An old Rolex makes a new record

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Makers of luxury watches face a grim reality. Affluent millennials prefer the capabilities of smartwatches and companies like Apple and Samsung have done a great job of consuming valuable market share from long standing brands.

While the ‘new’ watch market continues to evolve into more high tech solutions, things are vastly different in the ‘vintage’ end of the market.

PHILLIPS is the market leader in vintage timepiece auctions and has seen some recording breaking examples pass the block over the last few years. It’s recent auction in Geneva has set a new bar in prices for the Rolex brand.

The iconic Bao Dai Rolex shattered previous records by coming in at over $5,000,000 USD. This 1954 Oyster Perpetual belonged to the last Emperor of Vietnam who was a considered a champion of reform as well as the finer things in life.

The unique layout of the diamonds on the watch face moves the Rolex Crown to an unusual position adding to the cache and mystique of this legendary timepiece.

What’s old may not be new but when it comes to vintage watches and cars, prices have no limits.

Read the official press release from PHILLIPS:

Phillips Sets New World Record for Highest Price Achieved for any Rolex Wristwatch Ever at Auction

GENEVA – 13 MAY 2017 – Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, the world’s leading watch auction house, has set a new world record for any Rolex wristwatch at auction. Following an eight minute bidding war, between ten bidders in the room and three on the telephone, the iconic Rolex Reference 6062, “Bao Dai” <> sold for CHF 5,066,000 to a phone bidder. In a packed saleroom, watch enthusiasts from around the world followed this historical moment after months of anticipation. The atmosphere was electric and the sale continues tomorrow, 14 May, at Hôtel La Réserve in Geneva.

Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant, said: “A watch that was originally discovered at Phillips in 2002, it was an absolute honour to offer the Rolex 6062 “Bao Dai” for the second time in my career. Phillips has now surpassed its own world auction record for a Rolex, set in this saleroom 12 months ago. 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.”

The iconic Rolex Reference 6062, “Bao Dai”, is widely considered by the collecting community and cognoscenti as being amongst the most valuable and desirable Rolexes ever made by the prestigious manufacturer. This Rolex triple calendar with moonphase in yellow gold is one of only three black dial models known to exist with diamond markers. Of the three, the Bao Dai is the only example to feature diamond markers at the even hours, making this piece truly unique. This is further enhanced by imperial provenance, having belonged to His Majesty Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam. The “Bao Dai” first appeared on the market in 2002, when Phillips sold it for a then record-breaking price, making it the most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction.

By Doron Levy Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media / PHILLIPS

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