Paul Newman isn’t the only American icon who has his timepiece come up for auction, as on December 7th Christie’s will offer Joe DiMaggio’s Patek Philippe reference 130 and Amelia Earhart’s Tiffany & Co travel watch.
The Patek Philippe that Joe DiMaggio used to wear is the highly coveted Reference 130. Known for its slender lugs, Patek Philippe started to make this reference in 1934 in both stainless steel as well as precious metal. DiMaggio’s watch was made however much later, in 1947, is crafted from 18K yellow gold and features the desirable dial with Breguet numerals. By that time Joe DiMaggio was already a living icon, with his 1941 56-game hitting streak, and would also later on, reluctantly, give his private life center stage with his turbulent and short-lived marriage with Marilyn Monroe. The estimate of his Patek Philippe reference 130 is $150,000 – 300,000
Amelia Earhart’s elegant Sterling Silver travel watch, made by Tiffany & Co, was a gift from British aviator Amy Johnson, in 1932. This was a monumental year for Earhart, as she became the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, five years before her, still mysterious, disappearance. Amy Johnson herself also made aviation history, being the first female pilot to fly alone from the United Kingdom to Australia. She had her gift for Earhart engraved with her initials on the front, and the back says “To Amelia, In Sincere Admiration, Amy.” The watch itself pulls out of its sleeve to stand upright on a nightstand whenever traveling. It is even fitted with a manual wind movement, beautiful Roman numerals, and even comes with its original outer case. The estimate for this watch is $60,000 – 120,000
Both watches are expected to command a premium over what they would be auctioned for if they have unknown owners. It adds an extra appeal to them, being a distinct part of history, which makes them valued by both Joe DiMaggio and Amelia Earhart collectors, as well as watch collectors, who want to add a watch to their collection owned by an American icon.
Both watches will be auctioned at Christie’s “An Evening of Exceptional Watches” on Thursday, December 7, 2017, in New York City.