A rare Rolex just sold for more than $5 million to an unnamed buyer at the Phillips Auction in Geneva. We envy the lucky buyer that ended up with this rare watch. The watch was once owned by the 13th Emperor of the Vietnamese Nguyen Dynasty. It is one of the most expensive and unusual Rolex watches in the world and considered by experts to be the most valuable Rolex on the market.
A predominant theme from the fabrication is that matters are assessed, re-checked, and checked again. It feels like their purpose is to ensure that when a Rolex watch fails, then it does so before it leaves the factory. Large teams of watchmakers and meeting people work on every single movement that Rolex produces. That is before and following their moves are sent to COSC for chronometer certificate. And on top of this, Rolex re-tests their motions for accuracy after they are cased for several days while simulating wear before they’re sent out to retailers.Rolex leaves their own gold. While they have a little handful of providers that send them steel (Rolex still functions the steel in house to create all of the components), all of the gold and platinum is made in-house. 24k gold comes into Rolex and it’s turned into 18k yellow, white, or Rolex’s Everose gold (their non-fading version of 18k rose gold).Large kilns under hot flames are utilized to melt and mix the metals which are subsequently turned into cases and bracelets. Since Rolex controls the production and machining of the gold, they are able to strictly ensure not only quality, but also the best looking parts. To our knowledge Rolex is the only watch manufacture which makes their own gold or even offers a actual foundry in-house. The philosophy at Rolex appears to be very pragmatic, even when a person does it better, then let a human take action, if a machine does it better, then let a machine do it. In reality the reason more watchmakers do not use machines is two-fold.
Called the Bao Dai, after its former owner, the watch was purchased in Geneva in 1954 during peace negotiations. This is one of the most important watches in the world. It was a very rare creation for Rolex. It is in excellent condition and features an Oyster case that has never been polished.
Featuring an in-house movement driving a triple date calendar with moon phase indication, this was one of the most complicated watches of its time. It is crafted in 18-karat yellow gold. The Bao Doi features diamond indexes and a black dial. There are only three black dial watches in existence. This is the only one in the world that has diamond indexes for even numerals. Also, is is the only Rolex that features the trademark crown below the diamond.
Ten bidders were in the running for the watch at the Hotel La Reserve in Geneva. The bidding war lasted an entire eight minutes. The watch had only changed hands once before, back in 2002, for what was then a record-breaking $369,000.
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