GENEVA — Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, set a new world auction record for a Rolex wristwatch at its May 13 sale. Following an eight-minute bidding war, between ten bidders in the room and three on the telephone, the Rolex Reference 6062, “Bao Dai” sold for $5,085,139 to a phone bidder. In a packed saleroom, watch enthusiasts from around the world followed the action after months of anticipation.
Aurel Bacs, senior consultant, said, “A watch that was originally discovered at Phillips in 2002, it was an absolute honor 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 “Bao Dai” is widely considered by the collecting community as being among the most valuable and desirable Rolexes made. 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 unique. The watch also has 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.
A complete review of the sale will appear in a future edition.