Sylvester Stallone, a.k.a. ‘The Italian Stallion’, is one of the most famous action movie stars of all time.
From Rocky to Rambo to Barney Ross in The Expendables, he’s an unparalleled icon of film. He’s also quite the watch collector, with Carl F. Bucherer, IWC Schaffhausen and Rolex pieces among his treasure trove. He also boasts his own signature Richard Mille model, the RM 25-01.
But the one brand he loves more than any other is Panerai, who owe much of their modern success to Sly’s influence. The story goes that while in Italy filming Daylight in 1996 he accidentally wandered into a Panerai boutique, and immediately fell in love with their large, masculine watches. The rest, as they say, is history, and Stallone has purchased dozens of watches from the Florentine watchmaker over the years – giving many away as gifts. Must be nice.
Ahead of acclaimed auction house Phillips’ ‘Racing Pulse‘ watch auction on the 12th of December in New York, Stallone sat down with Panerai to discuss the Panerai Luminor (ref. 5218-201/A) he’s consigned as part of the auction. In the short clip, he also has a bit of a dig at fellow action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who he accuses of mimicking his taste in timepieces.
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Of course, if you know anything about the two actors, then you’ll know it’s all just banter. While the two did have an intense rivalry during the 80s, when they were the two biggest action movie stars in the world, Stallone and Schwarzenegger are now great friends.
Indeed, Stallone gifted Schwarzenegger his first Panerai – a gold-plated prototype model produced before the company was purchased by Vendôme Group (which is now named Richemont, and also owns other prestigious watch brands including A. Lange & Söhne, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin).
Stallone’s Panerai (which comes with its original box and straps, plus by a hand-written note from the man himself) isn’t the only famous watch included in this Racing Pulse auction.
A Heuer Monaco gifted by Steve McQueen to his personal mechanic Haig Alltounian in 1970 is also up for grabs, as is Paul Newman’s personal ‘Big Red’ Rolex Daytona. Not only were these three watches made famous by these celebrities, but these are literally the watches that did it. Hard to beat that level of provenance…
UPDATE: No big surprise but these three watches all fetched a pretty penny at auction. Stallone’s Panerai sold for an unprecedented 214,200 USD after less than 5 minutes of bidding – but that’s nothing in comparison to the prices the other two went for. McQueen’s Heuer sold for 2,208,000 USD and Newman’s Rolex went for a whopping 5,475,000 USD.