Lot 93, a rare vintage Rolex Bao Dai Rolex Ref. 6062 has just sold for 4.3-million Swiss francs (or a little more than $5 million, including buyer’s premium) at the ongoing Phillips in association with Bacs and Russo Geneva Auction Five auction.
In 2002, the same watch sold for $235,000. At the time, it was the highest auction price ever paid for a Rolex. The bidding for the watch this time around started at $1.5 million, so the watch has risen in value 21 times since 2002. With Rolex having just introduced its first moon phase watch since the ref. 6062 was in production, the timing of the sale is perfect.
“This is the one of world’s most important collector’s watches, across all brands, not just Rolex. Made in 1952, it is a rare creation for Rolex.” Paul Boutros, Head of Americas & International Strategy Advisor for Phillips
The watch belonged to Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam, who bought it in 1954 in Geneva. Made in 1952, it features an 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. Ten bidders were vying for the watch.
There are several important pieces among the 237 lots being auctioned in Geneva include a T&Co. Ref. 2499, which sold for CHF 1.3m (or $1.3 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.