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Watches Jewellery These Vintage Rolex Watches May Be The Most Expensive Ever Sold

These Vintage Rolex Watches May Be The Most Expensive Ever Sold

An iconic Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675, this watch was worn by Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, released in August 1979. (Photo: Courtesy Phillips)
An iconic Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675, this watch was worn by Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, released in August 1979. (Photo: Courtesy Phillips)
By Kaitlyn McInnis
October 31, 2019
The watches worn by Marlon Brando and Jack Nicklaus are hitting the auction block next month

Two vintage Rolex watches that ordinarily would be valued around US$15,000 to US$20,000 are hitting the auction block in December. However, because the two watches were worn by golf champion Jack Nicklaus and actor Marlon Brando, respectively, watch experts predict the timepieces will garner 10 to 100 times their typical value due to the star power behind them.

The Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675 was owned by Brando, while the gold Day-Date Ref. 1803 was owned by Nicklaus. Both watches will be available in a December sale called “Game Changers” by Phillips auction house.

“It’s a sale dedicated to people who have changed the game in their fields, but also two watches that have changed the game in watchmaking,” Paul Boutrous head of watches for Phillips auction house told CNBC in a statement.

Marlon Brando on the Set of Apocalypse Now. Credit: Mary Ellen Mark (Photo courtesy Phillips)
Marlon Brando on the Set of Apocalypse Now. Credit: Mary Ellen Mark (Photo courtesy Phillips)

Marlon Brando put the GMT into the spotlight in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 “Apocalypse Now”. According to Boutrois, the rubber-strapped Rolex was Brando’s most treasured watch in his collection.

Phillips said that during the filming, Brando was instructed to remove the watch, as it was too flashy for the character, Col. Walter E. Kurtz, but he refused, and instead chose to alter the timepiece by removing the bezel from its face.

An iconic Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675, this watch was worn by Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, released in August 1979. (Photo: Courtesy Phillips)
An iconic Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675, this watch was worn by Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, released in August 1979. (Photo: Courtesy Phillips)
An iconic Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675, this watch was worn by Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, released in August 1979. (Photo: Courtesy Phillips)

Nicklaus’ Day-Date, however, would likely retail for around $15,000 on the vintage market. However, according to Boutros, “With the celebrity provenance, you can expect a significant premium that a collector will pay to own such a great piece of history. We hope to see a result in the seven figures.”

CNBC also reported that the timepiece is slated to pull in millions at the auction, potentially even beating out Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona as the most expensive Rolex of all time.

Phillips “Game Changers” auction will be held in New York City on December 10, and most of the proceeds from both watches will be donated to helping kids in need.

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Watches & Jewellery most expensive rolex marlon brando rolex jack nicklaus rolex rolex watch auction rolex auction

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