Michael Caine’s Classic Rolex Oysterquartz Fetches Record Amount At Auction
The legendary actor teamed with auction house Bonhams to sell his favorite gold Rolex for an estimated $166,500.
There’s a reason the style choices of iconic actors are so closely scrutinized: They speak to the person themselves, the legend behind the screen, and in the case of Sir Michael Caine, they speak to his love of fine timepieces. As part of a sale of more than 180 personal items through Bonhams London, the actor’s beloved Rolex Oysterquartz became the most expensive model of that watch to ever sell at auction.
Rolex watches are already proving an incredible investment value over the last decade, and you can be sure Caine’s Rolex Oysterquartz has value even beyond that.
It’s priceless, one might say, although it smashed the high auction estimate of $15,800 handily, with the handsome 18-karat yellow gold Oysterquartz fetching a whopping estimated total of $166,500.
The striking watch appeared on Caine’s wrist throughout the years in films like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but much like Steve McQueen’s love of TAG Heuer watches, Caine also turned to the elegant timepiece when he wasn’t busy acting in some of the most iconic films of the past several decades.
It was his go-to off-duty watch, according to Bonhams — who wouldn’t want that as part of their timepiece or movie memorabilia collection?
Beyond that visually striking 1979 Rolex timepiece — featuring a barrel-shaped tonneau case and the eye-catching combination of both day and date windows — the rest of the collection’s 183 items sold and brought in a total of about $1.1 million, Bonhams said.
“The Rolex Oysterquartz was a groundbreaking watch cased in typical Rolex style, but it was really the stardust of Sir Michael Caine that captured the imagination of our bidders with frenzied bidding until the last two battled for the last few bids,” said Bonhams Global Head of Watches Jonathan Darracott in a statement.
The auction also saw other iconic Caine timepieces find a new home, including a 1990s-era Breitling Navitimer (final price: $14,300). Two pairs of Caine’s signature glasses were also sold through the auction, and it’s nearly as tough to separate the actor from his notable eyewear as it is to track down one of his favorite watches.
The undoubted star of the offering, though — as with most watch collections, naturally — was the impossibly cool Rolex Oysterquartz, a coveted watch with style all its own.
Few can top the with and effortless cool of Sir Michael Caine, but one very lucky watch collector might have the next best thing: An investment-level, once-in-a-lifetime watch prized by the man himself.