Home Land The Most Costly Rolex Watches Ever Bought at Public sale

The Most Costly Rolex Watches Ever Bought at Public sale

0
The Most Costly Rolex Watches Ever Bought at Public sale

[ad_1]

When contemplating which Rolex fashions have hammered for the best quantities of cash lately, one bumps up in opposition to an irony of the trendy horological local weather that merely can’t be ignored: Many of those timepieces are metal sports activities fashions that, upon their debut, had been (comparatively) reasonably priced to the typical purchaser. At the very least two are extremely difficult watches in valuable metals, the Bao Dai and the Ref. 4113 Break up-Seconds—the kind of timepiece Rolex not actually produces, with the exception maybe of the Sky-Dweller. However many are much less advanced fashions, corresponding to a time-only Day-Date or the Daytona, whose fundamental design language stays the identical nicely into the 2020s. In inspecting why that is the case, some historic context is important:

Regardless of its fashionable standing as a worldwide luxurious juggernaut whose wares can simply double as chilly, onerous foreign money, when it was based by Hans Wilsdorf within the early Twentieth century, Rolex didn’t produce what was thought-about a luxurious product. Moderately, it manufactured timepieces that had been meant for use as instruments—worn whereas climbing mountains, diving deep into the ocean’s depths and soldiering into fight the world over. 

It wasn’t till roughly the Nineteen Seventies that Rolex started taking up the side of a luxurious model within the fashionable sense, one whose wares had been not strictly utilitarian. (Strong gold dual-time watch, anybody?) In newer years, hovering demand for metal Rolex sports activities fashions—Submariners, GMT-Masters, and Daytonas—has injected a wild twist into the story of Rolex within the twenty first century that might have appeared unthinkable to somebody searching for a well-built wristwatch within the Nineteen Sixties. Certainly, these most utilitarian of Rolexes are so extremely wanted {that a} buyer should develop an extended historical past of purchases with a licensed supplier as a way to safe a spot on what can nonetheless be a years-long ready record. (That, or buy one on the secondary market—usually at a big markup.)

Maybe it’s a contemporary eager for these Twentieth-century days of journey—days when maps had huge, clean areas and a way of marvel on the world’s mysteries nonetheless remained—that has pushed curiosity in early, metal instrument watches to such dizzying heights, and particularly these from Rolex. Who doesn’t need to look down at his wrist and be reminded of the feats of nice women and men who wore them? After all, there are different elements at play, corresponding to provenance. A watch owned by somebody as extensively admired as Paul Newman goes to command important cash it doesn’t matter what model identify is on the dial.

Then there’s the expansion of social media, devoted on-line watch publications and horological communities corresponding to Crimson Bar, and hype from the public sale homes themselves—to not point out the pandemic, which noticed discretionary spending redirected from experiential purchases to luxurious items corresponding to watches. The fervor for Rolex watches grows organically as an increasing number of individuals are simply introduced into the fold, digitally. On prime of this ever-expanding data base, people with the means to spend money on a rising market will accomplish that in betting on the identical form of returns they chase within the artwork market, or the inventory market. And Rolex is extensively perceived to represent essentially the most liquid of watch “investments”—a time period that admittedly rankles sure horological purists. Purchase a brand new Rolex watch as we speak—particularly a metal sports activities watch, if you may get your arms on it—and there’s likelihood that you simply’ll have the ability to promote it tomorrow for what you paid for it, after which some.

However even a cash-flush buyer unversed in Rolex’s early historical past as a producer of instrument watches, one hopes, can acknowledge the significance of those objects. It’s not all the time costly valuable metals or glowing diamonds that seize the thoughts of the watch aficionado. Generally it’s purely concerning the tales of those that owned them or the hunt for a timepiece that symbolized a singular second within the historical past of this pioneering firm whose early fashions have withstood the check of time.

