Why did this Rolex watch cost $ 1.5 million?

Even in the rarefied world of the vintage hand-wound Rolex Daytona collection, some references simply stand out from the crowd. Last week one of those references was hammered for an incredible $ 1.5 million + at Sotheby’s London – a super rare Daytona “John Player Special” reference. 6264 in 18K yellow gold, one of the few watches of this type known to the watchmaking community. The auction was not only a record sale for a Daytona “JPS”, but also the record for the most expensive wristwatch ever sold in the UK and the record for the most expensive wristwatch ever sold in the UK. an online auction.


The “John Player Special”, so named for the livery of John Player brand cigarettes found on 1970s Formula 1 Lotus cars, describes a special black and gold look that is instantly recognizable to collectors and Daytona enthusiasts. . This particular JPS is particularly notable, however, for having been produced in 18k yellow gold rather than steel (only around 10 examples are known) and furthermore, for featuring an exotic “Paul Newman” style dial in black. Exceeding its estimate of $ 400,000 to $ 800,000, the watch reached a final sale price of $ 1,545,723.

With online auctions becoming more and more common in the era of COVID-19, surely we are on the verge of seeing new watch sales records broken in the future. Since early 2020, Sotheby’s alone has sold more than $ 48 million in the watch category.

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Floyd N. Morlan