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Sir Elton John’s Watch Collection Heads to Auction

Elton John

After a headline performance at Glastonbury last year that marked his final UK performance, Sir Elton John has hung up the mic and stepped away from the piano. As if to add a note of finality to his retirement, a huge selection of his personal effects, artwork, costumes and wristwatches are heading to auction at Christie’s in February.

There are so many lots that the collection has been split into eight separate auctions, with wristwatches showing up in two of them. The Collection of Sir Elton John: Opening Night on 21st Feb and The Collection of Sir Elton John: The Jewel Box online 9th – 27th Feb. Let’s check out a selection of the watches being sold.

Cartier Crash, Est. $70,000 – $100,000

Cartier Crash Elton John

The Cartier Crash is one of the most iconic watches of all time, known for its asymmetrical design. There are many apocryphal stories about how the shape of the watch was created citing inspiration from Salvidor Dali and even the Cartier founders being in an actual crash. The reality is a little tamer, it was purposely designed in this shape during the 1960s in response to the rebellious spirit of London, abandoning the traditional shapes of Cartier watches. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Elton John owned one as he too is a product of 1960s London. His specific edition of the Cartier Crash is labelled as number 150/400, linking it to a 400 piece limited edition released in 1991 in Paris.

More details at Christie’s.

Rolex Daytona Leopard, Est. $40,000 – $60,000

Rolex Daytona Leopard Print 116598SACO Elton John

Proving that Rolex has been releasing bizarre renditions of their watches long before last year’s Emoji, the Rolex Daytona Leopard was released in 2004 to mixed reaction from collectors. However, if the Leopard is going to suit anyone, it would be Sir Elton. It has an 18k gold case with diamond set lugs and an orange sapphire bezel, paired with a crazy leopard print dial and matching strap.

Interestingly, the serial number of this example features a K, marking it as a pre-production model from 2001, even rarer than the normal version of the watch. Also perhaps indicating that Rolex approached Elton about the watch before it was publicly available.

More details at Christie’s.

Cartier Tank Normale Unique Piece, Est. $20,000 – $30,000

Cartier Tank Normale Piece Unique Elton John

This Cartier Tank Normale with full diamond set case and full blue sapphire dial is described by Christie’s as “possibly unique”, which more or less tells you everything you need to know about this watch. It’s so rare that no one really knows anything about it, it’s incredibly cool and Elton John once owned it. Honestly, Cartier should take inspiration from this watch because a re-edition would be incredible. I particularly like the way that the setting of the sapphires on the dial gives it a geometric, Art Deco style that perfectly suits the Tank.

More details at Christie’s.

Franck Muller Perpetual Calendar Ref. 7000 QP E, Est. $10,000 – $15,000

Franck Muller Perpetual Calendar Ref. 7000 QP E Elton John

Franck Muller these days are best known for the Vanguard, a Richard Mille-esque tonneau timepiece that leans heavily on urban, street cool vibes – especially in its crazy hours variant. However, this rare 18k pink gold perpetual calendar is proof that they can tackle classical haute horology as well. Dating back to the 1990s, it has a 39mm case paired with a black dial that bears a quartet of subdials the indicate the moonphase, retrograde months, day and date alongside a chronograph complication. The areas around the pushers are heavily weathered and worn.

More details at Christie’s.

Cartier Tank Divan Ref. 2756, Est. $12,000 – $18,000

Cartier Tank Divan 2756 Elton John

The Cartier Tank Divan is an interesting oddity as it’s essentially a Cartier Tank that’s been rotated by 90 degrees. It means the strap is attached to the long side of the rectangle as opposed to the short sides. On top of that, Elton John’s edition is a double face model, allowing it to keep time across two time zones. It’s almost as if someone ironed out a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface so that it’s flat. The case is made from white gold measuring 38.5mm x 30mm and is set with diamonds.

More details at Christie’s.

Hublot Big Bang Aero Ref. 311.PX.1180, Est. $8,000 – $12,000

Hublot Big ang Aero Ref. 311.PX.1180 Elton John

There are a handful of Hublots in The Collection of Sir Elton John: The Jewel Box, all of varying colours and design. The most archetypal expression of the Big Bang in the auction is the Aero Ref. 311.PX.1180, a skeletonised chronograph model with a pink gold case that really accentuates the flat, broad bezel and decorative screws. Hublot are often described as watches for footballers and in that regard it’s the perfect match for Elton John, who owned Watford F.C for a time.

More details at Christie’s.

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Ref. 803.031, Est. $15,000 – $25,000

A Lange and Söhne Saxonia Ref 803 031 Elton John

One of the intriguing things about the watches on sale from Elton John’s collection is the breadth of brands on display. Sure, there’s an overwhelming focus on Cartier as you’d expect (there are many Cartiers we don’t have time to get into here) but there are also names like A. Lange & Söhne, one of the premier German watchmakers. The Saxonia is their most refined and classically dressy collection, and it looks stunning in white gold with a diamond set bezel and their signature big date complication.

More details at Christie’s.

Chopard Mille Miglia ‘Elton John’, Est. $8,000 – $12,000

Chopard Mille Miglia Elton John

It perhaps shouldn’t be that surprising that in an Elton John wristwatch auction, there’s an example of a collaboration watch produced by Chopard and the Elton John HIV Foundation. Over the years since they started working together in the mid-1990s, Chopard has produced several Mille Miglia ‘Elton John’ watches in support of the charity. The example here is a quartz chronograph with an almost mosaic style dial made from blue gems. It’s an unusual contrast because the Mille Miglia is typically Chopard’s sportiest model.

More details at Christie’s.

Roger Dubuis Easy Diver “Just for Friends”, Est. $10,000 – $18,000

Roger Dubuis Easy Diver Just for Friends

Roger Dubuis watches from the 2000s are known for being big, brash, over-the-top and a little bit wild, and the Easy Diver “Just for Friends” Ref. SE48 02 9 is the perfect example of that. In fact, the “Just for Friends” inscription on the caseback is a tacit acceptance that the watch is divisive and that not everyone will appreciate it, meaning only people who believe in Roger Dubuis’ designs will actually part with their money. Fortunately for them, when you look at people who are big, brash, over-the-top and a little bit wild, you get Elton John.

More details at Christie’s.

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