The highlights of Elton John’s Christie’s auction The highlights of Elton John’s Christie’s auction

The highlights of Elton John’s Christie’s auction

Buffy Acacia

Sir Elton John has rarely been out of the headlines for the last 50 years, but he’s back in them again in 2024. Having just won his first Emmy award for the Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium special on Disney+, he’s become the 19th EGOT winner — someone who’s won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award. This honour comes at the same time as he’s clearing out his Peachtree Road home in Atlanta, Georgia, and the upcoming Christie’s auction is full of some truly intense watches. Let’s sift through onslaught of sapphires and pull out five of the most interesting timepieces.

Rolex ‘Leopard’ Daytona

Elton John auction 1

Most watch enthusiasts have conservative tastes, but I couldn’t just ignore all of the incredibly audacious watches in this collection. Elton John’s style has gone through many evolutions, but his era of excess which began in the ‘70s is by far his most iconic look. There are heaps of watches in this auction studded with diamonds and other precious jewels, but the leopard-print dial and strap on this 18k gold Rolex Daytona is possibly the gaudiest and most flamboyant of all.

Estimate: US$40,000 – $60,000

Cartier Crash

Elton John auction 2

For a watch which is designed to look ruined, the Cartier Crash only gets more and more legendary with each passing year. Its eccentricity and evocation of Salvador Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory has made it a must-have for collectors with an artistic mind, each reference having its own quirks. This particular reference is from a limited run of 400 pieces in 1991, with white contrast stitching on the strap making for a surprisingly sporty look. With the hype surrounding the Crash in the current market and the added star power from Sir Elton, it’s no surprise that this watch has the highest estimate of the bunch.

Estimate: US$80,000 – $100,000

Franck Muller Ref. 7000 QP E

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Think of Franck Muller and you think of tonneau cases, bright colours, and the general Mad Hatter’s vibe of Alice in Wonderland. What’s special about the Franck Muller Ref. 7000 QP E is that it’s none of those things, instead it’s a highly traditional and highly complicated sculpture of a watch. With an artfully-arranged perpetual calendar, moonphase and chronograph all featured, the black and gold colour scheme makes this look like a treasured artefact. Elton John’s model has certainly seen better days with severe discolouration around the pushers and lugs, however it’s a powerful display of character if you like your patina to look antiquated.

Estimate: US$10,000 – $15,000

Cartier Tank Divan

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Everyone loves the Cartier Tank, so why not have two? The Cartier Tank Divan name is usually given to references which are elongated outwards, turning the vertical rectangle into an exceptionally wide horizontal one. This reference, with its 18k white gold case tastefully coated in diamonds, actually features a dual-time display which can both be set from the same crown. What it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in wow-factor, and it’s quartz-powered so you could easily reach for it without worrying about setting the twin dials each time.

Estimate: US$12,000 – $18,000

Chopard Elton John AIDS Foundation Piece Unique

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Not only is this a watch with a powerful look, it’s also one with a powerful message. Memento Mori is the art of using gothic imagery to remind us of the reality of death, and it’s represented here with two diamond-set skulls. Elton John’s AIDS Foundation is obviously a cause close to his heart as a gay man, and the effects of the HIV epidemic at its worst are still being felt in queer communities worldwide. Thankfully with the right medication and precautions it’s far less lethal now than ever before, but this unique, dazzling Chopard is simultaneously reminder of the horrors of the past and hope for the future.

Estimate: US$10,000 – $15,000