‘Unicorn’ Rolex Daytona becomes second most valuable watch ever sold at auction
Abetting the theory that nothing matches vintage Rolex at auction was the sale price achieved by the one-of-a-kind white gold Daytona sold by Phillips in Association with Bacs and Russo in Geneva on May 12
BY BILL PRINCE
Deputy Editor, British GQ
Monday 14 May 2018
Curated by the renowned scholar Pucci Papaleo, known in the Rolex collecting community as “Mr. Daytona”, the “Daytona Ultimatum” thematic auction held by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo on 12 May, saw its “Unicorn” lot – the only known white gold vintage Rolex Daytona – achieve the second highest price ever paid for a Rolex at auction (only beaten by the Rolex Daytona once owned by Paul Newman, which sold for $17.8m last autumn).
However, the 1970 white gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, offered for sale by the renowned collector John Goldberger, is considered the rarest and most luxurious Cosmograph Daytona manufactured by Rolex during that era, accounting for the CHF5.93m it raised.
In another twist in the Rolex collectibles story, it also achieved the highest ever charitable donation resulting from the sale of a vintage watch following Goldberger’s decision to donate his proceeds to Children Action.