You’ll probably think that talking about Rolexes for auction is mainstream. The large auction houses have their catalogues filled with Rolex watches, both new and vintage editions. But when it comes to very rare, cool and highly rated ones, that makes a lot of sense and always tickles our curiosity. This year, Boule Monaco pushes its summer auction to the highest level! Let’s see the coolest of those vintage Rolexes being offered!
Lot 746 – the ‘few of the few’ Rolex Daytona Paul Newmann
The Rolex Daytona is one of the main stars at any auction which features Rolexes. However, auctions that include a Daytona are not that uncommon, even when talking about those with an exotic Paul Newman dial. BUT, this special one is rare. It is one of the most exclusive stainless steel ‘Dayto PN’ because it’s a ref. 6264. Sold only during two years – 1971 and 1972 – this Cosmograph is known as a ‘transitional’ Daytona, and came with the old case and non-screwed pushers but with the new 727 calibre (which was always based on a Valjoux 72 tri-compax, but with a higher beat-rate and a better finish). And it has all the required papers and its original box: a true full set. Knowing that an usual Daytona Paul Newman can reach easily EUR100.000, this one could break that ceiling at EUR150.000.
Lot 754 – the cool factor of a Submariner ‘tropical’ dial
The Submariner Ref. 5508 a.k.a. ‘James Bond’ is already quite a nice Rolex. It has this really vintage feeling because it comes without crown-protection and is a very reasonable size. It is mostly known as Sean Connery’s watch in early James Bond movies. The present model is from late 1960 and is especially noticeable because of its marvellous, gorgeous, splendid… faded dial. Yes, Rolex collectors are paying a lot for ragged dials. When seeing this one, we do understand why. First, it is a ‘gilt’ (meaning gold inscriptions), lacquered black dial with an ‘exclamation point’ layout (The index at 6 with a plot and a point). But mostly, it has a great chocolate tropical dial and vintage patina of the indexes. We have to admit, it is one of the coolest Submariners we’ve seen recently. Estimation is EUR10.000-15.000, a price that might be exceeded by auction’s end.
Lot 756 – the true scientist’s watch, a Milgauss ref. 1019
We talked to you earlier this year about the Milgauss’ history when Rolex presented the Z-Blue edition of its modern Milgauss. The 1019 is the second generation of the anti-magnetic Rolex and comes with a more classical, let’s say pure, design. No more rotating bezel and ‘lightning’ second hand here, but rather an Oyster-Date case and flat bezel. It doesn’t have all of the appeal of its predecessor (the ref. 6541), but it is the historical link between the first model and the rest of the actual collection. For that reason, it deserves some attention and begins to be a true collectible piece, with an estimated price of EUR14.000-18.000 for this 1966 model. A watch to follow in the coming years!
Lot 757 – The pioneer of the watches for travelers, the ‘Bakelite’ GMT Master
The GMT Master and GMT Master II have always been some of our favourite Rolexes, because they look good and are certainly the most practical watches of the collection. Our beloved Editor-in-Chief was even craving the new Pepsi edition, which unfortunately is only available in white gold. The Boule Monaco auction is the right place to get your hands on a piece of Rolex’s history, one of the first GMT Masters ever made: this mint 1958 ‘Bakelite Bezel’ Ref. 6541, with its distinctive riveted bracelet and full black combination (dial + bezel). This is still a very nice timepiece, and you could get it for a fraction of the price of a new gold version. Sounds like an interesting investment! (Estimation EUR10.000-12.000)
Lot 759 – The mother of all the Daytonas, the PRE-Daytona 6238
Once again, an historical piece here: the draft of the most famous chronograph, the mother of the Daytonas. And when we say ‘draft’, it’s with all the love that this watch deserves. This Pre-Daytona represents a very nice try by Rolex. It has lots of similarities with a Daytona (same movement, same tri-compax layout, same case) but no external bezel (the tachometer ring is on the dial) and an ‘albino’ colour scheme (no two-tones or ‘panda’ dials for the Pre-Daytona). It is rare, it is pure, it is high-quality and clearly underrated compared to a ‘simple’ 6265 Daytona. It is estimated at EUR16.000-20.000 when every vintage ‘Dayto’ will require EUR5.000 more. A true beauty!
Of course, lots of other very nice watches will be auctioned at Boule Monaco next month. You can already go through the full catalogue here and we’ll come back to you soon with an another selection of rare chronographs (we can’t help ourselves when it comes to vintage chronographs!)