08.07.2021 - Rolex

The Rarest Rolex In The World ‘The Unicorn’ Is Up For Auction!

If we cast our minds back to 2017, we’ll remember that Phillips auctioneer’s had a pretty successful year. The most memorable moment was the sale of Paul Newman’s original ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona, which sold for a phenomenal $17.7 million. The unexpected and highly surprising results of the vintage Daytona, which previously had an estimated price of over $1 million, has made Paul Newman’s ref. 6241 the world’s most expensive wristwatch to have ever been sold at auction.

Now this is a pretty spectacular title to hold, and an almost impossible record to break, but could 2018 be the year Phillips exceeds the $18 million mark?

Credit: Phillips

In two months time, Phillips will be kicking the spring off in style by holding a thematic auction to celebrate and honour the popular Rolex chronograph.

A rich collection of 32 vintage and modern Rolex Daytona’s are scheduled to go under the hammer at the ‘Daytona Ultimatum’ auction in May 2018, but only one will steal the attention and gaze of the world’s most passionate collectors and connoisseurs.

Credit: Phillips

The ‘Unicorn’ Vintage Daytona Ref. 6265

The Rolex Daytona ref. 6265, nicknamed ‘The Unicorn’ is the only known white gold vintage Daytona in the entire world, and Phillips will have the pleasure of selling the attractive piece on behalf of its well-known owner, John Goldberger. As a world-renowned watch collector, it is only fitting that Goldberger owned this one-of-a-kind piece. Although not the original owner, he is an avid watch collector who loves nothing more than to search for and collect some of the rarest timepieces on the planet.

Credit: Hodinkee

Very little is known about how this beautiful vintage came to life and whom it was commissioned by. Throughout the 1970’s Rolex only ever used stainless steel and yellow gold to make the sporty Daytona’s. White gold was only really used to create the more glamorous models like the Day-Dates. Therefore, this unique specimen had to have been a special order for a pretty wealthy and influential client.

How did it make it to auction?

Every watch collector out there is either envious of Goldberger for having owned such an incredibly rare wristwatch, or baffled as to why he would sell such an elusive piece! When asked why he would even contemplate selling ‘The Unicorn’ he stated, “It’s important to help those who are less fortunate”.

Goldberger will be donating all proceeds from the sale to ‘Children’s Action’, a children’s charity based in Geneva dedicated to supporting those in need.

Credit: Phillips

The watch specifications

The Unicorn Daytona, in my eyes, is THE king of all Daytona’s. This remarkable piece exhibits a 37mm 18-carat white gold case and white gold bezel. The black dial features white gold baton hour markers and three subdials that measure the seconds, minutes and hours of elapsed time once the chronograph function is active.

Credit: Phillips

The timepiece also features the famous ‘Sigma dial’. This particular dial’s design includes the oddly placed Greek letters next to the ‘Swiss’ label at the bottom of the dial. If you’re interested in knowing more about this vintage dial, click here.

The Unicorn is noticeably in great condition, the case hallmark is even clearly visible near the lugs. One very unusual feature of the watch is the crown, which appears to be a dissimilar colour to the case. The odd tint is a result of the crown being made from steel and not white gold. We aren’t too sure why Rolex did this, but it makes ‘The Unicorn’ all the more mysterious.

Credit: Phillips

The outstanding creation sports a bark-finished white gold bracelet, although not the original, it is an original Rolex bracelet and complements the white gold case perfectly.

Credit: Phillips

In the run-up to this unique auction, collectors will be dreaming of getting their hands on this beauty, but with a $3 million opening offer, the eager bidders will have to have mountains of money behind them to even get close. The ‘Daytona Ultimatum’ is definitely one for your diaries, so take note!

‘Daytona Ultimatum’ – Saturday, May 12th, Geneva

To view Phillips’ upcoming spring auctions calendar click here.