It’s rare, it’s got celebrity status, and it has just smashed all records for any Rolex at a public sale by selling for $1.4 million. So what makes the Rolex Reference 6263 “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph Daytona so sought after? We take a closer look at this most unique of timepieces – one that’s catching the attention of all the collectors at the moment.
Pre-owned by rock royalty
We all know Eric Clapton as a true rock legend – but it’s probably only those in serious horological circles who appreciate his status as an avid collector of luxury fine timepieces. As well as being a Rolex ambassador, he’s famed for a collection starring vintage pieces including Rolex’s prototype Yachtmaster Daytona, $500K’s worth of Albino Daytona and numerous customised pieces. He’s a fan of Patek Philippe too, famously taking ownership of (amongst others) the super-rare Ref. 2499 Perpetual Chronograph before parting company with this particular masterpiece for $3.5 million in 2012.
Just as in antique dealing, when it comes to investing in luxury watches provenance can make all the difference. So it’s not surprising that the acquisition of a timepiece that has previously adorned the wrist of a global superstar commands a considerable price tag.
Ultimately rare: ultimately desirable
There are just four known Ref. 6263 models that are classed by Rolex as an “Albino” – a name attributed to the watch’s unusual subsidiary dials, which match the tone and finish of the main dial plate rather than contrasting. Powered by a manual Caliber 727 and cased and finished in stainless steel, this is a timepiece that lives up to the quality, craftsmanship and aesthetic detail synonymous with the Rolex name. But, ultimately, it’s the fact that this watch is one of just a handful of known Albino models that gives it the edge in the auction room.
What’s more, Clapton doesn’t make a habit of offering up his precious possessions for sale – and when he does, he typically does so in support of his charity, Crossroads. So the market watches him closely, and when a rarity like this model is made available it’s not surprising that bidding quickly reaches a frenzy.
What else is in the Clapton collection?
When it comes to horological pedigree, Mr Clapton certainly has an eye for the best. Other highly desirable (and desired) timepieces under his ownership include the Patek Philippe Ref. 5004, with its perpetual calendar and split second chronograph, the Breguet adorned 5970 Perpetual Calendar, and the 1954 Rolex GMT Master II with ceramic bezel. That’s to name just a few. There’s no doubt about it, this is a gentleman who knows his luxury watches – so we can completely understand why the chance to take over this particular Ref. 6263 model would attract an ultimately serious investor at an ultimately serious price.
Even if you don’t have a budget that extends into the millions, if you’re seeking your perfect Rolex vintage timepiece, turn to David Duggan. As an independent luxury watch dealer with 150 years’ combined experience, we are ideally placed to help you find the ideal investment. What’s more, as an approved Rolex service centre we can help you take care of it for many years to come. Contact us to discuss your requirements or arrange a visit to our showrooms in the heart of London’s Mayfair.
"Having owned this watch 16 years ago and sold it for the princely sum of £44,000 I am delighted at the long-term investment potential that Rolex sports watches continue to give. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see this watch go for $1.4 million.
I firmly believe Eric Clapton’s name associated with watches today will have just as much impact as Paul Newman had with vintage watches."