Unique Vintage White Gold Rolex Daytona Makes Phillips Auction Debut
This unique Daytona is expected to make in excess of CHF 3 Million when Phillips debuts the watch for the first time during the ‘Daytona Ultimatum’ sale in Geneva.
In 2010, John Goldberger stumbled across a unique vintage White Gold Rolex Daytona reference 6265 and immediately, he knew he had something special on his hands. He wasn’t sure it was gold at first, since stainless steel and yellow gold Rolex Daytonas were commonly produced production models, but as Goldberger felt the heavier weight of the metal, he couldn’t believe (at least at first) that what he had in his hands was a vintage ref. 6265 Rolex Daytona in white gold.
Goldberger is an experienced watch collector and if ever there was a mythical unicorn in the watchmaking world, this was it. All 6265s were thought to have been made either in stainless steel or in yellow, and so, he was quite ready to dismiss the recognisable heft of gold as a trick of sensation.
Specialist Arthur Touchot explains the importance and provenance of the unique Vintage White Gold Rolex Daytona ref. 6265 which makes its Phillips Auction debut
Rolex made plenty of watches in white gold during the 1970s. Or, to be more precise, Rolex made plenty of white gold Day-Dates back then. The use of white gold in the production of the Day-Date shouldn’t come as a surprise. This was then the company’s most glamorous model after all, so the use of precious metals — including yellow, pink, white gold and platinum — seemed logical.
The decision to use that same metal for a sports watch is a little more surprising, however. Launched in 1963, the Daytona was designed as a robust mechanical chronograph, meant to be worn and used every day. The vast majority were therefore made in stainless steel, which is a little more forgiving than gold when it finds itself on the receiving end of life’s little knocks.
But here we are, looking at a unique white gold Daytona from the early 1970s. The watch also features a black “sigma” dial with white gold indexes, which is consistent with the case metal. Not much else is known, except that the watch was manufactured in 1970 and delivered in 1971 to a German retailer.
Specialist Arthur Touchot surmises, based on other unique pieces that have resurfaced, that it was a special order, placed on behalf of one the boutique’s most exclusive clients – not only the financial means but also the influence that would entice the behemoth Rolex to deviate from standard practice and make a White Gold Rolex Daytona reference 6265.
Since there is no other white gold Daytona model, it is impossible to say which bracelet the watch was delivered with in 1971. The crown, which is a different color to the case and pushers, is made from stainless steel, not gold.
The white gold Daytona nicknamed “Unicorn” first appeared on Hodinkee’s Talking Watches segment during an interview with Goldberger.
The unique vintage white gold Rolex Daytona will headline ‘The Daytona Ultimatum’, a thematic sale of 32 of the finest Rolex Daytonas ever made. The watch is expected to make in excess of CHF 3 Million. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Children Action.
Visit Phillips Auctions for more information and pics.