On the 12th and 13th of May, history will be made as Phillips Auctioneers uncovered a vintage wristwatch so rare it’s nicknamed “The Unicorn.” It is a Rolex Daytona reference 6265 made uniquely in white gold. Based on collective research by the experts at Phillips, this is the only known vintage white gold Rolex Daytona that currently exists. Literally one-of-a-kind, this watch was made in 1970 at the bequest of a German retailer on behalf of a VIP client. Phillips Auctioneers expects this piece to sell for at least 3 million Swiss francs.
"The Unicorn" – The elusive white gold reference 6265 is the only known vintage white gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ever produced. Acquired eight years ago by one of the most respected and beloved figures of the collecting community, it will make its auction debut on May 12 for the #DaytonaUltimatum and will be sold to benefit Children Action. Our very own @arthur_touchot explains the importance of this unique watch online. Link in the bio.
Senior consultant for Phillips Auctioneers and superstar auctioneer Aurel Bacs mentioned in several interviews that it is exceedingly rare that such a watch would appear on the auction block. The current owner of this piece had no plans to sell the watch but eventually changed his mind on the condition that all proceeds of the sale would go to a charity benefiting children—Hans Wilsdorf will be so proud.
Other outstanding lots include the Rolex Daytona reference 6262 known as “The Exotic Flat” which is a rare variant of the exotic Paul Newman dial. Maintained in excellent condition, this watch dates back to 1971 and comes with unique flat sub-dials unlike other references. It is expected to hit at least 150,000 Swiss francs.
Another lot that’s likely to cross the million-dollar mark is the Rolex Daytona reference 6263 “The Oyster Sotto” made in 1969. Estimated to hit anywhere between 1 and 2 million Swiss francs (perhaps more) the Oyster Sotto variants are the most unattainable and hence most sought after of all Paul Newman Daytonas.
We’re currently in Hong Kong showcasing the highlights from our spring sales, including the much anticipated “Daytona Ultimatum” thematic auction taking place on May 12, in Geneva. And since we’re in town, we thought we’d get together with our good friends @blackbirdwatchmanual for a small cocktail reception tomorrow evening, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at their showroom in Repulse Bay. We’ll be bringing some of the highlights from the sale, including this remarkable “Oyster Sotto,” a very early reference 6263 “Paul Newman”, so called due to the position of the “Oyster” beneath the “Cosmograph” at 12 o’clock. If you would like to attend tomorrow’s event and learn more about the watches in #DaytonaUltimatum, please feel free to send us a DM or email us at email@example.com
A total of 32 Rolex Daytonas will be up for sale. Visit the online catalogue here.
@izzlala compares two Rolex Ref. 6062 coming up at auction (#GWA7), one in yellow gold and the other in stainless steel. Like most siblings—especially those born close to one another—these two watches have important similarities, yet it is their differences which make them truly distinctive. Full story online.
Right after Daytona Ultimatum is the Geneva Watch Auction: Seven, where 185 beautiful and carefully curated vintage timepieces will be up for bids. Brands include Heuer, Longines, Breitling, Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Panerai, A. Lange & Sohne, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Universal, Blancpain, Omega, Breguet, Ulysse Nardin, independents like FP Journe, Ludovic Ballouard, De Bethune, and URWERK, and of course the two major auction staples, Rolex and Patek Philippe. Online catalogue here.
Heuer launched its first automatic chronograph movement, the caliber 11, in 1969. Housed in their three iconic chronograph models at the time which were the Carrera, the Autavia and the Monaco, this movement was soon replaced by the more robust and more accurate caliber 12, featuring a gilt plate instead of a nickel plate. The present watch is powered by this gilt caliber but what makes it even more remarkable is to be found on the dial. The early 70s saw the use of bright colors in design and day to day objects. The watch industry also took up on this trend and Heuer offered some watches with orange accents on the dial. The best known is the “Orange Boy” with a reverse panda dial with orange accents. The present watch, nicknamed "White Orange Boy" is actually its exact opposite, featuring a white dial with black registers, that have beautifully aged to a warm and lively brown patina while the orange accents have remained very bright. This version is much rarer, as scholars have not witnessed more than 10 examples to have surfaced so far. The "White Orange Boy" is Lot 102 of the #GWA7 auction, taking place on May 12-13 in Geneva, and it has an estimate of CHF 8,000 to CHF 12,000. Full catalogue online.
Highlights include a Patek Philippe reference 2499, itself unequivocally sought after thanks to its large (for its time) 37.5mm case, complicated movement, and ultimate rarity. This specific piece had never before been seen in public and is the only one known with a champagne coloured dial. This is a custom made dial and the watch comes with the original certificate and correspondences between the first owner, retailer and Patek Philippe from 1979 to 1981.
Breguet aficionados should keep a close eye on the selection of vintage Type XXs on offer while Omegamaniacs can look forward to Lot 160, a 1960 white gold Omega wristwatch retailed by Tiffany & Co and owned by the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley. A gift from RCA Records in 1961 for crossing the 75 million mark in record sales, this watch bears an inscription on the case back that reads: To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60. It is estimated to sell between 50,000 and 100,000 Swiss francs.
Another lot that's been owned by a celebrity is the URWERK UR-110 PG worn by Robert Downey Jr in Spiderman: Homecoming whilst playing Iron Man Tony Stark. This limited edition pink gold and black PVD titanium watch is estimated to sell between 50,000 and 100,000 Swiss francs.
Yeah…not just any @urwerkgeneve UR-110RG. Made for @robertdowneyjr and featured In 'Spiderman: Homecoming', this UR-110RG (#53/55) was chosen by actor and watch collector Robert-Downey Jr. for his portrayal of Tony Stark. One of the many gadgets used throughout the film, the watch was worn during the film's production (and has the scratches to prove it), before it was returned to Urwerk. The watch now comes to auction for the first time and will be sold during the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN (#GWA7), on May 12-13, to benefit Manusodany, a Haitian non-profit organization. @arthur_touchot has the full story on this watch online. Link in the bio.
Daytona Ultimatum and The Geneva Watch Auction: Seven will take place over two days on 12th and 13th May, beginning with Daytona Ultimatum on 12th May at 4pm CET. The Geneva Watch Auction: Seven will start immediately after. It continues on 13th May at 6pm CET. Both auctions will take place at the Hotel La Reserve 301 Route de Lausanne, Geneva.
Follow the auction ‘live’ on Phillips Auctioneers’ digital saleroom here where you can bid in real time online. You could also place an advance bid on the Phillips website. Alternatively, you may participate via the Phillips mobile app downloadable on the App Store or the Android Play Store.