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Elton John’s leopard print Rolex Daytona sells for a world record $176,400

Sir Elton John is a passionate watch collector, and has consigned 32 timepieces to the Christie's sale including 13 by Cartier, five Chopards and four Hublots.

Elton has said goodbye to his yellow gold leopard print Rolex Daytona after it sold for $176,400 at an auction in New York last night, smashing its presale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000 and setting a new world auction record for the model. 

The Christie’s event is the biggest celebrity auction since Freddy Mercury’s treasures were sold in London last year, with The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road series of sales expected to bring in well over $20 million.  

Thirteen Cartier watches, including the jungle-themed leopard print Rolex Daytona and a Cartier Crash, were sold as Sir Elton auctions the contents of his home in Atlanta at a series of sales at Christie’s New York.

A total of eight auctions kicked off yesterday (February 21) in New York and online with the big watch lots appearing at the opening night sale.

Elton John’s watch collection

Lot 9 rolex

The headline act was a gold Rolex Daytona with a leopard print dial and strap with a case in diamonds and orange sapphires.

It was produced in 2001 and has an estimate of $40,000-60,000 but sold for $176,000, a world record for the reference.

Lot 12 cartier

Appealing to a more mainstream collector’s taste was a Cartier Crash in 18ct gold with a silvered dial

It has an estimate of $70,000 to $100,000 (£55,000-78,000), considerably lower than an equivalent Cartier Crash, without a celebrity connection, which sold at Sotheby’s in London for $191,000 in September last year.

Christie’s will be delighted that the Elton factor drove bidding up to $277,200, almost four times its low estimate.

Lot 38 cartier. A possibly unique and opulent 18k white gold and baguette diamond set rectangular wristwatch

A Cartier Tank Normale in 18ct white gold has a bezel set with 20 baguette diamonds and a dial made up of 16 blue baguette sapphires sold for $176,400, almost nine times the low estimate of $20,000.

Away from watches, the highest prices paid during the opening night was for Banksy’s Flower Thrower Triptych, which sold for $1,925,500. 

The singer’s 1990 Bentley Continental achieved $441,000.

The Christie’s auctions continue with another 30 Elton John timepieces crossing the block over the coming days.

Lot 325 chopard

A unique Chopard chronograph, produced around 2010 to raise money for the Elton John Aids Foundation, has a case entirely covered in white diamonds, including two skulls that appear to bite into the top and bottom of the watch.

Priced to draw maximum interest, it goes to auction with an estimate of just $10,000-15,000 (£7,900-12,000).

Lot 326 cartier

Another gem-encrusted creation from Cartier is a 35mm Pasha in 18ct yellow gold with a Cloisonné enamel dial framed by two rows of diamonds.

Made around 2010, the automatic watch has an estimate of $15,000-20,000.

Lot 916 a. Lange sohne

A. Lange & Söhne is represented by an 18ct white gold Saxonia with a diamond-set bezel.

The 34mm size would typically put the watch in the men’s category, but today’s tastes make it more of a gender-neutral option.

The manually-wound watch, worn on a leather strap with a white gold buckle, goes under the hammer with a $15,000-20,000 estimate.

The Collection of Sir Elton John Goodbye Peachtree Road auctions run until February 28 at Christie’s New York.

Join the Conversation


  1. I hope I can afford at least one thing i dont care what it is from him at his auction on line. He has always been my all time favorite. I was blessed to finally had the chance to go to one of his concerts in Pensacola. He is just absolutely amazing.
    Thank you for making the world a better place with your music and yourself.

  2. Time for Elton to let go of his worldly possessions.They are very striking watch pieces,and I hope the money they bring goes to a good cause.Materialism based lifestyles are totally worthless in the hereafter.

  3. I would also love to get one of his watches as I have been a watch nut for many years. He has some awesome pieces, but he can afford them, he has earned them. He deserves them. Saw him in concert and loved the show.

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