How much does the most expensive Rolex watch cost? Rolex is one of the most iconic and sought-after luxury watch brands in the world. If you’re an avid watch collector, we think you should have at least one Rolex watch in your collection because, as you know, authentic Rolex watches are very valuable and a great investment. All Rolex watches are sold at a fantastic price.
Did you know the price of the most expensive Rolex watch ever sold? Have you ever wondered why people pay a great sum of money just for a watch? First, let’s discuss why Rolex watches are so expensive before getting into the list of the most expensive Rolex watches in the world.
What Makes Rolex Watches Expensive?
There are a lot of factors that make Rolex watches stand out among other brands; one of them is the high price. But ,what exactly makes Rolex watches so expensive? Here are the reasons!
1. Rolex Watches are Meticulously Made with Special Methods.
Rolex has an extremely high standard to ensure that all the watches produced are of the best quality. Every step taken and material used is strictly monitored and controlled.
Did you know that all Rolex watches are handmade by experienced and certified watchmakers? Creating one Rolex watch can take up to one year!
2. Rolex Watches Take An Intricate Research Process and Design.
Rolex has their own Research and Development department for their products. This department’s activities are carried out in several locations with world-class facilities and cutting-edge technology, allowing them to do even the most complex research processes and designs. This makes Rolex always one step ahead of its competitors.
To make their watches among the best in the world, Rolex uses sophisticated technology such as mass spectrometers and electron microscopes. Rolex also relies on the best researchers and scientists in the world to ensure that each of its components is perfectly made. Such detailed research makes Rolex watches so costly, but true to their quality.
3. Rolex Watches can Stand the Test of Time.
Rolex watches are known to be durable, even lasting through generations. Every Rolex watch is made with special methods from high quality materials that have been tested under different levels of temperature, moisture, height, and shock.
Rolex watches are also highly reliable for extreme activities such as mountain climbing, diving, and racing. Some Rolex watches are even proven to withstand water depths up to 300 meters.
The List of the World’s Most Expensive Rolex Watches
Here are the top five most expensive Rolex watches in the world. Let’s check them out one by one!
1. THE NEANDERTHAL
Rolex The Neanderthal
In fifth place, we have Rolex’s “The Neanderthal”. The Neanderthal refers to the Rolex Daytona Ref. 6240 which was created in 1966 and made from stainless steel.
What makes this watch special? The Neanderthal has a unique dial configuration: an unusual color combination and an oversized subdial (also called the “Big Eye”) that touches the white seconds track on the outer part of the dial. The Neanderthal has no specific design and the texts “Oyster” and “Cosmograph” which are signature to the Rolex Daytona. This is also the first Cosmograph watch with a screw-down chronograph button that works like a screw.
How much does it cost? The Neanderthal was sold in May 2018 through an auction by Phillips for CHF 3.012 million or nearly SGD 4.3 million.
2. THE LEGEND
Moving on to fourth place, we have the Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263, otherwise known as “The Legend”. This watch was sold through a Phillips auction in 2017, during which a dramatic and legendary bidding took place between two participants who were after this watch.
What makes this watch special? The Legend first appeared in 1969, when Rolex was still experimenting with various dial configurations. This watch showcases a Paul Newman dial in a beautiful lemon grené shade, and is considered as one among three yellow-gold Oyster Paul Newman Daytona chronograph watches. It also has a rare screw-down chronograph button.
What’s its price? The Legend was sold at CHF 3.7 million CHF or around SGD 5.3 million.
3. THE BAO DAI
“The Bao Dai” wins third place. This Rolex watch has a particularly intriguing history.
In the spring of 1954, at the end of the war between France and Vietnam also known as the First Indochina War, world leaders gathered at Geneva, Switzerland to discuss the future of Vietnam. One of the guests was the Vietnamese emperor Bao Dai (which means “Keeper of Greatness”) which would later be the last emperor. While walking around for some fresh air, he visited a Rolex shop named Chronomètrie Philippe Beguin. He asked the staff to show him the rarest and most valuable Rolex watch at that time. After refusing many models, Bao Dai chose the Rolex Ref. 6062, which has a yellow-gold case and black dial with diamond hour markers and the moonphase. Experts said that there are only three of such watches in the world.
The watch was first auctioned in 2002 and was sold at CHF 370,000. In 2017, it was auctioned again in Switzerland by Phillips and was sold at CHF 5.066 million or around SGD 7.2 million.
4. THE UNICORN
As the runner up, we have the Rolex Ref. 6265, also known as “The Unicorn”. It got this name due to being highly rare and one-of-a-kind, just like a unicorn.
Rolex The Unicorn
The Unicorn is the only vintage Rolex Cosmograph Daytona made with white gold as the others are made with yellow gold or steel. It was made in 1970 and its dial has a sigma sign like this (“σ T SWISS T σ”) to show that it’s made of gold.
This watch was first created with a leather strap. However, its owner, Auro Montanari (also known by his pseudonym, John Goldberger), a famous Italian watch collector, changed it to a white gold strap with a bark-resembling texture.
This watch was sold in 2018 through a Phillips auction at CHF 5.937 million CHF or around SGD 8.4 million. Goldberger surprisingly donated the money completely to the Children Action charity foundation.
5. THE “PAUL NEWMAN” DAYTONA
Finally reaching the first place, the most expensive Rolex watch ever sold in the world is the Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” or Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239. This watch was named as a tribute to its owner, American actor Paul Newman.
Paul Newman is an actor famous during the 1960-1970s. Throughout his lifetime, Paul Newman won prestigious awards such as the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and Cannes. Paul Newman was also widely known for his passion in horology and racing.
In 1968, Paul Newman’s wife, Joanne Woodward, gifted him with the Rolex Daytona as a tribute to both of his passions. The engraving “Drive Carefully Me” was found on the case back. Paul Newman then wore the watch everyday on multiple occasions until 1984.
Can you guess the price? Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 was sold in October 2017 at a Phillips auction for USD 17.75 million or roughly SGD 24 million. Until today, it remains one of the most expensive watches in the world.
You might think it’s highly unlikely to spend that amount of money for the most expensive Rolex watches. However, you can find other iconic and timeless Rolex watches to add to your collection at Luxehouze. The prices vary from hundreds of millions to billions. Discover the complete Rolex selection and other watches at Luxehouze!