Beginning today at 10AM, bidding opens on 18 incredible (mostly vintage Rolex) watches in an auction curated by California-based Bob’s Watches and Sotheby’s. The auction, called Watches Online: The Driver’s Collection, is themed around the concept of the driving watch, though many of these lots have admittedly nothing to do with driving or automotive culture. But they’re beautiful vintage Rolexes, so who cares.
The pièce de résistance is a Rolex ref. 6538 “Big Crown” Submariner, perhaps best known as the watch worn by Sean Connery in the beginning of “Dr. No.” (The watch pairs rather well with the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 that’s being auctioned by RM Sotheby’s on August 15th, which was one of two DB5s actually used on the set of “Thunderball.”)
But getting back to this 6538. This isn’t the actualy watch worn by Connery on set, but it’s a damn pretty example of a relatively rare reference that was produced for only four years. Known by its now-iconic “big crown,” which measures 8mm in diameter, the 6538 typically features a 2-line dial devoid of chronometer certification. This particular example, however, is an even rarer 4-line dial, indicating that this model is COSC-certified. The dial itself has also turned a beautiful “tropical” brown — technically a defect of the paint used on these dials, this “tropical” hue has become extremely prized by collectors. The watch hits the auction block on August 15th, with an estimate of between $180,000-$280,000.
But wait — there’s more. Amongst the 17 other watches are some gorgeous vintage models, and some (relatively) modern ones, including the now-highly sought after 50th anniversary Submariner with green bezel. Other favorites include a 6263 Daytona and a 1675 GMT Master — check ’em out below, and be sure to visit the Sotheby’s website to see all the lots and to bid, should you so desire.
Watches Online: The Driver’s Collection will be open for bidding exclusively online from 14–20 August with the full sale on view at Monterey from 15–17 August.
6538 “Big Crown” Submariner by Rolex Estimate: $180,000-$280,000
Submariner ref. 16610LV 50th Anniversary by Rolex Estimate: $12,000-$18,000
Submariner ref. 1680 MK4 Dial by Rolex Estimate: $15,000-$25,000
GMT Master ref. 1675 by Rolex Estimate: $12,000-$18,000
Daytona ref. 6263 “Sigma” Dial by Rolex Estimate: $70,000-$90,000