February 6, 2023

If you’re anything like me, you read perhaps a few entertaining books by Jackie Collins while you were growing up in the 1980s. Not only did books like 1983’s Hollywood Wives give you a sense of the glamorous Hollywood world you didn’t live in (as well as a dramatic touch of soap opera), they helped pass the time before her younger sister Joan showed up in the next episode of Dynasty on television.

Collins, who, like her sister, was a Briton living in Los Angeles, was one of the most successful novelists in those days. All 32 of her romance novels appeared on The New York Times bestseller list; these were books that sold more than 500 million copies in 40 countries – and several even made it into adaptation for big and small screens.

Jackie Collins (1937 - 2015)

Jackie Collins (1937 – 2015)

Collins passed away on September 19, 2015 at the age of 77 a very wealthy woman after 47 years of publishing her works.

And now Bonhams Los Angeles is set to auction her estate of 1,000 lots for an estimated total of $3 million on May 16 and 17, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Though the catalogue won’t be ready for several more weeks, I’ve been given a sneak peek at some of her belongings to go on the block, which encompass her surprising watch collection and a few jewelry and art pieces. Other items up for sale include Collins’ bespoke 2002 Jaguar XKR (only estimated to sell between $15,000 and $20,000!), some first editions of her work, and some of her designer clothing in addition to a six-carat diamond ring and other jewelry pieces by Cartier.

“Our mother never did anything in small measures!” Collins’ daughters Tracy, Rory, and Tiffany said in a statement. “She was passionate about collecting, and spent many decades selecting paintings, statuettes, and jewelry, which brought her joy and creative inspiration. In the early 1990s our parents designed and built a breathtaking contemporary home in Beverly Hills, which became the custom-designed backdrop to our mother’s collections. She had a unique and extraordinary eye for a design and aesthetic that combined elegance and glamour with humor and warmth.”

Part of the proceeds from the sale will go to support the empowerment of young women in the arts and education.

So without further ado, let’s have a look at seven of her watches slated to hit the auction block, starting with the most interesting one first: a full Audemars Piguet perpetual calendar that was first introduced in 1978.

“This case style was known as the ‘classique’,” Paul Boutros, a watch expert at Phillips explained to me. “Audemars Piguet was really courageous to have launched the watch in 1978 during the still ongoing quartz crisis – and it really was one of the finest watches money could buy back then, selling alongside Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendar Reference 3448. Back in 1978, these were the only two brands offering a full perpetual calendar wristwatch.”

“Today, these are a tremendous bargain on the secondary market,” Boutros added.

I’m sure Collins did not acquire it on the secondary market, but I would be very curious to know what drew her to this historically important and complicated timepiece.

Audemars Piguet Quantieme Perpetuel Automatique from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Audemars Piguet Quantième Perpetuel Automatique from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Audemars Piguet Quantième Perpetuel Automatique
Case: 36 mm, yellow gold
Movement: automatic Caliber 2120/2, whose base movement was jointly developed in the 1960s with Jaeger-LeCoultre
Functions: hours, minutes; perpetual calendar with day, date, month, age of moon, moon phase
Auction estimate: $8,000-$12,000 (original retail price was in the range of $35,000)

Patek Philippe Calatrava from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Patek Philippe Calatrava from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Patek Philippe Reference 2448 Calatrava
Case: 35 mm, yellow gold
Movement: manually winding Caliber 12-120; manufactured from 1935 until 1953
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Auction estimate: $5,000-$8,000
Remark: this reference was manufactured from 1948 until 1952, and it looks like Ms. Collins wore the heck out of this one – as she well should have done

Patek Philippe Reference 2496 from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Patek Philippe Reference 2496 from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Patek Philippe Reference 2496
Case: 26 x 34 mm, platinum set with 36 baguette cut diamonds (2.2 ct); rhodium plated 14-karat yellow gold brickwork bracelet added later
Movement: manually winding Caliber 10-200 (likely stamped with Seal of Geneva), manufactured from 1946 through 1965
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Auction estimate: $15,000-$20,000

Cartier Tank Americaine from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Cartier Tank Américaine from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Cartier Tank Américaine
Case: 41.6 x 22.6 x 9.65, rhodium-plated white gold with diamonds, inverted diamond in crown
Movement: unspecified automatic caliber
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Auction estimate: $6,000-$8,000
The Tank Américaine is still in Cartier’s collection: www.cartier.com/en-us/collections/watches/mens-watches/tank

Chopard Your Hour from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Chopard Your Hour from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Chopard Your Hour
Case: 24 x 36 mm, yellow gold set with fancy colored diamonds
Movement: quartz
Functions: hours, minutes
Auction estimate: $2,000-$3,000

Harry Winston Avenue from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Harry Winston Avenue from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Harry Winston Avenue
Case: 21 x 36 mm, white gold
Movement: quartz
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Auction estimate: $5,000-$7,000

Chanel J12 from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Chanel J12 Moon Phase from the Bonhams Jackie Collins auction

Chanel J12
Case: 38 mm, ceramic and stainless steel with diamond setting
Movement: unspecified automatic caliber
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, moon phase
Auction estimate: $3,000-$5,000 (current retail is £15,500)
This model is still in Chanel’s collection: www.chanel.com/en_GB/watches-jewellery/watches/j12-moon-phase/H3407