Antiquorum.

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