|Rolex Reference 6062 “Bao Dai.” All photos courtesy of Phillips|
The iconic Rolex Reference 6062, “Bao Dai,” will lead a sale of no fewer than seven Rolex watches by Phillips auction house in association with Bacs & Russo. The auction, which will include timepieces from many other luxury watch brands, will be held May 13 and 14 at the Hôtel La Réserve in Geneva.
The Bao Dai chronograph is among the “most valuable and desirable Rolexes” and the “most complicated and iconic Oyster-cased model” ever made by the Swiss watch manufacturer, the auction house said. In addition to its rarity, this particular model also has imperial provenance. It has a pre-sale estimate of more than $1.5 million.
This Rolex triple calendar with moonphase in yellow gold is one of three black dial models known to exist with diamond markers, the auction house said in a statement. Of the three, the Bao Dai, is the only one to feature diamond markers at the even hours.
The watch belonged to Bảo Đại, the last emperor of Vietnam. According to family legend, Đại (the 13th and last emperor of the Nguyễn Dynasty) purchased the watch in Geneva in 1954, while he attended a conference seeking peace in Indochina.
The “Bao Dai” first appeared on the market in 2002 and was sold by Phillips for what was at the time the most expensive Rolex ever, according to the auction house. A private collector was winning bidder and it had stayed in private hands since.
Aurel Bacs, senior consultant at Phillips, sold the watch at that time.
“It is an absolute privilege to offer the Rolex 6062 ‘Bao Dai’ for the second time in my career,” Bacs said. “With its incredible imperial provenance, stunning condition, and exceptional rarity, it’s a mythical watch that occupies the dreams of scholars, collectors, and enthusiasts all over the world.”
Other Rolex watches to be sold at the two-day auction include the following:
The Gold Oyster Paul Newman Chronograph, Reference 6263
The yellow gold Rolex chronograph with "lemon" dial, white graphics and bracelet, circa 1969, is the third known yellow gold Paul Newman Daytona with screw down pushers to appear on the market, according to the auction house. Its estimate is $815,000 - $1.6 million.
The Neptune, Reference 8382
This 37mm yellow gold Rolex watch, circa 1953, is one of two reference 8382s to feature a cloisonné enamel dial depicting Neptune riding the sea. The dial was created by acclaimed enamel artist, Nelly Richard. Its estimate is $305,000 to $610,000.
Stainless Steel, Reference 6062
This triple calendar Rolex watch, circa 1953, with two-tone dial, moonphase and bracelet, and Arabic numerals at 3 and 9 o'clock is among a handful of examples to survive in original condition, the auction house said. Its estimate is $610,000 - $1.2 million.
Tiffany & Co. John Player Special Paul Newman Daytona, Reference 6241
Described by the auction house as “fine, rare, important and probably unique,” this 14k yellow gold Rolex chronograph, retailed by Tiffany & Co, , circa 1968. This is the only known and correct “John Player Special” Paul Newman Daytona retailed by Tiffany & Co, featuring the retailer’s signature on the dial. Its moniker is derived from the color scheme of the iconic “John Player Special” Formula One automobile. Its estimate is $406,000 - $813,000.
The Only Gold ‘Qaboos’ Daytona, Reference 6265
This yellow gold Rolex chronograph with champagne dial and bracelet, especially made for the Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Saided of Oman, circa 1973. This watch is the only known example of a reference 6265 in yellow gold to feature the red Qaboos signature, according to the auction house. Its estimate is $203,000 - $406,000.
The Pre-Daytona Chronograph with Black Galvanic Dial, Reference 6238
This 14k yellow gold Rolex chronograph watch with black galvanic dial and bracelet, circa 1967, is the second known example to appear on the market, which highlights its rarity, the auction house says. Its estimate is $254,000 to $508,000.
Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet, the Forbes website and on Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork