This year’s watch auction season is just beginning, but already timepieces are breaking records left and right.
At a recent auction by Phillips in Geneva, yet another record was set.
A particularly beautiful example of a 1958 Rolex GMT Master sold for a record-breaking $347,000 during the auction, which took place over the weekend. The watch, reference 6542, has a striking “Bakelite” cognac-brown bezel and is made in 18-karat gold.
This is the highest price ever paid for a Rolex GMT Master, according to Hodinkee, and is much higher than the estimated $180,000 to $290,000 Phillips expected the piece to fetch.
According to the auction house, this watch is especially noteworthy because it is the best preserved version of the watch in gold, and it’s an example of “breathtaking condition and beauty.” Gold GMT Master watches are rare, as Rolex more commonly makes them in stainless steel.
The original Bakelite bezel is also highly sought-after, especially one that is in perfect condition like on this watch. The timepiece is completely unrestored and original.
This isn’t the first time this particular watch has earned the honour of being the most expensive Master GMT ever sold at an auction. When it was last up for sale seven years ago, a bidding war erupted, and the previous record was set.
The loser of that war won the watch this time, and, according to Hodinkee, he “left very happy.”
All told, $33 million in watches sold at multiple auctions in Geneva over the weekend.
Due to an error, the watch’s selling price was misstated. It sold for $347,000.
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