Oyster Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6239 “Paul Newman” 

Paul Newman Rolex Daytona

Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona

Justin Mastine-Frost

Technically, any Daytona with an “unique” dial—recognizable for its contrasting outer seconds observe, funky fashionable typeface used within the sub-dials mixed with block indices, and squarish 1-12 indices—is now referred to as a “Paul Newman” variant. However when the commemorated actor and racer’s personal reference 6239, gifted to him by his spouse, got here up for public sale in 2017, the watch world collectively went berserk. The watch hammered for $17.75 million, together with purchaser’s premium—not dangerous for a Daytona variant that languished on supplier cabinets, when it debuted within the Nineteen Sixties, for lack of curiosity.

Worth: $17.75 million at Phillips in October 2017
Diameter: 36.5 mm
Motion: Valjoux cal. 72B handwound

Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6265 “Unicorn”

Rolex Unicorn

Rolex Daytona “The Unicorn” in 18 karat white gold

Phillips

Whereas a typical chrome steel, Oyster-cased ref. 6265 may run you a cool $70,000 or so, they’re comparatively commonplace. This distinctive 18-karat white gold model, nonetheless, is rarer than, nicely, a unicorn, which is mirrored in its last hammer worth. The watch’s vendor was none apart from famed collector John Goldberger, who donated it to Phillips public sale home (the proceeds from the sale had been gifted to Youngsters Motion, a charity). As of 2020, that is the second-most costly Rolex ever offered at public sale after Paul Newman’s Daytona. 

Worth: ~$6.5 million at Phillips in Could 2018
Diameter: 37 mm
Motion: Valjoux cal. 727 handwound

Ref. 6062 “Bao Dai” 

Rolex Ref. 6062 “Bao Dai

Rolex Ref. 6062 “Bao Dai”

Courtesy of Phillips

In 1954, whereas in Geneva attending a conference that might cut up Vietnam into two distinct states, Bao Dai—the ultimate emperor of Vietnam and then-head of state—walked right into a Rolex boutique and requested, primarily, “the rarest and most valuable Rolex ever made.” The ref. 6062 offered to him is a triple-calendar moon section in yellow gold with a black dial and diamond indices. Although two different diamond-dial 6062s are recognized to collectors, the Bao Dai contains a distinctive structure with 5 diamonds, additional rising its rarity. 

Worth: $5.06 million at Phillips in Could 2017
Diameter: 36 mm
Motion: Rolex cal. 655 automated

Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6263 “The Legend”

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6263

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6263 “The Legend”

Courtesy of Phillips

One other absurdly uncommon Daytona configuration, this ref. 6263 is one in all solely three recognized “Paul Newman” variants executed in a yellow gold Oyster (water resistant) case. Its “lemon grené” dial options black contrasting subdials, a black outer seconds observe and a black bezel, making for a glance that grabs your eye from throughout the room. After a heated bidding battle, it hammered for over $3.7 million, making it the second-most costly Rolex ever offered on the time (Could 2017) after the Bao Dai. 

Worth: $3.7 million at Phillips in Could 2017
Diameter: 37.5 mm
Motion: Valjoux cal. 727 handwound

Cosmograph Daytona ref. 16516

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 16516

Sotheby’s

A platinum-cased Daytona is a special-enough factor. However one with a dial crafted from turquoise and an automated, Zenith-derived motion? Priceless. (Or, to be extra correct, ~$3M value of worth.) A ref. 16516, the watch is alleged to be one in all 5 platinum Daytonas commissioned by earlier Rolex head honcho Patrick Heiniger again in 1999. (The others had Tahitian mother-of-pearl, coral, and lapis lazuli dials—the latter instance having hammered for a cool $3.27 million.) Harking back to the coloured lacquer “Stella” dials of the Nineteen Seventies, this piece is arguably extra notable for its use of a slice of stone—making it distinctive by definition.

