Press release -
Star-studded Rolex Estimated at DKK 1.5 Million
The most expensive Rolex watch in the history of Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers in Copenhagen will be up for auction on 30 November. The watch is a rare star-studded "Stilline" wristwatch from 1953, which is estimated at DKK 1.2-1.5 million (€ 160,000-200,000). Included in the auction is also the world's most sought-after sports watch "Nautilus 3700" from Patek Philippe, which is estimated at DKK 350,000-400,000 (€ 47,000-54,000).
"The offered Rolex Stelline from ca. 1953 is one of the rarest Rolex watches. It was introduced in 1950 and was only manufactured for three years, which explains its rarity and the relatively high estimate of DKK 1.2-1.5 million. It is, without doubt, the most expensive wristwatch that has ever been presented at our auctions, so the expectations for the sale are high," says Casper Behrendtzen, head of wristwatches at Bruun Rasmussen.
Rolex in a Historical Perspective
The story of the world's best-known wristwatch brand, Rolex, begins in London in 1905, where the German watchmaker Hans Wilsdorf founded the company "Wilsdorf & Davis" with his brother-in-law. A few years later in 1908, however, he registered the name we know the company under today – Rolex.
The brand is especially known for its fantastic quality and timeless design, which is reflected in several groundbreaking models. Not least the first waterproof Oyster from 1926, the automatic Perpetual from 1931, the DateJust from 1945 and the Day-Date from 1956, as well as the sporty Submariner, GMT-Master and Milgauss from the 1950s and Daytona and Sea-Dweller from the 1960s. Many of these watches were originally produced to meet the demands of professional divers, pilots and racers. The watches were therefore worn by among others PanAm pilots, COMEX divers and British special forces, as well as scientists and Arctic explorers who chose to wear a Rolex because the watches met their functional and design criteria – back then as well as today.
It is especially the watches from the 1950s-70s that enjoy enormous attention at auctions all over the world at the moment, as is the case with the extremely rare and star-studded Rolex "Stelline" (“Small stars” in Italian) from approximately 1953, which is one of the brand's absolute crown jewels.
Iconic Patek Philippe Nautilus
An early version of the world's most iconic and luxurious sports watches, Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700, is also included in the auction. The watch was originally designed in 1976 by legendary Gerald Genta, who is considered one of the world's leading watchmakers. The watch at the auction is from 1977 – the year after it was introduced.
The extremely stylish expression, the thin case and the characteristic rifled dial are all undoubtedly part of what makes the Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 something quite unique. The actual clock movement was made by Jaeger-LeCoultre and was subsequently named calibre 28-255 by Patek. This ultra-thin movement of only 3.05 mm in height is still the world's thinnest automatic movement with a central rotor. Something of an achievement – especially in the 1970s!
The Swiss family-owned watch company Patek Philippe belongs among Europe's oldest. It was founded in 1851, but the earliest watches can be traced back to 1839, where the Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek began to manufacture pocket watches in Geneva together with Franciszek Czapek from the Czech Republic. They eventually ended their collaboration in 1844 after which Patek combined forces with the watchmaker Adrien Philippe, who invented the keyless winding mechanism. The two founded the company we know today as Patek Philippe.
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers of Fine Art, Bredgade 33, Copenhagen
Preview: 23-27 November
Wristwatch Auction: 30 November
Rolex: Gentleman’s wristwatch in 18k gold. Ref. 6062 "Stelline". Automatic movement with triple calendar and moon phase (Movement no. 32883). Lightly patinated dial with gold-coloured hands and "Stelline" hour markers. Rolex "Super Oyster" winding crown. Watch diameter approx. 36 mm. Ca. 1953. Estimate: DKK 1.2-1.5 million (€ 160,000-200,000).
Patek Philippe: Gentleman's wristwatch of steel. Model Nautilus, ref. 3700. Automatic movement with date, calibre 28-255C. Blue-black dial with silvered hands and gold-coloured hour markers. Integrated bracelet of steel with folding clasp. Circumference app. 18 cm. One-and-a-half link included. Watch diameter 40 mm. 1977. Estimate: DKK 350,000-400,000 (€ 47,000-54,000).
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.
In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.