Christie’s, New York, 9 December 2014
Sold for $112,500
It’s a fact that the value of a vintage watch is entirely dictated by rarity, nuance and unusual variations – and there is no make like Rolex for inspiring enthusiasts to play spot the difference. Is it a “red” Submariner or a “double red” Sea Dweller? Is that GMT-Master a “Pussy Galore” or a “Fat Lady”?
Well, GMT-Master fans had a field day when this 1958 reference 6542 appeared at Christie’s replete with unusual features. As well as being an especially early 18 carat gold example, it wore the brown, bakelite bezel dubbed the “root beer” by fans, together with a well-kept brown dial which – unlike so-called “colour-change” dials which have faded from black – was an original feature of the watch.
Even more excitingly (for some) the dial also featured “nipple” hour markers and, best of all, a “small arrow” tip on the 24-hour hand which is affectionately known as a “freccino” by hardened Italian Rolex collectors.
Offered in exceptionally good condition, the watch was sold to a Middle Eastern collector for a mid-estimate $112,500 – which, considering its rarity, seemed like something of a bargain.