Some people love watches and have an extensive collection that is important to them. Grandparents and parents love to pass one, which they have fallen in love with and have a special meaning, to their children so that the time continues to move on and heredity can be preserved in such a beautiful manner.
Amongst wristwatches, one of the best brands in the world is no doubt Rolex. The Swiss manufacturer is a landmark brand whose watches are considered priceless heirlooms and are eagerly passed on from one generation to another.
Rolex is a brand synonymous with luxury, reliability, and high-end collection of timepieces. It was founded by Alfred Davis and Hans Wilsdorf in the year 1905.
Its products are iconic with a classic look that is an integration of great design, best functionality, and perfect style. The products are made from the finest materials, and special attention is given to details.
The artisans work on one piece at a time to maintain the exacting standards of the company. Owning a vintage or contemporary Rolex tells people a lot about you, and that is why individuals crave timepieces from this prestigious brand.
#1. Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona
Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona has a unique history behind it. The timepiece was presented to Paul Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward, and that is what makes the most expensive Rolex timepiece so special. She bought it from Tiffany & Co. and gave it to him when he was filming “Winning.”
It is well preserved and was worn by him for nearly fifteen years and was later sold at the Phillips auction in New York in the year 2017 to an anonymous bidder whose name was not disclosed by the authorities.
With a price tag of 17.8 million US dollars making it the most expensive Rolex and in fact any watch in the whole world. Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona was a 1968 Cosmograph Daytona and was later gifted by the Oscar-winning actor and prolific race car driver to his daughter’s boyfriend, James Cox.
#2. The 1971 Rolex Daytona Reference 6265 Unicorn
One of the most expensive Rolex is the 1971 Rolex Daytona Reference 6265 Unicorn. In the year 2013, it came to light that this precious timepiece was acquired by John Goldberger, who was a collector of Rolex watches.
It was sold at the Phillips auction house in the year 2018 for a staggering 5.9 million US dollars to an unknown buyer whose name was not disclosed.
The 1971 Rolex Daytona Reference 6265 Unicorn is the only watch made in white gold of 18-karat. Most of the watches made during that period were crafted from stainless steel, and this is why it is one of the most expensive Rolex in the world.
The vintage Rolex is manually wound and was made in the year 1970. The Cosmograph with black sigma dial was sold in the year 1971to a German retailer.
#3. The Rolex Bao Dai
The Rolex Bao Dai was auctioned at Phillips auction house in Geneva in the year 2017. At a whopping price tag of 5.1 million US dollars, it became one of the most expensive Rolex in the world.
The popular timepiece was also auctioned in the year 2002 by the Nguyen family and at that time fetched 235,000 US dollars for itself.
The Rolex Bao Dai is an extremely popular and instantly recognizable watch from the Rolex Collection. It was sold to the Emperor Bao Dai of Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam in the year 1954 and at that particular time was the most expensive Rolex made by the watchmaker.
It had a black dial and an 18-karat gold case that was unheard of at that time. The timepiece was part of a limited edition series as only three units were released. This particular The Rolex Bao Dai is extra special because the manufacturer has used diamond indexes in the place of even hours.
#4. 1969 Paul Newman Rolex Daytona “The Legend”
1969 Paul Newman Rolex Daytona “The Legend” is part of a limited edition series as only three watches were released by the manufacturer.
It was auctioned in the year 2017 at Geneva for a cool sum of 3.7 million US dollars, making it one of the most expensive Rolex of its time. It had once been sold in the year 2013 for nearly 1 million dollars.
1969 Paul Newman Rolex Daytona “The Legend” is known in the world of the timepiece by its nickname Legend. It was made in the year 1969 and was sold to Paul Newman.
This is an ultra-rare watch made from 18-karat yellow gold and has a white dial, sub-registers in color black, has a 37.5 mm case diameter and chronograph buttons.
#5. 1958 GMT Master Expensive Rolex
1958 Rolex GMT Master was auctioned in the year 2016 in Phillips auction house in Geneva and at a price tag of 3.5 million US dollars entered the list of most expensive Rolex in the world. It was made in the year 1958 and is a GMT model.
1958 Rolex GMT Master is unique as the cognac-brown Bakelite bezel is unlike other GMT models. The feature is well-preserved and still in prime condition. It was made with 18-karat gold and the case with stainless steel. The GMT Master was a great timepiece also known and used as a travel watch.
