Prestigious auction house Phillips is partnering with Bacs & Russo to host a first-of-its-kind horological exhibition in Geneva that pays tribute to one of the most revered collectors’ watches of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: The automatic Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.
Noted collector and scholar Pucci Papaleo — known in some circles as “Mr Daytona” — is producing a highly anticipated book to be released in the autumn of 2017 titled Daytona Perpetual.
The book will feature photography from Italian watch photographer Fabio Santinelli, and a sample of those images will be revealed for the first time at the Phillips exhibition.
Phillips says there will be 30 privately owned, rare and exceptional automatic Rolex Daytona watches on show ranging from sporty stainless steel versions to elegant gold versions, and will also include extremely rare examples set with precious stones.
Amongst the rarest variants, included will be examples fitted with porcelain dials from the earliest years of production as well as extremely rare retailer-signed examples, including models signed by Tiffany & Co., the American retailer.
Aurel Bacs, senior consultant, explains the importance of the Daytona and why it deserves its own exhibition: “Through this first of its kind exhibition, we are very proud bring to light the significance of Rolex’s first ever self-winding chronograph model, the automatic Cosmograph Daytona, working together with the noted Daytona scholar, Pucci Papaleo.
“Launched in 1988 on the 25th anniversary of the first Cosmograph Daytona, the automatic Daytona was a courageous undertaking by Rolex. Sourcing what was the world’s most robust and accurate self-winding chronograph caliber, Rolex extensively modified Zenith’s El Primero to create what became a smashing success by all measures. The watch sold out immediately around the world after its introduction, with clients forced to wait as long as 7 years to acquire one.
“Decades later, it’s clear the introduction of the automatic Daytona catapulted Rolex’s most desired chronograph model to a mythical status.
“We’re thrilled to showcase some of the world’s finest examples with Pucci Papaleo and the esteemed photographer, Fabio Santinelli through our horological art exhibition, Contemporary Watch Portraits.”