Another week, another Hollywood star’s historically important watch goes on sale at an auction. A Panerai Luminor model worn by Sylvester Stallone in the 1996 film Daylight, the watch considered the one that shaped the identity of the modern Panerai brand, is up for sale as part of auction house Phillips’s flagship Racing Pulse sale on December 12.
This follows close on the heels of the recent announcement that same auction would also be selling a Heuer Monaco worn by Steve McQueen in the 1970 classic Le Mans and Paul Newman’s personal Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263. Stallone’s Panerai PAM5218-201/a has a special place in the history of the Italian brand that started off as a firm making precision instruments and diver’s watches for the Italian Navy’s frogmen.
While Panerai did not make watches for the civilian market initially, in 1993 they produced a collection of vintage-inspired limited editions that paid homage to their early models. The PAM 5218-201/a sported the “Pre-Vendome logo” (watches made between 1993 and 1997, before Panerai was sold to the Vendome group) and it is believed that only 677 examples of this model exist. Back in the 1990’s, Panerai was a relatively unknown watchmaker and these models would have gone unnoticed had it not been for Stallone.
The American actor reportedly discovered the brand during a visit to Italy and wore the chunky PAM 5218-201/a on his wrist throughout the filming of the 1996 film Daylight. Stallone’s association with the brand from thereon (he custom-ordered a bunch of Panerai watches that carried the moniker Slytech on the dial) would catapult the brand to worldwide fame.
Stallone’s PAM5218-201/a, which is consigned by the man himself, is reportedly “remarkably well preserved, and fitted on its original sharkskin strap with original Panerai Pre-Vendome buckle”. Stallone wore the watch throughout the filming process and even stated that it “went through hell in every scene”. It will be sold with its original box, two additional Panerai Pre-Vendome straps with buckles, and its original brass screwdriver. A handwritten and signed note from Stallone and an original 1996 studio-issued lobby card from Daylight, also signed by Stallone, with a specific reference to the said watch. The watch has a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-80,000
In addition to this Panerai, three other Richard Mille watches including one worn by the actor in The Expendables 3 is also part of the actor’s consignment at the auction.