Now is the Time! Bid Online at Skinner for Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments

MARLBOROUGH, MA – MARCH 18, 2020 – Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments are on offer as an online internet auction at with bidding open from April 6-14. The sale offers rare and unusual horological and early optical apparatus finds, as well as vintage wrist watches from the 1920s through the early 2000s. 

Featured Watch: the Rolex Daytona 6239 

Single-owner Rolex Daytona Reference 6239 “Exotic” Dial Wristwatch, c. 1968
(Lot 1149, Estimate: $80,000-120,000)

“Iconic” is a word that’s sometimes overused, but there are certain objects for which no other word quite fits—objects that are the embodiment of their type, recognized by connoisseurs as the best of the best. One such icon is the Rolex Daytona 6239 (Lot 1149, Estimate: $80,000-120,000). This multi-featured chronograph, sometimes known as the Paul Newman because the famed actor owned one, initiated the highly prized Daytona line of specialized watches that was produced from 1961 to 1987. Car racers, which included Newman, who participated in high-profile races for many years, were enthusiasts for this particular model. It possessed advanced features that gave it superb precision and utility in calculating lap speeds. The name Daytona is traceable to Rolex’s sponsorship of the legendary 24-hour sports car endurance race held in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Skinner’s single-owner Rolex 6239 “Exotic” or “Paul Newman” dial wristwatch, circa 1968, is accompanied by the original jeweler’s receipt and inner and outer boxes. The watch is in an exemplary state of preservation. There is also a single owner, unserviced 1959 Rolex Reference 5508, along with many other vintage and contemporary wristwatches.

Recovered Artifacts

Four 18kt gold English watches (Lots 1048-1051) from the historic steamship Pulaski 

The sale will also feature four 18kt gold English watches (Lots 1048-1051) from the historic steamship Pulaski which went down in 1838. En route to Baltimore, the starboard boiler of the steamship Pulaski exploded off the coast of North Carolina. The 150 passengers onboard included some of the wealthiest people of the day, seeking a respite from the heat of the southern summer. Only 59 people survived. Gradually the memory of the Pulaski disaster faded. In 2017, Swordfish Partners, a consortium consisting of several experienced salvage firms, including Endurance Exploration Group, Bluewater Ventures, and Marex conducted excavation and recovery operations on an unknown shipwreck located in 120 feet of water. In early 2018, a small brass tag with the name SB Pulaski was recovered. Thus far, many unique items have been raised, both luxury possessions and utilitarian articles used aboard the ship.

The Monumental “Clement Clock”

Monumental Carved English Oak Quarter-chiming, Musical, Triple Calendar Hall Clock, The Clement Clock, London, late 19th century
(Lot 1277, Estimate: $20,000-40,000)

Standing just above twelve feet with exceptional case carvings and musical movement, the monumental “Clement Clock” (Lot 1277, Estimate: $20,000-40,000) is offered with documentation referencing the clocks arrival in the US from Chester, England, by then Governor of Vermont Percival W. Clement, proceeds to benefit the Vermont Historical Society. 

Featured Horology, Optical Apparatuses, Surveying Instruments and More 

Carlo Ponti Highly Carved and Ebonized Walnut Megalethoscope and Table, c. 1865-70
(Lot 1302, Estimate: $50,000-70,000)

A collection of astronomical regulators from the Norfolk Southern Railway includes an E. Howard No. 22 mahogany astronomical regulator (Lot 1182, Estimate: $40,000-60,000) and a rare Southern Railroad Astronomical regulator (Lot 1272, Estimate: $80,000-100,000) with a Savannah Georgia provenance. A rare complete example of Carlo Ponti’s Mégaléthescope (Lot 1301, Estimate: $50,000-70,000) or optical apparatus, is offered with the original carved wood and marble table and over forty original slides. This auction concludes the collection of Pennsylvania surveying instruments from the Robert C. Miller Collection.

Auction & Previews

Our specialists are available to answer questions, provide condition reports, additional images, and assist with placing bids. In-person previews are by appointment only on April 10, 13 & 14. Call 508.970.3000 or email to schedule. 

About Skinner

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 17-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York, Florida, Maine or online at

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