Bao Dai’s Rolex 6020 watch to auction at Phillips

The iconic Bao Dai Rolex 6020 is coming up for auction at Phillips once again on May 13-14 in Geneva.

The diamond studded gold watch was acquired by Vietnam’s last emperor, Bao Dai, in Switzerland in 1954.

Rolex Bao Dai

The Rolex 6020 is one of three to feature diamond markers 

It’s one of only three examples of this reference to feature a black dial and diamond markers. It last sold for $235,000 at Phillips in 2002, then a record sum for a Rolex at auction.

This time around it’s valued at up to $1.5m.

Ref 6020 is famously the most complicated standard issue Rolex Oyster on the market. It’s one of only two models the company produced with a moonphase dial.

Only 500 were made between 1950 and 1953, of which only a tiny percentage have come to auction.

Aurel Bacs, senior consultant at Phillips and the man behind the original sale, said: “It is an absolute privilege to offer the Rolex 6062 ‘Bao Dai’ for the second time in my career.

“With its incredible imperial provenance, stunning condition, and exceptional rarity, it’s a mythical watch that occupies the dreams of scholars, collectors, and enthusiasts all over the world.”

A 1969 gold Oyster Paul Newman chronograph ref 6263 is also on offer, with an estimate of up to $1.6m.

This example features screw down pushers, which are designed to give extra protection against flooding.

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