Now, I have to admit, when I signed up to write for Fratello, I did not expect to ever write about Sir Elton John. But here we are! Granted, it’s for a good reason. Christie’s is auctioning a plethora of items from his Atlanta mansion, including a watch collection. And what a watch collection it is! At first glance, this is exactly what you might expect Sir Elton’s watches to look like if he resides at the fringes of your awareness. Upon closer inspection, however, there is some serious horological prowess going on sale here, indicative of an enthusiast who knows what he’s doing. Let’s have a look at some highlights!

Elton John bought a four-bedroom, seven-bathroom condo in Atlanta in the early 1990s. Or, I should say, he slowly acquired it by adding neighboring apartments over time. He used it as his home away from home during tours across the United States. Since the singer announced his retirement with a 2023 farewell tour, the residence is no longer needed. Christie’s is now auctioning much of its inventory, including furniture, art, clothing, and watches.

Sir Elton John’s watches — colorful, as you may expect

Now, you wouldn’t have expected a collection of Rolex Explorers and black G-Shocks, right? The watches on auction here are very much in character for the colorful artists. Upon first scrolling through the lots, I noticed a lot of gem-set watches in bright colors. Sir Elton seems to have a particularly strong taste for Cartier and Chopard, although the collection also includes Rolex, Hublot, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Roger Dubuis.

A possible pièce unique Tank Normale in white gold, set with diamonds and sapphires

There are quite a few watches here that will turn heads among collectors. Several are pièces uniques and others are believed to be. Some are “Elton John” special editions, such as a Chopard Happy Sport with diamond-set “E” and “J” charms under the crystal.

Among the lots are a few watches that stand out as more connoisseur’s choices. The platinum JLC Triple Calendar ref. 140.6.87 is one. The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia ref. 803.031 in a 34mm white gold case is another.

Conservative estimates for the Elton John collection

Another thing that jumps out at me is the relatively conservative estimates for many of these watches. There is a fantastic white gold Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir chronograph ref. 2396G, for instance. Christie’s has set its estimate at US$15,000–25,000 / £12,000–20,000 / €14,000–23,000. There are currently two of those on Chrono24, with asking prices of €34,000 and €47,000. Both, crucially, didn’t belong to Elton John.

Another example is the Rolex Daytona “Leopard” ref. 116598SACO. The estimate is set at US$40,000–60,000 / £32,000–47,000 / €37,000–55,000. Now, if you were shopping for one that wasn’t celebrity-owned, you would be facing asking prices between €70K and €145K. Even a platinum Cartier Santos with diamonds and an onyx dial has an estimate of US$7,000–10,000 / £5,500–7,800 / €6,400–9,100. Interestingly, this is what you are asked to pay for gold versions that weren’t Sir Elton’s.

In short, I would expect many of these lots to exceed their expected estimates.

A possible pièce unique Cartier set with ruby and diamond baguettes

Closing thoughts on the auction

I know many of our readers are more into tool watches and prefer subdued, under-the-radar styling. From that perspective, it is easy to discard the collection offered here. I do not think that is entirely fair, though. I believe that quite a few collectors will be following this one closely. In particular, some of the Cartier watches on offer are extremely collectible.

The collection is split over several different auctions. The majority is in the “The Collection of Sir Elton John: The Jewel Box” auction, which runs from February 9th until February 27th. Those interested can bid online. We will surely keep a close eye on how this one goes!

What do you think of Sir Elton John’s watches? Let us know in the comments below!