A custom-engraved Patek Philippe pocket watch from the collection of American business titan Henry Graves Jr. and a stellar collection of modern dress and sport watches from the collection of award-winning actor Anthony LaPaglia are among top lots to on offer at Christie's December 14 sale of Important Watches in New York. Price-wise the big draw is a Patek Philippe Reference 2499 in 18k gold, a perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phases, manufactured in 1982, est. $250,000–$350,000, while Graves' Patek is estimated at $40,000–$60,000. LaPaglia is an astute collector whose well-chosen pieces will lead the sale's afternoon session, with estimates ranging from $2,000 up to $70,000.
A stand-out among the vintage watches in his collection is the Rolex Reference 3646 made circa 1943 for Officine Panerai, an extremely rare example of the large, stainless steel diver's wristwatches produced for Italian navy officers during the 1940's, est. $70,000–$90,000; and the Rolex Reference 6541 from circa 1958, one of the rarest Milgauss models Rolex ever produced, est. $60,000–$80,000. Identified by its seconds hand in the form of a lightning bolt, this anti-magnetic model was originally designed for use in areas of high electro-magnetic fields, such as laboratories and power stations. And our favorite is the Rolex Reference 6239, known as the "Paul Newman" Cosmograph Daytona, (above) manufactured circa 1967 in stainless steel, est. $40,000–$60,000.