Worth: ~$3.14 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, 2022
Diameter: 40 mm
Motion: Rolex cal. 4030 (Zenith base)

Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6240 “The Neanderthal” 

Rolex Daytona The Neanderthal

Rolex Daytona “The Neanderthal”

Photograph: Courtesy Phillips

You could acknowledge among the hallmarks of this ref. 6240’s dial—it’s obtained the unique font and indices of a “Paul Newman,” but it surely’s not fairly a Paul Newman: courting from 1966, this probably distinctive Daytona is a form of “pre-PN.” Its outsized subdials have the exotic-dial look, however the watch’s face is in any other case adorned with solely the Rolex coronet and Rolex wordmark. The 6240 was additionally the primary Cosmograph Daytona mannequin to be outfitted with the waterproof Oyster case, making this a compelling, vital timepiece within the Daytona continuum.

Worth: $3.01 million at Phillips in Could 2018
Diameter: 37.5 mm
Motion: Valjoux cal. 72B handwound

Ref. 4113 Break up-Seconds 

Rolex Ref. 4113 Split-Seconds

Rolex Ref. 4113 Break up-Seconds

Courtesy of Rolex

One other difficult watch rendered in metal, the ref. 4113 options an outsized 44 mm case—the biggest case measurement of any Rolex mannequin ever produced—and the caliber 55 VBR chronograph motion outfitted with a split-seconds complication. Solely 12 of those watches are thought to have been produced throughout the early Forties, they usually had been by no means supplied on the market commercially. Moderately, it’s thought they had been gifted solely to members of sure racing groups, making them among the rarest Rolex watches in existence. 

Worth: ~$2.6 million at Phillips in November 2019
Diameter: 44 mm
Motion: Valjoux Cal. 55 VBR handwound

GMT Grasp ref. 1675 “Apocalypse Now” 

Marlon Brandon on the set of Apocalypse Now wearing his Rolex GMT-Master, ref. 1675

Marlon Brandon on the set of Apocalypse Now carrying his Rolex GMT-Grasp, ref. 1675

Mary Ellen Mark/Phillips

Marlon Brando wore this 1972 GMT Grasp because the renegade Col. Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola’s award-winning Vietnam battle basic, “Apocalypse Now.” Both Brando or Coppola determined to take away the bezel from the watch, giving it a worn, considerably crazed look—very like Brando’s character. An in any other case customary ref. 1675 with a well-preserved matte dial, Model’s watch—into which he hand-carved his identify and which he wore on a black leather-based strap—hammered for an unimaginable $1.95 million on the Phillips Recreation Changers public sale in 2019. 

Worth: $1.95 million at Phillips in December 2019
Diameter: 39 mm
Motion: Rolex cal. 1570 automated

Paul Newman’s Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116519

Paul Newman’s Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116519

Sotheby’s

Whereas this lot is probably not a “Paul Newman” Daytona within the design sense, it’s most undoubtedly a “Paul Newman” Daytona within the literal sense—whereas it lacks an “unique” dial, it really belonged to the famed actor and philanthropist. The ultimate Cosmograph Daytona given to Newman by his spouse, Joanne Woodward, in 2006, it’s additionally the one white gold reference he owned. Earlier than he died in 2008, he took it to the observe at Lime Rock and burned across the observe in his Corvette GT1, the chronograph strapped firmly to his wrist. When it got here up for public sale in June of 2023, it hammered for a formidable $1,079,500. (Not the almost $18 million that his ref. 6239 introduced in 2017, maybe, however nonetheless a decent sum!) 

Worth: $1.07 million at Sotheby’s in 2023
Diameter: 40 mm
Motion: Rolex cal. 4130

Submariner ref. 6538 

Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 

Christie’s

Although it barely crested the $1 million mark, this ref. 6538 is notable for being the most costly Submariner ever offered, hammering for $1.06 million throughout a Christie’s public sale again in 2018. What makes it so particular—particularly contemplating it’s lacking its well-known bezel—you may ask? Nicely for starters, it options an “Explorer” dial, which is pretty uncommon in early Subs in and of itself. Secondly, it’s a “Massive Crown” mannequin, so referred to as for its 8mm “Brevet” crown that was used on just some references within the late Fifties. Third, it’s obtained the ever-desirable crimson depth score, which Rolex aficionados like to obsess over—and to pay heaps of cash for. Add to this wonderful patina, an “trustworthy” dial, and the reference’s affiliation with Sean Connery’s James Bond, you’ve obtained a recipe for one hell of an public sale standout. 

