Record braking

At the latest Kaplans Watch Quality auction, a Rolex Cosmograph Oyster Daytona, so-called “Paul Newman” was for sale, and collectors all over the world followed the bidding.

By Britta Rossander

New Swedish record – 1969 wristwatch sold for over 5 million SEK.

New Swedish record – 1969 wristwatch sold for over 5 million SEK.

Ref nr. 6263, Serie nr. 2085505, Cal Valjoux 727, Case nr. 6239 (C.R.S), chronograph, men’s watch, 37 mm, steel, manual, Plexiglas ca 1969. That’s the description in the auction catalog, you can also see it on page XX.

What the catalog doesn’t mention is that Singer, a supplier for Rolex that made the face of this particular watch, had written Cosmograph above Oyster, which is very rare. Among collectors a “flawed” watch like this is known as the RCO (Rolex Cosmograph Oyster). It was delivered only for a short time and a small series, making this anomaly extremely rare. Value-wise you could compare it to the famous Swedish shilling banco stamp, the most expensive in the world since someone accidentally printed it in yellow instead of green.

Tony Frank

Tony Frank

WTM met Tony Frank, responsible for watches at Kaplans, to discuss the auction:

Who were the bidders of this watch?

– Collectors and dealers with great financial muscle and great knowledge. The international interest was huge. When the bidding had reached three million SEK, there were two bidders left in the room and seven by telephone. They came from all over the world.

What was the atmosphere like in the room?

– It was a fantastic, almost electric atmosphere as everyone followed the bidding with total concentration. When the hammer fell, applause broke out. We usually don’t get that kind of un-Swedish response.

Was most of the bidding live, or by telephone or Internet?

– Before the auction we had received some bids by e-mail and during the auction there were several bidders in the room, but at the end there were only two telephone bidders left competing for the watch.

What do you think about the possibility of more watches from the same shipment in Sweden?

– There are extremely few watches with this particular face, but there have been rumors about another one in Sweden, and we are hoping for the opportunity to put it up for sale at a future auction.