Eric Clapton is legendary for his guitar playing but, in some circles, he’s nearly as famous for his watch collection. Not only has he had a fine varied collection of Rolex and Patek Philippe watches, he had some very rare pieces which have broken records at auction for their selling prices. One of his watches was so rare and valuable it’s warranted online articles all to itself. So, what watches has Eric Clapton had in his collection and what makes them so special?
Rolex ‘Red’ Submariner 1680
This Submariner was the first one to feature the date window at the 3 o’clock position with a magnifying Cyclops lens on its Plexiglas crystal. It is nicknamed the ‘red’ Submariner because the word ‘Submariner’ is written in red and was only done so for a limited amount of time. That’s what makes these watches so collectable.
Rolex Cosmograph “Paul Newman” Daytona
Even celebrities aren’t immune to celebrity power as Eric Clapton didn’t just own the watch made famous by Paul Newman but also wore it on a wide black strap just like Newman did. Newman’s original one of these watches, which he wore every day for 15 years, broke records as the most expensive Rolex ever sold when it auctioned at nearly $17,800,000.
Rolex “Oyster Albino” Daytona 6263
This Rolex is one of the rarest in the world with its silvered dial with the same-colour silvered chronograph totaliser subdial which gives it the nickname ‘albino’. It is one of only four like it in the world. In 2015, it sold at auction for $1,400,000.
Patek Philippe 5970 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
Strangely, it appears that Eric Clapton is not the only famous musician to have a thing for this beautiful and rare watch. Rapper Offset recently mentioned a watch with a very similar name on one of his albums but appears to get the numbers mixed up as he refers to a Patek 5790 instead of 5970. Whether this was because it fit better in his raps or he just got it mixed it, it seems these types of rare and expensive watches are becoming a big thing in the world of rap music replacing the more garish diamond encrusted watches usually worn by rappers.
Platinum Patek Philippe 2499
This is the watch that gets articles all to itself as it’s considered so very special. The 2499 model was considered to be so perfect and exquisite in any type of metal casing but this one is even more special as it’s in a platinum casing which was already very rare for complicated vintage Patek Philippe watches. In fact, this watch is one of only two 2499 models in platinum. Only one of them was ever sold and that was on April 7th, 1989 but the purchaser was not Eric Clapton. It was a private collector and Clapton acquired it later. On 12th November 2012, it was auctioned at Christie’s in Geneva for 3,443,000 Swiss Francs (nearly £2,700,000).
Working with so many watch collectors over the years (not Eric Clapton, unfortunately), we know how important people’s watch collections are to them and how excited collectors get when we finally source a watch they’ve been after. This is why we work so hard to find the watches collectors want and why we treat all the watches we work on with so much love and care to keep them in the condition or restore them to the condition collectors like to have them in. If you are looking for a particular watch for your collection or are interesting in which pieces we have in stock, please call us on 01273 239763 or email email@example.com.