The Most Expensive Rolex

Earlier this month, a new record was set for the most expensive Rolex ever sold. The previous record of nearly $2.5 million was held by another replica Rolex split-seconds chronograph that was sold by Phillips just 12 months ago. However, a legendary watch from vintage Rolex lore has taken the title for a second time this year, more than doubling the previous record, with a rather cheap sale price. rolex-078673_01
The very rare and vintage Rolex “Bao Dai” triple-calendar moonphase is craft totally from yellow gold and has a black dial set with diamonds at the even hour makers. The watch originally belonged to Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam, and it is the only known example of a model to be fitted with this exact dial.
While visiting Switzerland to attend the Geneva Convention, Bao Dai made a trip to Chronometrie Philippe Beguin, a fake Rolex dealer to order a new watch. Unsatisfied by every timepiece that was in stock, a special request was made for the most rarely and precious Rolex ever made, and this is the very watch that the replica Rolex sourced for him.
Following Bao Dai’s death in 1997, his ultra-rare and exclusive watch was put up for auction by his surviving relatives. This year at the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction, the “Bao Dai” model surfaced again, labeled as lot 93, and took back its title as the highest priced Rolex ever sold. When the final bid was in, the legendary “Bao Dai” had a final sale price of more than twenty-one times what it previously had been sold for at auction just fifteen years prior.
Another interesting bit of information about the “Bao Dai” is that the most recent buyer is only this watch’s third owner in its entire history, which spans more than six decades. Since its previous sale in 2002, the “Bao Dai” has been a part of one of the finest private collections in the world, and before that it graced the wrist of the last emperor of Vietnam.
While retail prices for brand new Rolex cheap replica watches keep increasing from year to year, the recent, record-breaking sale of the “Bao Dai” watch confirms that the vintage market is still where the astronomic valuations reside. This is the second time that this particular watch has held the title of the most expensive Rolex ever sold, which only adds to its extraordinary history and provenance.