As regular readers of the BQW Blog will no doubt be aware, the demand for both historic and modern-day Rolex Daytona watches has never been higher, as shown by a number of auctions in Geneva this month. A unique white gold model was sold by Phillips for an astounding £4.4 million at their collection-specific Daytona Ultimatum sale on May 12th, making it the second most expensive Daytona ever to be sold publicly. The most expensive remains the Paul Newman Daytona that was sold for £11.85 million back in October, as we suspect it may remain at the top of the pile for quite some time.
Now, London-based auction house Bonhams were in on the act with its monthly Fine Watches and Wristwatches auction, with June’s edition which took place online and in the saleroom on June 20th. The sale featured a rare Rolex Daytona ‘Oyster Sotto’, one of only 20 (or fewer) known examples where the words ‘Rolex Cosmograph’ are accompanied by ‘Oyster’ below. Sotto translates from Italian to English as below. Due to their limited availability, a Daytona ‘Oyster Sotto’, naturally, is not seen often in the saleroom. As such, Bonhams had high hopes for this particular Rolex and has placed a pre-auction estimate of between £300,000 and £400,000. Jonathan Darracott, the Global Head of Watches at Bonhams, says: “We are delighted to be offering such an impressive range of watches in this sale, the breadth of which is rarely seen in a single auction. The ‘Oyster Sotto’ is a truly remarkable timepiece, and the fact that it is offered directly from the original owner makes this an unmissable opportunity for a serious collector.”
Another highlight watch at the upcoming Fine Watch & Wristwatches auction was the Rolex Daytona ‘Desert Eagle’ with a pre-sale estimate between £150,000 and £250,000. These rare and collectable watches were commissioned by the UAE in the 1970s to be given as gifts to high-ranking officials and other dignitaries. Bonhams said that these are among the most sought-after Daytonas in the world, and this model features an unrestored dial displaying the UAE coat of arms and the ‘Hawk of Quraish’.