Sotheby’s is working with Bob’s Watches to offer 13 Rolex Daytonas for auction in a sale running from May 24-30.
California-based Bob’s Watches has one of the world’s largest selections of pre-owned Rolex timepieces, and sells them after a full inspection, restoration and authentication process by qualified watchmakers.
The Sotheby’s auction is timed to coincide with this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, the most iconic and famous race of the Formula 1 season.
Rolex’s Cosmograph Daytona is synonymous with motor racing, and is named after the Daytona track in the United States.
Its soaring popularity went into overdrive when a Paul Newman Daytona once owned by the movie star and racing obsessive sold for $17.8 million in 2017.
Data from secondary market platform Chrono24 shows the soaring prices for a steel Rolex Daytona over the past decade and particularly since 2017 when a new world record was set for a piece sold at auction.
Sotheby’s and Bob’s Watches have curated a compact capsule collection of 13 watches including an early 1937 ‘pre-Daytona’ reference 4500, considered to be the first Oyster Chronograph in existence, to the highly coveted Rolex Cosmograph Daytona reference 116500 which caused sensation on its release in 2016.
“This sale chronicles the major milestones of the Daytona’s innovative history, showcasing the variety of dials, movements and materials which makes these wristwatches so desirable,” Sotheby’s says.
Bidding will be open exclusively online from 24–30 May.
Key watches in the sale, described by Sotheby’s, are:
ROLEX Daytona Ref 116500LN A Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet Circa 2018 Est. US$ 20,000-30,000 Dial: white Calibre: cal. 4130 automatic, 44 jewels Case: stainless steel, screw-down back Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp Dimensions: 40 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 170 mm Signed: case, dial and movement The Rolex Daytona 116500 is, perhaps, one of the most exciting additions to the line, bringing with it the highly anticipated ceramic, or “Cerachrom”, bezel, a versatile 904L Oystersteel finish, and a Rolex calibre 4130 perpetual movement. This particular variation is so sought-after, in fact, that it requires a years-long wait just to purchase one at retail. This watch features a ceramic bezel and white dial.
ROLEX Daytona, Ref 6265 A Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet Est. US$ 60,000-80,000 Dial: silver Calibre: cal. 727 manual winding, 17 jewels Case: stainless steel, screw-down back Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp Dimensions: 37 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 165 mm Signed: case, dial and movement. The Rolex “Big Red” Daytona reference 6265 is an extremely desirable model and one of the most desirable vintage Rolex chronographs. These watches feature the word “Oyster” on the dial indicating their enhanced water resistance resulting from the screw-down chronograph pushers. The reference 6265 features a steel bezel with a tachymeter track for measuring speeds, whereas the reference 6263 features a black acrylic bezel. The present watch is known as a “Big Red” model as it features the word “DAYTONA” above the hour register in red. This is a rare version where there is more space between the word “DAYTONA” and the hour register, so some call this a “Floating Big Red” model. This vintage timepiece features a manual-winding Valjoux chronograph movement that was regulated by Rolex and is notable for its outstanding condition including the lume plots all being intact on the dial.
Pre-Daytona, Ref 4500 A Stainless Steel and Yellow Gold Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet Est. US$ 20,000-30,000 Dial: white with patina Calibre: cal. 23 manual winding, 17 jewels Case: stainless steel and yellow gold, screw-down crown and back Closure: stainless steel and yellow gold rivet Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp Dimensions: 36mm, bracelet circumference approx. 180 mm Signed: case, dial and movement During the Second World War, Rolex launched what is considered to be the first Oyster Chronograph, the ref. 4500, which was later joined by the 6232 and 3668. These three particular models only had two subsidiary dials, absent of the 12 hours counter, and snap-on casebacks. Due to the war the watch experienced poor sales and was only produced for a short period of time. This particular model is features a two-tone case and bracelet design, with stainless steel pushers and a gold crown.
ROLEX Daytona, Ref 6263 A Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet Est. US$ 80,000- 120,000 Dial: silver Calibre: cal. 727 manual winding, 17 jewels Case: stainless steel, acrylic bezel, screw-down back Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp Dimensions: 37 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 165 mm Signed: case, dial and movement The reference 6263 is the last version of the Rolex Daytona made with a manual-winding Valjoux movement and is one of the most desirable vintage Daytona models due to its aggressive look featuring screw-down pushers to increase water resistance (and that garner the watch the “Oyster” designation on the dial indicating enhanced water resistance) and the black acrylic bezel featuring a tachymeter track for measuring speed on a fixed course. Paul Newman actually owned a watch very similar to this that was a gift from his wife Joanne after he gave his other Daytona (a reference 6239) to his daughter Nell’s then-boyfriend James Cox. That reference 6239 sold for $17.7 million while his Big Red reference 6263 is still worn and loved by his other daughter Clea.