An emperor’s gold Rolex is set to become one of the watchmaker’s most valuable timepieces when it sells for more than £1.5 MILLION.
The iconic Rolex Reference 6062 is widely considered by the collecting community as being amongst the most desirable Rolexes.
One of only three made, the 1952 model is known as the “Bao Dai” after its first owner, the 13th and last emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam.
Dai bought the watch himself in Switzerland in 1954 when he was attending the historic Geneva Conference which was seeking peace in Indochina following the Korean War.
The “elusive” Rolex triple calendar with moonphase in yellow gold is one of only three black dial models known to exist with diamond markers.
It is the only example to feature diamond markers at the even hours and is the most complicated Oyster-case model created by the legendary watchmaker, featuring day, date, month and moonphase indications.
The “Bao Dai” first appeared on the market in 2002, when auction house Phillips sold it for a then record-breaking price of around £155,000.
It was sold to a private collector who will be selling it through Phillips in Geneva over the weekend of May 13 and 14.
The watch has a low estimate of $1.5 million (£1.2 million) which will make it the third most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction. If the hammer price is $2 million (£1.6m) it will set an auction record for a Rolex.
Aurel Bacs, senior consultant, said: “It is an absolute privilege to offer the Rolex 6062 “Bao Dai” for the second time in my career.
“With its incredible Imperial provenance, stunning condition, and exceptional rarity, it’s a mythical watch that occupies the dreams of scholars, collectors, and enthusiasts all over the world.
“It comes to us as new from a private collector, and I am thrilled that Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has been chosen to auction such an important piece of History.”
Bao Dai, who became emperor in 1926 aged 12, left Vietnam in the mid-1950s when he was deposed in a rigged referendum which abolished the monarchy.
He fled to France and died in 1997 aged 83.