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Another epic Rolex 'Daytona Ultimatum' auction is coming this year

Phillips may best its $17.8 million record for a single watch, writes Stephen Pulvirent

Stephen Pulvirent | Bloomberg 

Photo: Bloomberg
Representative image of a Rolex watch. Photo courtesy: Bloomberg

has just announced that this spring it will host a thematic sale called “Ultimatum,” focused exclusively on the well-known Rolex chronograph. The auction will take place in Geneva on May 12, 2018, and will offer “an extremely limited selection of the finest, rarest, and best-preserved Rolex wristwatches known to exist.” This of course comes in wake of selling Paul Newman’s Rolex in October, when it became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold. While has not done a Daytona-themed sale before, Aurel Bacs hosted one when he was running the Christie’s department back in November 2013. “Rolex ‘Lesson One’” in many ways kicked off the era of super-hyped thematic sales that we’re in now. It’s also worth noting that the madness isn’t limited to just the auction world — mega dealer Davide Parmegiani has just published a catalogue called 111 Fabulous Daytona, which is exactly what it sounds like. For your daily dose of pedantry, can we please examine the name of this sale? “Ultimatum” is a pretty bold moniker. Beyond the colloquial use of ultimatum, it’s also the singular accusative form of the Latin ultimatus, meaning the last or final bit of something. Is saying that it is planning on writing the final chapter in the story of the Daytona’s journey into completely irrational, over-hyped territory? God, I hope so. Photo: Bloomberg Photo: Bloomberg There’s no question that the is a great and that there are many interesting and value-worthy examples from its more than five decades of continuous production. I’m not debating that.

But the current state of the market, where every year someone seems to find a new tiny dial variant or previously unknown configuration, and that then pushes all prices up over the course of a two or three hour auction, is unsustainable. At some point, reality and rationality have to prevail. For now, isn’t saying anything about the exact watches that will be in the sale. That information will be released over the coming months as we get closer to the actual auction date. Considering all the big results we’ve seen over the last 24 months alone though, there are going to need to be some seriously insane watches in that catalog for Ultimatum to make the splash I’m sure the auction house is hoping for. All of that said, the team has given me no reason not to believe that they’ll put together a group of watches that will create huge buzz and generate strong results. This will definitely be an interesting one to We’ll obviously be following this story closely and will share more information with you as soon as it becomes available.

First Published: Sat, January 20 2018. 00:01 IST