Rolex worn by Marlon Brando could be the most expensive watch ever sold

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The timeless Rolex worn by Hollywood icon Marlon Brando will soon be on sale.

The Oscar winner’s Rolex GMT Master Reference 1675, the timepiece he wore in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic 1979 war film “Apocalypse Now”, will be one of the best watches to sell in the house. Phillips Auction in association with Bacs & Russo Game Changers York Watch Auction on December 10. Another Rolex worn by professional golfer Jack Nicklaus will be one of the other lots in the auction.

Rolex GMT Master Reference 1675 by Marlon Brando. (Courtesy of Phillips).

The Rolex GMT Master also features a unique engraving on the back that reads “Mr. Brando”, which was hand-engraved by Brando himself. It is mounted on a black strap with its bezel – the top ring of the watch that surrounds the crystal – missing. This is because Brando was told to take the watch off during filming as it seemed too polite for his character, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, but he kept it on anyway, removing the bezel from his face. instead to better fit the role.

Brando kept his watch on and removed his glasses to play Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in “Apocolypse Now”. (Marie Ellen Mark)

The watch would normally be worth between $ 15,000 and $ 20,000 in the resale market, Benjamin Clymer, founder of Hodinkee, a premium watch publication, told FOX Business.

Clymer says the Rolex GMT Master would be much less valuable in the resale market without its original bezel, but due to its importance in the film, it will likely cost $ 1 million or more at auction.

“It’s iconic because that’s how he wore it in the movie,” Clymer said. “But under the circumstances, that would drastically reduce the value.”

Brando owned the watch until 1995, when he gave the watch to his daughter, Petra Brando Fischer, according to Phillips. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

The theme for this year’s auction is “Game Changers”, dedicated to watches owned by legendary individuals from brands such as Patek Philippe, Piguet, Omega and Breitling.

An unpublished engraving on the caseback that says “Mr. Brando”, hand-engraved by Brando himself. (Courtesy of Phillips)

Also at auction is the Rolex Day-Date Reference 1803 in yellow gold worn by Nicklaus, also known as the Golden Bear, who received it as a gift in 1967. Nicklaus has won 12 of his 18 titles of professional major championships while wearing the 18- karat yellow gold watch, according to Phillips. It was the only watch he had ever worn.

“This is the very first watch I have ever owned and the only watch I have worn for every professional tournament I have won in my career,” Nicklaus, 79, said in a statement. “He has accompanied me to the US Open, Masters Tournaments, PGA Championships, Open Championships and countless other events for over five decades, and served me well every step of the way.”

The watch has also become a symbol of success for businessmen, former US presidents and athletes like Nicklaus.

“He became the status symbol of a successful man in business.”

– Ben Clymer, founder of Hodinkee

Clymer said the watch would normally cost around $ 12,000 in the resale market, but since Nicklaus wore it to major championships, it has become a piece of history and could command at least seven figures.

The Rolex Day-Date Reference 1803 in yellow gold.

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“Whether you’re a golf fan or not, the fact that he’s had this watch with him for the majority of his wins is very compelling,” Clymer said.

The Rolex Day-Date Reference 1803 in yellow gold worn by professional golfer Jack Nicklaus is also up for auction.

Proceeds from the sale of Nicklaus’ watch will go to its namesake Children’s Health Care Foundation.

Other highlights up for auction include an Urwerk UR-105 CT watch worn by actor Robert Downey Jr.’s “Iron Man” character in the 2019 movie “Avengers: Endgame”, with a starting estimate between $ 30,000 and $ 60,000, with profits also going to charity. .

Then there’s the Navitimer Cosmonaute Reference 809 from Breitling with a starting estimate between $ 40,000 and $ 80,000. The watch, which features an all-black dial, was the first watch ever worn in space by Mercury Seven astronaut Scott Carpenter and made in 1962.

Another star is the Vacheron Constantin designed for American climber and photographer Cory Richards with a starting estimate between $ 20,000 and $ 40,000.

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