From Don Draper's wrist to yours: This winter's essential luxury watches

Story highlights

  • December marks major watch auctions at Christie's, Bonhams and Antiquorum
  • Standouts include watches from Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega

(CNN)Some of the world's most beautiful and highly coveted watches are set to be sold over two days in December, as annual winter watch auctions get underway in London and New York.

Auction house Christie's will stage two sales, the first devoted entirely to a single watch line -- the Omega Speedmaster.
"Omega Speedmaster 50: From A Spacewalk to Today" at Christie's New York headquarters on December 15, will feature 50 collectible "Speedys" to mark the 50th anniversary of astronaut Edward White's Speedmaster-equipped Gemini IV spacewalk in 1965.
    Also in New York on December 15, timepiece specialist auction house Antiquorum is kicking off its "Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces" event, featuring 255 investment-quality watches.
    It will include a Patek Philippe Tourbillon Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar, one of the most complicated wristwatches ever to be produced by the famed firm; a rare Breitling chronograph given by Ferrari to the winner of the legendary Mille Miglia in 1951; and an iconic 1968 Rolex "Paul Newman" Cosmograph Daytona.
    Then in London on December 16, Bonhams will raise the curtain on one of the world's largest watch collections ever offered for sale, owned by a famed European nobleman, at its "Fine Watches and Wristwatches event."
    The same sale will include a rare British military issue Rolex Submariner from the early 1970s, as well as a pair of ultra rare 1950s Rolex chronographs named in honor of French Olympic ski champion Jean-Claude Killy, who made the model famous.
    Finally on December 16, New York Christie's will stage its "Rare Watches and Important Discoveries" sale featuring a gold 1937 Patek Philippe chronograph owned by General Henry H. Arnold, commander of the U.S. Air Force during World War II.
    Also on offer will be a much buzzed about selection of watches worn during the filming of "Mad Men," including Don Draper's 1960 Omega Seamaster, which is being sold without reserve.
    John Hamm wore it on the cover of Rolling Stone as well as throughout season five of the award-winning series.
    Scroll through the gallery above for a closer look at these auction highlights.