The Power of Rolex
The highly prominent Rolex Unicorn, where to start?
Rolex is undeniably the most recognized and prestigious watch brand on the planet. The Swiss timekeeper is estimated to be valued at over $5.9 million (£4,442,000), making Rolex the 5th most valuable luxury brand in the world.
With all this considered; when a rare, alluring Rolex with unrivalled provenance comes along, it is sure to fetch a vast price at auction. However, it must meet specific criteria for rarity and desirability before it falls into these kind of price territories, as shown by Paul Newman’s Daytona, which sold for $17.8 million (£13,400,000) back in October 2017.
The Birth of the Rolex ‘Unicorn’
During the 1960s, Rolex only produced Daytona’s in stainless steel or yellow gold, however this one-off time piece was to be the exception. Rolex were asked by a vastly influential client to manufacture a one off white gold Daytona, of which the original price has never been revealed.
This Daytona Ref 6265 was christened the Rolex Unicorn, based on its white gold design. Horological experts estimate the production year of the watch would have been in 1970, before it was delivered to a German retailer for resale in 1971.
The dial remains in mint condition, with very little of the signs of ageing. Since its inception, the Rolex Unicorn has remained an elusive, desirable mystery among the watch collecting community.
$3 Million Price Estimate Shattered
Phillips initially placed a $3 million (£2,258,475) price tag as the higher estimate for bidders. The Rolex Unicorn headlined Phillips’ ‘Daytona Ultimatum’ sale on May 12th and eventually went under the hammer for a staggering $5.9 million (£4,442,000), $2.9 million (£2,183,000) over the asking price.
The proceeds of the watch went to a chosen children’s charity, which will have paid a contributing factor in the enormously inflated price.
The price is also a nod to the seemingly infinite demand for one-of-a-kind, historically rare timepieces in the current watch market.