The most expensive watches sold on eBay in 2020Zach Blass
With eBay being one of the largest marketplaces in the world, the go-to platform for sellers looking to find buyers for their goods, it can be home to some of the most desired and in-demand products worldwide – including watches. While some have hesitated to take the plunge on a watch purchase via the site, due to a fear of counterfeit products or listings, eBay has now incorporated an independent authentication service for sellers and buyers to utilise on top of their eBay money-back guarantee. This makes it safer than ever to dive into the watch category on the site, and with a trained and seasoned eye, find everything from the Bamford G-Shock you missed out on, the Rolex you can’t get at your AD, and even holy trinity masterpieces. If you’re lucky you may even have a digital barn-find like a moon-era Speedmaster (although with more and more awareness of the value of vintage pieces, this is becoming less frequent). With 2020 coming to a close, we began to wonder: what were the most expensive watches sold on eBay in 2020? Thanks to data provided by eBay (in USD), we now have the answer …
10. Rolex Yacht-Master ref. 116695SATS – $79,999
The Rolex Yacht-Master ref. 116695SATS is a 40mm Everose gold Yacht-Master that is outfitted with factory-set gemstones around its bezel instead of the traditional matte black ceramic timing bezel. The gemstones create a rainbow look with 38 sapphires, eight tsavorites (green gems) and one diamond at 12 o’clock to represent a pseudo triangle indicator for timing purposes. That being said, you can expect an eye roll if you refer to this watch as a daily beater.
9. Rolex Daytona ref. 116506 Platinum “Ice Blue” – $85,795
The Rolex Daytona ref. 116506 in platinum is a very cool looking watch. Some would say it is ice cool, thanks to its icy blue dial, limited only to platinum watches within Rolex collections. With a platinum case and bracelet, this Daytona has the most wrist presence and heft of any modern Daytona. It is also the only Daytona that does not have a black ceramic bezel.
8. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1A Chronograph – $88,500
A sibling of the 5711, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1A Chronograph is also a very highly desired watch from the brand that collectors scramble to own and wear – especially considering this stainless steel model has been discontinued. It features a “totaliser” style chronograph register that will display the elapsed hours and minutes both on a single register. The 40.5mm case is also 120 metres water resistant, which means this chronograph can go for a swim.
7. Rolex Daytona ref. 6265 in yellow gold – $94,993
A very rare and precious Daytona, the ref. 6265 in yellow gold is a highly sought-after watch in collecting circles. At 37.5mm in diameter, it comes from a classic era when Daytonamania did not exist. In fact, you won’t even see Daytona text on the dial. This watch also introduced a new level of depth in terms of water resistance — its screw-down crown and pushers protecting the watch up to 100 metres in the water — but considering the value, please do not lose one of these watches to the bottom of the ocean.
6. RM 39-01 Automatic Aviation E6-B Flyback Chronograph – $95,000
The RM 39-01 Automatic Aviation E6-B Flyback Chronograph is a titanium watch with an automatic winding movement, with hours, minutes, seconds at 3 o’clock, oversize date, month, flyback chronograph with central seconds counter, minutes and countdown counters at 9 o’clock, and hour counter at 6 o’clock. It also features a UTC function and variable-geometry rotor on its movement, which has baseplates and bridges also made in a case-matching titanium – which means this big watch will be super light on the wrist.
5. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 26574BA.OO.1220BA.01 in yellow gold – $95,000
Perpetual calendars are one of the most classic and desired high complications in watchmaking, and there are few better cases to house one than the iconic Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet. This watch, made of yellow gold, provides wearers with some of the best finishing in watchmaking, both inside and out. The case and bracelet are executed with gorgeous satin and high polish contrasts and the movement inside, with a slim and highly finished movement viewable behind its exhibition caseback. At 41mm in diameter and under 10mm thin, this Royal Oak will have no trouble sliding underneath your shirt cuff.
4. de Grisogono Grappoli Watch – $96,200
Probably the least conventional watch on this list, the Grappoli from de Grisogono is heavily layered with amethyst stones, which, while not the most expensive stone in the world per carat, is very labour-intensive to work with – thus resulting in quite a high price point. Large in diameter, about 51mm from edge to edge, the watch is definitely an eye-catcher and sure to get questions from those who spot it. Try not to let your head explode here … the watch has a standard quartz movement ticking away inside, which means the bulk of the artistry is in its case and dial.
3. Harry Winston Ocean Dual Time Baguette Diamond Watch – $98,000
The Ocean Dual Time from Harry Winston provides the wearer double the fun when it comes to dial information. Two sub-dials tell the hours and minutes of separate time zones, each paired with its very own day/night indicator. Their is also a digital date window that showcases two concentric discs that rotate to display the proper information. The bezel is outfitted with baguette-cut diamonds around its 45mm case made of white gold. This watch is anything but understated.
2. A. Lange & Söhne Double Split Chronograph ref. 404.032 in rose gold – $98,995
A. Lange & Söhne does not always get the credit it’s due from watch consumers around the world, so it is a pleasant surprise to see the second most expensive watch on this list come from the German powerhouse. At 43mm in diameter, the watch features a double split flyback chronograph – which means the watch can actually time two things at once. It is crazy complicated, and its complexity can be visualised in the metal when looking at the city of gears beneath its exhibition caseback.
1. Panerai Radomir ref. PAM21 (featuring a Rolex movement) – $125,000
We were so close, weren’t we. I’m sure some readers were rooting for something other than Rolex to take the number one spot, but somehow the crown managed to wiggle their way in via an extremely rare and coveted PAM21 from Panerai. The story goes that during the transfer of the Panerai brand, from Vendôme to Richemont, that Richemont acquired the brand name and the whole catalogue of old stock and parts in the brand’s possession. This included more than 60 NOS vintage Rolex 618 movements – and CEO Angelo Bonati saw an opportunity to have a strong launch, under Richemont, with this find. The first limited/special edition under its new ownership, the PAM21 was a tribute to the highly sought-after reference 3646, which was the original dive watch from Panerai used by combat swimmers. Cased in platinum, with the Rolex 618 movement on full display via its exhibition caseback, Paneristis and collectors around the world rushed to score one of these pieces. And unsurprisingly, they are still very in-demand today.