Fortuna in New York is hosting their April Exchange auction on April 11th. 15 watch lots included!

Auctions are fun to follow, live or online, to see what certain watches will do on the market and what will happen if two bidders can’t stop. Fortuna is an auction house based in New York and started with jewellery only. Today, you will also find watches at their auctions. Let’s have a look at three watches that will be auctioned tomorrow by them.

1966 Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675

I have a weak spot for the GMT-Master and owned several, including two reference 1675 models. It is the watch by Rolex that gave them a name in aviation, as the GMT-Master is forever linked to the Pan Am days. Pan Am needed a watch for their pilots, and Rolex came up with the GMT-Master. With this watch, you can read the time in two time zones, by using the red and blue (“Pepsi”) bezel. The watch is still in Rolex’ collection today, with a crazy demand for it by customers worldwide, but nothing beats the vintage GMT-Master with its plexi crystal and aluminium Pepsi bezel. The watch on auction has a nicely aged dial with discoloured hour markers and a matching pair of gilt hands. As you can see, the condition of the glossy dial is pretty awesome. You will also see discolouration of the bezel, making it a cool looking vintage piece. The lugs on this GMT-Master are still ‘fat’ and have not been destroyed by over-polishing. In fact, Fortuna claims this case has not been polished at all. This watch has been worn for sure, given the marks and scratches on the case and bezel, but that’s how I like them. The serial number of this watch dates it back to 1966. No bracelet, unfortunately, but a nice brown strap (included) or NATO does the trick as well.

Bidding starts at $12,000.- USD and Fortuna estimate a result between $15K USD and $25K USD. The lot can be found here.

1994 Rolex Day-Date ref. 18238

This is exactly the reference that was immensely high on my wish list, but the new gold Speedmaster 50th anniversary blocked it (for now).  This reference was the first one to feature double quick-set (caliber 3155), meaning that both the day and the date can be advanced quickly. Although I love the looks of a 1803 or 18038 reference, the 18238 is so much more practical for daily use. This 36mm Day-Date ref. 18238 comes with the President bracelet, of course. Available in many different dial configurations, but this one comes with the white dial with gold applied Roman numerals. You can always have the dial (and hands) swapped later on, if you fancy another colour. The prices for these reference 18238 Day-Date watches are very interesting, especially compared to a modern Rolex price tag. This is your chance to be like Tony Soprano.

Bidding starts at $7000.- USD and Fortuna estimate a result between the starting bid and $12000USD. The lot can be found here.

2008 Panerai Luminor ref. PAM00112

Fortuna Auction

When I purchased my first Panerai (in 2004), the prices were still fun enough to give it a try. Today, the prices will make you think twice. That said, references like this PAM00112 are still interesting to consider. The Panerai models of today are built in a fairly different way, with in-house movements and slightly different case constructions, but that doesn’t make this 2008 PAM00112 a less interesting purchase. It still has the bulletproof hand-wound Unitas 6497 movement, with a swanneck regulator. Fortuna states that the condition of the watch is what you can expect from a watch this age, traces of wear can be found but comes with the complete package. And that’s an impressive package: huge box, original case protector, additional rubber strap, screw-driver and all paperwork. The PAM00112 comes on an alligator strap with Panerai signed buckle.


Bidding starts at $2500USD and Fortuna estimate a result between $3000USD and $5000USD. The lot can be found here.

All lots of Fortuna’s April 11 auction can be found here. Live bidding (online) possible!