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Sunday, May 14, 2017

The ‘Bao Đại” Watch Sets World Record For Any Rolex Sold At Auction

Rolex Reference 6062 “Bao Đại” chronograph sold for $5.06 million, setting a world record for any watch sold at auction at the Philips and Bacs & Russo Geneva watch sale held Saturday. It shattered its presale estimate of $1.5 million.

The auction house said the sale followed an “eight minute bidding war,” among 10 bidders in the packed room at the Hôtel La Réserve where the auction was held and three telephone bidders. It was sold to a phone bidder who was not identified. 

Rolex Reference 6062 “Bao Đại”

The Bao Đại 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. 

This Rolex triple calendar with moonphase in yellow gold is one of three black dial models known to exist with diamond markers. 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 also happens to be the second time within 12 months that a Rolex watch sold at auction by Philips and Bacs & Russo in Geneva set a world record.

“The combination of the iconic name Rolex, its extraordinary rarity and originality, crowned by the imperial first owner, this world auction record result is a testimony that Phillips’ stringent approach of bringing only the finest quality collectors watches to the market is the winning formula,” Aurel Bacs said.

The two-day auction at the Hôtel La Réserve is continuing today (Sunday). 

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