On October 21st and 22nd 2023, Monaco Legend Group organized an auction at the Hôtel Le Méridien Beach Plaza in Monaco, specifically their tenth auction dedicated to wristwatches. According to Davide Parmegiani, the catalog he and his team were able to create was the best one put together to date. In the approximately 280 lots, with the new record of 94% of sold items, a wide variety of watches was found, with a particular focus on the vintage world. Through some recent articles here on Watchype Magazine (Rolex Day-date stone dials, Cartier tank Cintrée dual time, Tiffany dials, commissioned Patek Philippe Calatrava, middle-eastern delivery watches), you can find the analysis of many interesting auctioned lots, with a focus on the peculiarities linked to these watches. On the other hand, this article analyzes some of the most interesting pieces sold and the achieved results, reflecting the interest in quality vintage pieces.
Lot 27 and 150: Rolex Daytona 6329 Tiffany dial
For many collectors, a four-digit reference Rolex Daytona can represent the quintessential collectible watch, and that’s why when a well-preserved watch goes up for auction, great results are always expected. In this case, we were pleasantly surprised to see not only two incredible steel Daytona 6239 watches with spectacular white and black Paul Newman dials but with the unique feature of having been sold by Tiffany & Co. in the late ’60s, thus bearing the iconic branding on the dial. As expected, the two Daytonas achieved excellent selling prices, with €689.000 for the bright dial (lot n°27) and €663.000 for the dark dial (lot n°150), including the buyer’s premium.
Lot 235: Rolex Daytona 6265 “mistery cross”
The selection of incredible vintage Daytona in the auction catalog could also boast a truly remarkable piece, whose mystery-shrouded history was only discovered a few years ago. We are talking about the lot n°235, a Daytona reference 6265 with Paul Newman dial characterized by what has been called the “Mystery cross” engraved on the caseback. The cross, specifically the one from the Swiss flag surrounded by a rope, had puzzled experts for several years, especially after a similar watch appeared at auction in 2015. The meaning of the symbol on the caseback remained unknown. However, in 2021, after some research by the renowned expert “Perezscope”, the full story was finally pieced together. It was revealed that a total of three pieces were commissioned to Rolex to celebrate the almost successful attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1952, one year before the historic achievement by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The logo that evokes Switzerland is because the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research equipped that mission. The story behind this watch is truly incredible and the mystery that surrounded it for so many years makes the piece even more fascinating. It achieved a significant auction price, selling for a remarkable €884.000.
Lot 96:: Cartier Magnum Tank
Among the incredible pieces that appeared in the auction, a truly unique Cartier Tank caught the attention of enthusiasts. We are referring to the Magnum Tank Triple Calendar Moon Phase. This watch is indeed a very special and rare piece, with an estimated production of only three pieces, each with some differences from the others. The ultra-slim movement was produced directly by Audemars Piguet, which likely sets it apart from the other two similar pieces, making it a one-of-a-kind watch. The watch had previously appeared at an Antiquorum auction in 1989, fetching the already remarkable sum of $120.000 at the time. After thirty-five years in the same collection, it reappeared on the market, this time selling for a staggering €415.000.
Lot 56 and lot 182: Rolex Day-Date 18026 onyx dial and Rolex Day-Date 18338 coral dial
Among the 2810 lots up for auction this weekend, Monaco Legend Group was able to present approximately twenty truly unique vintage Day-Dates, which were also discussed in a dedicated article. Rolex enthusiasts await the opportunity to bid on watches of this kind, characterized by truly unique stone dials that often feature precious gems. In particular, two results from the auction stood out in our opinion. The first is a platinum Day-Date with an onyx dial, reference 18026, which far exceeded expectations, reaching a remarkable €169.000. The other Day-Date specimen we’d like to mention is a reference 18338 in yellow gold with an oyster bracelet, coral dial, and diamonds along the case, that was sold for €227.500. It is most likely a unique configuration, given the rarity of the dial material and the diamonds set along the case.
Lot 108: Patek Philippe Calatrava 530
As we have previously detailed in a dedicated article, lot number 108 was, in our opinion, one of the most interesting watches in this auction, and the selling price of €806.000 is evidence of that. This timepiece is not just any Calatrava ref. 530, which is already exceptionally rare and sought after by collectors, but one of the very few steel specimens, featuring beautiful Breguet-style gold indices. The watch came directly from the personal collection of John Goldberger, and given its rarity and historical significance in the story of Patek Philippe, it can be considered a museum-worthy piece in every respect.
Lot 281: Rolex Daytona 6263 tropical dial
We want to conclude with the watch that achieved the highest performance within the entire auction, a magnificent example of the Rolex Daytona ref. 6263. The reference 6263 is already extremely rare in its own right, but the brown tropical Paul Newman dial with the “Oyster Sotto” text makes it a truly incredible piece in every respect. The fact that this watch was featured in Pucci Papaleo’s book “150 steel chronographs” is a testament to its significance as a collector’s item for vintage Daytona enthusiasts. Only one other similar specimen had appeared at auction in recent years, selling for approximately 2 million CHF. In this case as well, the result was equally outstanding, with a selling price of €1.796.000.