Worth: $1.06 million at Christie’s in 2018
Diameter: 38 mm
Motion: Rolex cal. 1030


Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6264 “John Participant Particular” 

Sotheby's Rolex Daytona "John Player Special" Ref. 6264

Sotheby’s Rolex Daytona “John Participant Particular” Ref. 6264

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Now right here’s a watch that broke a number of information without delay: the most costly watch ever offered at a web-based public sale ($1.54 million); the file worth for a “John Participant Particular” Daytona (so referred to as for its black and gold livery); and the file worth for a watch offered within the UK. Auctioned on-line in July 2020 throughout the unfold of COVID-19, this “JPS” is one in all solely ten ref. 6264 Daytonas recognized to exist in 18k gold, and of those, solely a small handful had been outfitted with unique Paul Newman dials in black. 

Worth: $1.54 million in July 2020 at Sotheby’s
Diameter: 37 mm
Motion: Valjoux cal. 727 handwound

Submariner ref. 6538

Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538

Rolex

Although it barely crested the $1 million mark, this ref. 6538 is notable for being the most costly Submariner ever offered, hammering for $1.06 million throughout a Christie’s public sale again in 2018. What makes it so particular—particularly contemplating it’s lacking its well-known bezel—you may ask? Nicely for starters, it options an “Explorer” dial, which is pretty uncommon in early Subs in and of itself. Secondly, it’s a “Massive Crown” mannequin, so referred to as for its 8mm “Brevet” crown that was used on just some references within the late Fifties. Third, it’s obtained the ever-desirable crimson depth score, which Rolex aficionados like to obsess over—and to pay heaps of cash for. Add to this wonderful patina, an “trustworthy” dial, and the reference’s affiliation with Sean Connery’s James Bond, you’ve obtained a recipe for one hell of an public sale standout. 

Worth: $1,06 million at Christie’s in 2018

Diameter: 38 mmMotion: Rolex cal. 1030

Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6263 “Albino” 

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6263

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6263 “Albino”

Courtesy of Phillips

Bought by none apart from Eric Clapton within the late Nineties, this 6263 is exclusive for that includes an all-white dial (Daytona subdials are usually rendered in contrasting colours to the principle dial). Solely 4 examples of this specific configuration are recognized to exist, and Slowhand’s really offered twice: as soon as in 2003 for $505,000, and at last in 2015, for $1.4 million. The same reference 6263 in an Oyster case with a typical dial may run you someplace within the $80,000 vary, however add in Claptonian provenance and a uncommon manufacturing unit dial, and also you’ve obtained a recipe for greatness.

Worth: $1.4 million at Phillips in Could 2015
Diameter: 37.5 mm
Motion: Valjoux cal. 727 handwound

Day-Date Ref. 1803 “Jack Nicklaus” 

Jack-Nicklaus’ Yellow-Gold Day-Date-Ref. 1803

Jack Nicklaus’ Yellow-Gold Day-Date Ref. 1803

Courtesy of Phillips

The story of this gold 1803 is particular partially as a result of it was Rolex itself that gifted the watch to golfer Jack Nicklaus again in 1967. Because the Golden Bear himself stated: “It has accompanied me at U.S. Opens, Masters Tournaments, PGA Championships, Open Championships and numerous different occasions for over 5 many years, and has served me nicely at each step alongside the way in which.” Phillips auctioned off this in any other case pretty frequent Day-Date in December, 2019, which realized a last worth of $1.22 million. Fittingly, all the watch’s proceeds went to Nicklaus’s personal Youngsters’s Well being Care Basis.

Worth: $1.22 million at Phillips in December 2019
Diameter: 36 mm
Motion: Rolex cal. 1556 automated



[ad_2]

Supply hyperlink

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here