End of Days is not one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best films. Hell, it has a dismal 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But what it lacks in cinematic thrills it makes up for in watch spotting opportunities – and now a rare watch seen in the film has just sold for big bucks at auction.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25770SN that Schwarzenegger himself wore in the schlocky 1999 action film went under the hammer at esteemed auction house Phillips’ New York Watch Auction this weekend for US$94,500 – smashing the (rather conservative) estimate of US$25,000 – 50,000.
As Phillips explains, it’s an extremely rare and historically important prototype with a black PVD-coated stainless steel case, with stark yellow highlights and a chunky crocodile leather strap. It’s an imposing watch for a mountain of a man.
AP eventually produced a limited run of 500 ‘End of Days’ RO Offshores, but this one, being the original prototype, is subtly different from the production models. For example, it has non-luminous hour markers with a more vivid yellow plus a simpler caseback lacking “Serie Limitée” and edition number engravings.
Why is it so rare and important? Well, it’s because Arnie was one of the very first celebrities to collaborate with a watch brand like this. As Hodinkee explains, “it would be fair to describe the watch as having served as the basis for nearly every celebrity/watch brand relationship… [it] is a worthy grail for anyone intrigued by the intersection of watch and celebrity culture.”
It’s also in incredibly good nick and boasts pretty unassailable provenance. Frankly, US$94,500 for a 90s RO Offshore in mint condition is already a pretty good deal – some of these watches regularly go for six figures, even without a Hollywood connection.
Other exciting watches that went under the hammer at the same auction included a yellow gold Rolex Daytona Paul Newman ‘El Limoncito’; American actor James Garner’s Cartier Baignoire and signed dial Heuer Carrera; a boatload of F.P. Journes including one gifted by the maestro to his mentor, George Daniels; and a ‘new old stock’ Patek Philippe ref. 5004G-013.
Whilst you’re here, check out our guide to the best watches ever worn by action movie heroes below.