We’ll get onto some of those colourful tales in a moment, because they are what’ll ultimately crank up the price of O’Toole’s watches (not tool replica watches for sale uk, sadly) that’ll go under the hammer on November 17 with Dawsons Auctioneers in the UK.
The first is an aaa quality replica Audemars Piguet 18ct yellow-gold Quantieme Perpetual Calendar (reference 5548) that was gifted to O’Toole by the Sheikh of Saudi Arabia for his performance in Lawrence of Arabia. An ultra-thin perpetual calendar with a movement just 3.95mm high, this was, in fact, a significant watch for the industry at large. Swiss copy Audemars Piguet UK released it during the quartz crisis at a time when hardly anyone else was making any sort of traditional, complicated timepiece. The watch was a massive success that rescued AP’s fortunes at an extremely vulnerable time while demonstrating that high complications could still command a dedicated audience. (Read our interview about it with luxury super clone Audemars Piguet’s Heritage and Museum Director here.) But all that aside, this 36mm Perpetual Calendar is an absolute stunner in its own rights. I suspect that Dawsons’ estimate of £20,000 – £30,000 may be slightly undercooked.
The other watch up for sale is a Baume & Mercier Riviera from the 1970s. First released just a year after the high quality replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Riviera is one of the first integrated bracelet watches. Featuring a steel case with 12 sides that measures 35.5mm across, it’s perched on a bi-metal steel and gold bracelet that gives it a certain louche swagger consistent with O’Toole’s devil-may-care lifestyle. This vintage incarnation of the Riviera finally makes me understand the raffish charm of this model in a way that I must confess I’ve never fully grasped with the recent versions. This high quality fake Audemars Piguet UK could prove a relative steal, too, with the estimated price £2,000 – £3,000. Admittedly, the centre of the dial does seem a tiny bit discoloured, but you can always tells yourself it was the result of some of O’Toole’s disreputable hi-jinks.