#6. Antimagnetic Reference 4113 from 1942
The honor of the oldest Rolex to be sold and that too in seven figures goes to Antimagnetique Reference 4113 from 1942. At 2.5 million US dollars, it is the most expensive Rolex in the world and was sold in the year 2016 at Phillips auction house in Geneva. Earlier in the year 2013, the Rolex was sold at Christie’s for 1.6 million dollars.
One of the most expensive Rolex Antimagnetique Reference 4113 from 1942 has a large case at 44 mm and is actually the largest case ever built by the Swiss watchmaker. It was part of a limited edition series as the brand produced twelve such Rolex for consumer use. It was manufactured to celebrate the victory of a racing team and was meant as a gift.
#7. 1969 Paul Newman Oyster Sotto Cosmograph Daytona
1969 Paul Newman Oyster Sotto Cosmograph Daytona is part of a limited edition series as only two units were released by the manufacturers. This is a rare model as the brand has integrated the word oyster beneath the Cosmograph and Rolex words on the dial whereas if you look at the other models, you will find the word between Rolex and Cosmograph.
1969 Paul Newman Oyster Sotto Cosmograph Daytona is one of the most expensive Rolex in the world as it was sold at a Phillips auction house for just 2 million US dollars. This rare, valuable, and expensive timepiece is a coveted commodity hence a favorite of the collectors.
It is often called a sporty edition because the brand launched it for the world of motorsports. It has special features like markers that have square-shaped ends and Art Deco font of the numerals.
#8. Eric Clapton’s Rolex “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph Daytona
Eric Clapton’s Rolex “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph Daytona has been brought under the hammer twice and both times has managed to hold its own amongst the glittering world of auctions. The first time it was sold at an auction organized by Sotheby’s in New York in the year 2003.
For a price tag of 505,000 US dollars, it was no doubt one of the most expensive Rolex of its time. In the year 2015, it was sold yet again at Phillips auction house in Geneva at an astronomical price of 1.4 million US dollars making it once again to the list of most expensive Rolex in the world.
Eric Clapton’s Rolex “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph Daytona was made in the 1971 and once belonged to Eric Clapton. It is part of a limited edition series as only four watches were released by the brand that had the dial in a single color.
Generally, the brand used two color combinations in its Daytona watches so that the chronograph totalizers could contrast with the dial.
#9. 1949 Oyster Perpetual Expensive Rolex
1949 Rolex Oyster Perpetual was made in the year 1949 and is considered an iconic timepiece that is as valuable as rare. It is one of the oldest Rolex watches to go under the hammer and was auctioned at Christie’s auction in Geneva in the year 2014.
The credit for the special design of Oyster Perpetual goes to Marguerite Koch, an artist from Geneva.
1949 Rolex Oyster Perpetual had successfully entered the list of most expensive Rolex in the world when it was sold for 1.22 million US dollars. The model is made from 18-karat gold, and you can see a whale and a ship sailing in rough waters on the dial.
#10. 1950 Perpetual “Sleeping Beauty” Expensive Rolex
1950 Rolex Perpetual “Sleeping Beauty” was made in the year 1950. It was supposed to fetch a tag of 250,000 US dollars to 350,000 US dollars, but at the Christie’s auction in New York in the year 2013, it surprised everyone by its price value f 1.14 million US dollars.
Hectic bidding between four people from different countries gave the watch its current nickname Sleeping Beauty. It is one of the most expensive Rolex watches to be sold in the world.
1950 Rolex Perpetual “Sleeping Beauty” was a part of limited edition series as the manufacturer made one hundred units of this timepiece. As it was manufactured nearly sixty-nine years ago, it is rare to find one in good condition. It is a stainless steel wristwatch that has a moon phase and triple date display.
#11. Reference 6062 Gold Expensive Rolex
Rolex Reference 6062 Gold is one of the oldest and rarest wristwatches in the world. This high-tech timepiece was launched in the year 1952 at Basel Fair. It was sold in the year 2015 at an auction in Geneva.
At a price of 895,000 US dollars, it has gained admittance inside the list of most expensive Rolex in the world.
Rolex Reference 6062 Gold is a desired and coveted item as every collector is itching to get his hands on this watch. It is one of the three watches that features a moon phase and hence is considered unique and valuable. It is a vintage model and is made from stainless steel.
It has a combination of both the moon phase and triple calendar in an oyster case. The 6062 model was available in three colors yellow gold, pink gold, and stainless steel. This automatic wristwatch had a water-resistant case hence you could wear it even during swimming.
