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The Rolex “Bao Dai” Ref. 6062 sold for $5-million at the Phillips Bacs & Russo auction today in Geneva.

Rare Bao Dai Rolex Just Sold For $5 Million, A Record Price For A Rolex at Auction

The Rolex “Bao Dai” Ref. 6062 sold for $5-million at the Phillips Bacs & Russo auction today in Geneva.

The Rolex “Bao Dai” Ref. 6062 sold for $5-million at the Phillips Bacs & Russo auction today in Geneva.

A rare vintage Rolex, the Bao Dai Rolex Ref. 6062, was just sold for 4.3-million Swiss francs (or a little more than $5 million, including buyer’s premium) at the Phillips in association with Bacs and Russo Geneva Auction Five auction.  It is the watch every collector wishes he had bought when it last came up for auction in 2002 – it sold for $235,000, the highest auction price paid for a Rolex at the time, but the investment would have been worth it. This time the bidding started at $1.5 million.

The Rolex “Bao Dai” Ref. 6062 sold for $5-million at the Phillips Bacs & Russo auction today in Geneva.

The Rolex “Bao Dai” Ref. 6062 sold for $5-million at the Phillips Bacs & Russo auction today in Geneva.

“This is the one of world’s most important collector’s watches, across all brands, not just Rolex,” says Paul Boutros, head of Americas and international strategy advisor for Phillips. “Made in 1952, it is a rare creation for Rolex.” The watch belonged to Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam, who bought it in 1954 in Geneva. Made in 1950, it is a rare creation for Rolex, with an iconic Oyster case and an in-house movement driving a triple date calendar and moon phase. It was one of the most complicated watches of its era and is one of only three made with a black dial and diamond indexes – the only one of which has diamond indexes for even numerals (the other two mark odd numerals with diamonds). The watch is in great, unrestored condition, with a case that has never been polished. This is the second time the Bao Dai has been up for auction at Phillips. It was sold in 2002 for $235,000 to a private collector, who sold it today. Ten bidders were vying for the watch.

The T&Co. Ref. 2499 Patek Philippe

The T&Co. Ref. 2499 Patek Philippe sold for $1.56-million.

There are several important pieces among the 237 lots to be auctioned in Geneva currently in progress, including the  T&Co. Ref. 2499, which sold for 1.3 million Swiss francs ($1,298,359 at today’s rate). With buyer’s premium, the price is about $1.56-million. It is notable for its dual logo, with Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co. both appearing on the dial. It is one of only two examples in its particular series to bear the Tiffany & Co. signature, and possibly unique in its use of markers rather than Arabic numerals. “In the world of vintage Rolex, the most desirable watches are Paul Newman Daytonas; in the world of vintage Patek Philippe, the most desirable models are perpetual calendar chronographs, especially the 2499,” says Boutros. Only 349 pieces of the Ref 2499 were made over a period of 34 years, which makes this watch exclusive. The yellow gold woven bracelet is signed Tiffany & Co. It was estimated at $991,000-$1,980,000.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 In Steel Is The World’s Most Expensive Watch at $11-million

Patek Philippe

Today’s Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Geneva Watch Auction Four sale in Geneva set a new record for a wristwatch at auction. Bidding started at 3-million Swiss francs (US$3,034,000) for the Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in stainless steel, a rare perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phases. A little over 10 minutes later, the hammer went down at 9.6-million Swiss francs, approximately US$9.7-million. With the buyers’ premium included, the price comes to 11,002,000 Swiss francs, or US$11,136,642. This beats the previous record of 7.3-million Swiss francs (about US$7.38-million) paid for a wristwatch sold at auction last year – a Patek Philippe Ref. 5016, at the Only Watch charity auction in 2015. The Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 was the top lot in today’s sale and, according to Paul Boutros, head of watches for the Americas for Phillips Bacs & Russo, “a once in a lifetime event” for collectors. “I have waited a lifetime to see a 1518 in stainless steel,” he says. “It is number one of only four known to exist.” Made beginning in 1941, the 1518 was the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch ever to be produced in a series by any manufacturer. It is number one in a series of only four. Seven bidders were fighting for the watch. It was sold to a private collector.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in rose gold.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in rose gold.

Two other Patek Philippe Ref. 1518s, one in yellow gold and the other in rose gold, are also in the Phillips Bacs & Russo sale, which finishes tomorrow, marking the first time all three case metals of the model have been offered at auction. The yellow gold version sold today for 598,000 Swiss francs or just over US$600,000, slightly over the high estimate of US$515,000.

Patek Phlippe Ref. 1518 in 18k yellow gold.

Patek Phlippe Ref. 1518 in 18k yellow gold.

The rose gold Ref. 1518 sold for 1,474,000 Swiss francs (about US$1,478,000, or US$1,848,729.77 including the buyers’ premium). Another important watch, a rose gold Rolex Ref. 3330 “pre-Oyster” chronograph made in 1941 that had never been worn – nicknamed the “Perfect Rose” – sold for 598,000 Swiss francs, or US$599,712 – US$749,640 including the buyers’ premium.

Rolex Ref. 3330 “pre-Oyster” chronograph made in 1941: "Perfect Rose"

Rolex Ref. 3330 “pre-Oyster” chronograph made in 1941: “Perfect Rose”