There are tons of luxurious watches out there but In today’s list, we will see the Top 10 Most Expensive Rolex Watches in which you’ll discover unique and fascinating historical and modern models also some of them only go on sale through private auctions.
1. Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster
sold for – $277,850
Unlike other Rolex watches, the Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster is based on the Day-Date collection instead of the Datejust. The limited-edition watch is made from meteorite diamonds and counts 42 diamonds on its custom bezel. The 39mm dial watch was first released in 2011 for $277,850.
2. James Bond’s 1972 Rolex Submariner
sold for – $365,000
Yet another Submariner. This one is the actual watch worn by Sir Roger Moore while playing James Bond in Live and Let Die in 1973. The watch was sold for $365,000 at a Phillips auction in Geneva in 2015. The watch was modified for the movie. In particular, the bezel was changed to look like a circular saw. It is used by James Bond in the movie to cut a rope. The watch’s “magnetic field” is also used to unzip Miss Caruso’s dress (played by Madeline Smith). The James Bond Submariner was so heavily modified for the movie that it doesn’t tell time anymore. The back of the watch, however, was signed by Roger Moore.
3. Rolex GMT Master II Ice:
Sold for – $485,350
Cristiano Ronaldo wore this watch during the 14th Dubai International Sports Conference. It is the most expensive new Rolex you can buy. It retails for $485,350 but its price might vary depending on the market price for diamonds at the time of your purchase. The Rolex GMT Master II Ice is entirely covered in precious stones and made from white gold. The dial has an interesting wave pattern of diamonds and gold. The rest of the case hasn’t been compromised by the in-house customization. You get all the same features and performance as the modern Rolex GMT II delivers, including a waterproof case up to 100 meters (330 feet) and 50-hours of power reserve. Rolex gave this yellow gold Day-Date to legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus in 1967. He pretty much wore it every day since then. Jack Nicklaus, known as the Golden Bear, wore this Rolex when he won 12 of his record 18 professional major championship titles. The watch was also often photographed when Nicklaus hoisted the championship trophy following his victories.
4. Jack Nicklaus Rolex Day-Date
sold for – $1.22 million
The yellow gold Day‐Date on a President bracelet is Rolex’s most prestigious model and one of the world’s most famous watches. “This is the very first watch I ever owned, and the only watch I wore for every professional tournament I’ve won throughout my career,” Jack Nicklaus said. “It has accompanied me at U.S. Opens, Masters Tournaments, PGA Championships, Open Championships, and countless other events for over five decades, and has served me well at every step along the way. The watch sold for $1.22 million at a Phillips auction in December 2019. All of the auction proceeds went to Nicklaus’ charitable Foundation that cares for children in need around the world.
5. Eric Clapton’s Rolex “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph Daytona
sold for – $1.4 million
Eric Clapton’s Daytona dubbed the Rolex “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph, sold not once but twice for substantial amounts during public auctions. The first time was in 2003 in New York where the watch was bought for $505,000 during an auction organized by Sotheby’s. Twelve years later, in May 2015, Eric Clapton’s Daytona was sold once more but this time for $1.4 million at a Phillips auction in Geneva, nearly three times its previous price. Besides its famous first owner, this watch is special because only four pieces are available with the dial in a single color. The Daytona dial usually has two colors to make the chronograph totalizers contrast with the rest of the dial.
6. Marlon Brando’s Apocalypse Now Rolex GMT-Master
sold for – $1.952 million
This Rolex GMT ref. 1675 worn by Marlon Brando in the movie Apocalypse Now was sold for $1.952 million at a Phillips auction in December 2019. The auction appropriately named the Phillips Game Changers event, saw the Rolex GMT-Master manufactured in 1972 sell well above the expected price. Marlon Brando, an Academy Award winner, wore the watch on a black strap with its bezel missing. Francis Ford Coppola had indeed asked Brando to remove the bezel as it would stand out too much in the movie. The watch is also unique because Brando carved his name on its back. It sold after 15 minutes of intense bidding.
7. Antimagnetique Reference 4113 from 1942
sold for – $2.5 million
The 1942 Antimagnetique Reference 4113 is the oldest Rolex on our list after selling for nearly $2.5 million during a Phillips’ auction in Geneva in 2016. It comes in an extraordinarily large case considering its production year, at 44 mm. Only 12 examples of the Reference 4113 are known to still exist today. The watch was initially produced as a gift to celebrate the victory of a racing team. Interestingly, this particular model had been sold just three years before, in 2013, for $1.16 million at Christie’s. It’s another example of the steep price increase for rare Rolex models.
8. The Rolex Bao Dai
sold for – $5.1 million
The Rolex Bao Dai is unquestionably one of the most instantly recognizable models among watch fans. Based on the Rolex reference 6062, this watch was initially sold to the last emperor of the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam in 1954. At the time, this was the most expensive model in Rolex’s collection. The gold case and black dial were the rarest configurations available. Only three were ever produced, according to Hodinkee. And this piece is the only one of the three to have diamond markers on the even hours. The Rolex Bao Dai was sold for over $5.1 million at auction at Phillips in Geneva in 2017. The Nguyen family first sold it for $235,000 in 2002, which was the highest price ever paid for a Rolex at that time.
9. The 1971 Rolex Daytona Reference 626 Unicorn
sold for – $5.9 million
Uniqueness and rarity explain the price of this 1970 Rolex Daytona that was sold for $5.9 million in 2018. The Reference 6265 is the only model available in 18-karat white gold, hence it’s “Unicorn” nickname. Besides its precious material, the story of the watch is itself interesting. Few people had ever heard of it until it was announced in 2013 that famous Rolex collector John Goldberger had acquired the watch (Auro Montanari of his real name).
10. Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona
sold for – $17.8 million
This is not only the most expensive Rolex ever sold, but it is also the most expensive watch ever sold in the world. It easily beat the previous record set by a 1943 Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph that sold for $11 million in 2016. The opening bid for Paul Newman’s Daytona started at $1 million but was immediately raised to $10 million by the first bidder, stunning the entire auction room at Phillips. Only two bidders then fought for the watch to finally settle its price at $17.8 million. it is relatively well preserved but this watch isn’t particularly rare nor made from precious materials. But its unique story is what watch collectors are most interested in. It was given to Paul Newman by his wife, Joanne Woodward, while he was playing in the movie “Winning”.