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Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo to offer the only known vintage white gold Rolex Daytona
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona The Unicorn in 18 karat white gold reference 6265. Estimate: In excess of CHF 3 million. Image courtesy of Phillips.

GENEVA.- There are watches so precious that their very existence baffles the most seasoned of collectors. So elusive, that only a few can claim to have seen one in the flesh. This extraordinary vintage white gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, reference 6265, also known as “The Unicorn”, is emphatically such a watch. Having presided in one of the world’s finest watch collections for many years, it appears at public auction for the very first time this season.

Until now, its owner has always asserted that this Cosmograph would never be for sale. Quite simply, it was irreplaceable. But realizing the good that could come from a public sale, John Goldberger has decided the time has come to part with it.

The watch will be sold for the benefit of Children Action, a foundation dedicated to helping the lives of youth around the world. It will headline Daytona Ultimatum, a thematic sale offering 32 of the rarest and most sought-after Daytonas ever made by Rolex.

Until the discovery of the white gold reference 6265, it was thought Rolex only produced manually wound Daytonas in stainless steel or in 18k yellow gold, with 14K yellow gold examples delivered to the American market. While the manufacture sometimes created custom dials and special bracelets, it was unfathomable to many that Rolex would ever deviate from its modus operandi.

Yet for one lucky customer, Rolex created what scholars believe to be a one-off, unique masterpiece – a Cosmograph Daytona cased in white precious metal. Research shows that this watch was manufactured in 1970 and delivered in 1971, made upon special order for a German retailer. At the time of production, it was very likely the rarest, most luxurious and special Cosmograph offered by Rolex.

Cased in white gold, this chronograph is without any doubt Rolex’s magnum opus. Bearing reference number 6265, its ground-breaking discovery some ten years ago is now an indelible part of the Cosmograph Daytona’s history.

The importance of this Daytona cannot be overstated. Its unexpected appearance at auction presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors to acquire a vintage white gold Rolex chronograph. Sold to benefit Children Action, it is the first and most likely only time a white gold reference 6265/9 will ever appear in the public sphere.

Speaking of the impact of the watch’s sale for Children Action, its founder, Bernard Sabrier said: “By giving most probably the rarest vintage Rolex watch, John Goldberger is not only making a phenomenal philanthropic gesture but he is also contributing to provide a long-term positive difference in the lives of thousands of children. The Foundation is honored to be the recipient of such a tremendous donation.”

Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant of Bacs & Russo, said he was delighted to offer the watch at auction. “I never dreamt I would one day sell this watch, and I have known about this watch for long enough to realize what it means to John Goldberger to have come to this decision. I am therefore honoured to have been entrusted with the sale of such an extremely important piece, the only white gold manual winding Daytona known to the world. This watch will be remembered for all the good it will do when it is sold for the benefit of Children Action, this May, as part of our Daytona Ultimatum thematic auction.”

Phillips will offer this watch to the market for the first time, and is thrilled that its sale will benefit children in need.

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