#12. GMT 116769TBR Expensive Rolex
Rolex GMT 116769TBR is a wristwatch that does not command a high price because of auction. Instead, it is a timepiece that has been launched by the brand directly at a price tag of 547,000 US dollars. It is one of the most expensive Rolex that has been launched by the Swiss watchmakers.
Rolex GMT 116769TBR is very beautiful in appearance. The bracelet is made with white gold of 18-karat with diamond filling along the side. The dial is crafted with wave diamonds and the markers for hours, and the hands are both luminous. A black lining has been used to highlight them against the background.
The timepiece is automatic, thus winds by itself. In order to make it secure, the manufacturers have used the Oysterlock clasp. When you see the case and the lock, you will find that seventy-six round diamonds have been used to encrust them.
One of the most expensive Rolex GMT 116769TBR has one hundred meters of water-resistant capability. This is one of the most beautiful wristwatches the company has ever released.
#13. GMT Master II Ice Expensive Rolex
Rolex GMT Master II Ice was specially made for pilots who needed to maintain time in accordance with GMT of the arrival and departure place. A new concept and technology were introduced where the wearer of the watch could easily adjust the two different time zones.
It was sold in the year 2014 for a price tag of 485,350 US dollars, making it one of the most expensive Rolex in the world. Rolex GMT Master II Ice is made from white gold and is covered in precious diamonds. The dial has been created in a wave pattern of gold and diamonds whereas the bracelet is integrated completely with diamonds.
#14. Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual was owned by the first president of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad hence the name. It is in the list of most expensive Rolex in the world with an estimated value of 440,000 US dollars.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual was made of pink gold of 18-karat. The custom dial is in black and blue color and shows a map of undivided India along with January 26, 1950, India’s first constitutional day integrated across it. It was gifted to the President as an inauguration gift.
In the year 2011, the historical timepiece was supposed to be put under the hammer at Sotheby’s auction, but the Indian Government stepped in on behalf of Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s family to report it as a stolen item since the year 1964. The investigation is under progress, and till them, all matters have been put on hold.
#15. James Bond 1972 Rolex Submariner
James Bond 1972 Rolex Submariner was named so because it was worn by Sir Roger Moore while playing the character of James Bond in the movie Live and Let Die. It was auctioned at Phillips auction house in Geneva in the year 2015.
James Bond 1972 Rolex Submariner at a price tag of 365,000 US dollars has gained entry inside the list of most expensive Rolex in the world.
The watch was modified for the movie, for instance, the bezel was changed to give it a circular saw look so that t could cut a rope and the magnetic field was used for the propose of unzipping the dress of Miss Caruso.
The drawback of the watch is that it does not tell the time anymore because of ample modifications, but the best part is that it has been signed by the actor himself.
#16. Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster
Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster is a luxury product from the renowned brand Rolex. It is a limited edition series that was released in the year 2011 with a tag of 277,850 US dollars. Currently, it is available at Sant Blanc for 230,000 US dollars becoming one of the most expensive Rolex in the world.
Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster is made from expensive materials hence its hefty tag. The dial is made from meteorite diamond, and the bezel is highlighted with forty-two baguette diamonds.
The double quickset is of 39 mm and is made from sapphire crystal. This is one of the fanciest wristwatches from the Swiss watchmaker.
#17. Paul Newman Ferrari Red Rolex Daytona
Paul Newman Ferrari Red Rolex Daytona was sold at an astounding amount of 267,203 US dollars, making it one of the most expensive Rolex in the world. The wristwatch was inspired by Ferrari and gifted to actor and racer Paul Newman hence the name.
Paul Newman Ferrari Red Rolex Daytona has a black and red dial that looks super cool and trendy. This timepiece was manually wound and had seventeen jewels integrated inside it.
The diameter of the Rolex Daytona measures 37 mm. It is one of the most popular watches in the world because of its association with Paul Newman.
#18. Steve McQueen’s 1967 Rolex Submariner
Steve McQueen’s 1967 Rolex Submariner was made in the year 1967 and is considered a vintage watch. It did not include a date indicator and was used only as a timepiece. The valuable watch was sold in the year 2009 at an auction organized by Antiquorum.
With a price tag of 234,000 US dollars, it is now one of the most expensive Rolex in the world. Steve McQueen’s 1967 Rolex Submariner is so heavily priced because of its association with Steve McQueen, one of the most popular actors of his time.
Rolex watches have a mind-numbing price tag. The classic creations are rare and valuable hence have become coveted wristwatches. If you are thinking of buying one, just go through your finances and decide whether you will be able to afford the most expensive Rolex in the world or not.