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"Ultimate vintage Rolex" leads Heritage watch sale

The "ultimate vintage Rolex" will lead an upcoming sale of watches at Heritage Auctions in New York.
The sale’s headline lot is a rare Rolex Ref. 6239 ‘Paul Newman’ Cosmograph Daytona wristwatch. Made circa 1966, the iconic wristwatch is expected to sell for more than $100,000.

The model takes its nickname from the Hollywood legend, who wore it onscreen during several of his most famous films, making it instantly desirable for collectors.

"This beautiful timepiece, with its dial variation, art deco look, different color pattern and subsidiary dials featuring little squares instead of numerals is a classic of horology," said Jim Wolf, Director of Fine Timepieces at Heritage Auctions. "It’s also the ultimate vintage Rolex for the serious connoisseur."

Further notable Rolex watches include a Ref. 80298 lady’s diamond & sapphire Pearlmaster, circa 2006, estimated at $55,000+, a Ref. 6265 gold Oyster Cosmograph, circa 1979, estimated at $50,000+, and a classic Submariner Ref. 5510, ‘James Bond’ Big Crown watch, made circa 1958, valued at $40,000+.

A particularly historic timepiece on offer is a Lange & Sohne 1A gold quarter repeater made circa 1872, the oldest still existing Repeater watch manufactured by Lange, which comes with an estimate of $40,000+. "It’s no small distinction that this is the oldest surviving Lange repeating watch," said Wolf. "This is a museum piece and an exceptional masterpiece."

As with any fine watch sale, a number of exceptional examples from Patek Philippe will cross the block. These include an 18k yellow gold Ref. 3970E chronograph with register, perpetual calendar, moon phases and 24-hour indication, estimated at $90,000+; a gold & enamel minute repeater with split-seconds chronograph, circa 1909, estimated at $40,000+; and a Ref. 5146P-001 unused platinum wristwatch with annual calendar, moon phases & power indication, valued at $40,000+.

The Watches & Fine Timepieces Signature Auction takes place at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on May 26.

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