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Top 5 Most Expensive Rolex Watches In the World

October 6th, 2021

Rolex has a special place in the high-end mechanical watch world. The Swiss watch giant produces iconic watches that are today a true status symbol. Rolex watches are indeed synonymous with luxury, style and quality. However, there is also another word synonymous with Rolex, and it is ‘expensive’. Rolex is also among the most expensive watchmakers in the world.

expensive rolex paul newman watch

Nonetheless, Rolex is still the wristwatch to aspire to among watch collectors. Watch enthusiasts and collectors are always willing to pay even a million pounds only to acquire a rare or vintage Rolex watch. Owning a Rolex watch express a lot about you and your accomplishment in life.

This elite Swiss watchmaker continues to bear the same appeal to date as it had decades earlier, maintaining the highest quality and materials standards when producing a watch. Thus, Rolex is one of the best-selling watch brands worthy of investment. Now:

It’s no surprise that Rolex occupies some of the top ranks in the list of the most expensive watches in world. So we have listed down the top five most expensive Rolex watch ever produced and sold in the world. Continue reading to explore the models.

1. Paul Newman’s Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

This watch may look pretty like a standard Rolex Daytona, especially to untrained eyes. But it is the most expensive Rolex watch ever sold. The timepiece made a record selling for an astronomical sum of nearly £13.10 million in 2017 at auction. This particular Rolex Daytona belonged to the legendary actor and racer Paul Newman who wore the watch in many popular films and shots. Thus, the timepiece is popularly referred to as ‘Paul Newman’s Daytona’.

However, Paul Newman’s Daytona is backed by a fascinating story that made the model more popular. Newman’s wife gifted this Daytona to him that had the words ‘Drive Carefully Me’ engraved on the case back.

Some of the exceptional features include three sub-dials with block markers and a 300 units-per-hour steel bezel. Moreover, this rare Rolex Daytona features a tachymeter scale affixed to the bezel rather than the dial.

2. Rolex Oyster Cosmograph ‘The Unicorn’

Rolex produced the Cosmograph line of watches in yellow gold or stainless steel over the years. However, ‘The Unicorn’ is one of the few exceptions to this aspect. The Swiss brand made the timepiece in 1970, cloaked in luxurious white metal, to keep the special request from a German retailer. The Oyster Cosmograph ‘The Unicorn’ was sold in 2018 for about £4.35 million. People considered this Cosmograph model the rarest and costliest wristwatch ever sold at that time.

Two things make the timepiece stand out from others – the sigma black dial and the heavy white gold bracelet. However, the watch emits an unusually luminous glow featuring a precious white gold case with silver graphics on a black background. Furthermore, the clear 18ct gold hallmark on the watch emphasises its iconic status as the only white gold Oyster Cosmograph ever made.

Related: What Are the Most Expensive Watches in the World?

3. Rolex Bao Dai

The Phillips auction house sold the Rolex Bao Dai Reference 6062 for nearly 3.76 million pounds in 2017. It became the third costliest Rolex watch ever sold, thanks to its unique features and rich history.

The last Emperor of Vietnam was the first owner of this exclusive Bao Dai watch and thus, also referred to as ‘Keeper of Greatness’. However, the Nguyen family offered the timepiece in excellent condition at auction in 2002. It fetched about £173,306 at that time.

Well, Rolex offered the original Reference 6062 watches in three versions featuring different dials. And the Bao Dai was the only model to feature five-diamond markers on the black dial, thereby becoming a luxurious choice. However, the watch sported an entire calendar complication with a moon phase indicator and an in-house perpetual movement.

4. Rolex Antimagnetique 1942

The next Rolex watch in this list is the 1942 Antimagnetique Reference 4113. Christi’s auction house sold this model first for about £0.85 million in 2013. Later, it came up for auction five years ago at Phillips in Geneva and fetched nearly £1.84 million, becoming another expensive vintage Rolex timepiece.

However, the fascinating fact to note is that the value of this limited edition Rolex increased exponentially over time. So the Antimagnetique Reference 4113 is a stainless steel, split-seconds chronograph. It features an oversized 44mm case with pink gold-coloured index and Arabic hour markers on the dial.

5. Marlo Brando’s Rolex GMT-Master

Marlo Brando, the Academy Award winner, strapped the Rolex GMT-Master Reference 1675 during the popular movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. And hence, the watch acquired this name. This Rolex timepiece from 1972 has the word ‘M. Brando’ engraved on it, and the actor himself is known to carve it.

However, this exclusive model went up for sale at a Phillips Game Changer event in 2019 and sold for about 1.42 million pounds. It currently comes with no bezel and is equipped with a standard black rubber strap. Moreover, the watch features the Mark IV dial and luminescent hands and hour markers. Although the model has a minimalistic design, the GMT-Master Reference 1675 is highly valued among many watch collectors.

So those mentioned above are some of the most expensive Rolex watches in the world. However, if you want to sell your Rolex watch, you can submit our online form and get a free quote immediately. We buy all Rolex watches, vintage and contemporary, for the best price possible in the market. Call us to know more about our selling process or book an appointment at our Hatton Garden office.

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