The “Bao Dai” rare Rolex sells at Phillips for a world record of $5 million

According to CNBC, a vintage Rolex wristwatch, a 1952 reference 6062 called the “Bao Dai,” sold at Phillips Geneva for $5,060,427. The Bao Dai led a record-high watch sale by Phillips on May 13th-14th totaling $32.6 million, which is the highest result in the history of watch auctions.

The Bao Dai is named after its previous owner, the last emperor of Vietnam, who purchased the watch in Geneva during peace negotiations in 1954. The wristwatch boasts 18-karats of yellow gold and is one of three models to feature a black dial and diamond hour markers. Out of the three models, the Bao Dai is the only watch in existence with diamonds at the even hours instead of the odd. Rolex had to move its trademark crown below the rock at 12 o’clock, making it a one of a kind dial.

"The demand for such a rare collector's watch can be compared with the demand for a rare Ferrari convertible from the 1950s, a great painting, a great jewel. It is a work of art. It's part of what the 20th-century culture is made of. It's what we, mankind, jointly want to hold onto, and it would absolutely make sense to put it in a museum where the best of the best of the 20th century is reunited. It's really a landmark of the 20th-century industrial design,” said Aurel Bacs, senior consultant for Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo.

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