One of the rarest watches in the world is about to go under the hammer in Geneva, and for a great cause

Known to many and seen by a few, ‘The Unicorn’—named so because of its elusive nature—is one of Rolex’s most hidden and hunted Cosmograph Daytonas, and it will be up for auction for the very first time at Geneva-based auction house, Phillips, on May 12.

All proceeds from the sale will go to Children Action, a foundation which specialises in working with suicide prevention and healthcare access for children from around the world.

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Acquired eight years ago by John Goldberger, it is the only known white gold manual-winding Daytona ever produced by Rolex. In the 60s, the luxury watchmaker only made Daytonas in stainless steel or in 18k yellow gold, with the exception of 14K yellow gold models made for the American market.

Then, the unthinkable occurred. Rolex, who is known to do custom dials and bracelets for very select orders, was asked to make a Daytona in the signature white gold reference 6265 for one lucky client—someone with means, and enough influence that Rolex would deviate from its modus operandi.

Thus “The Unicorn”, a one-off Cosmograph Daytona cased in white precious metal, was born. Experts believe the year of manufacture would have been 1970, and delivered to a German retailer for resale in 1971. At the time of production, it was very likely that it was Rolex’s rarest, most luxurious Cosmograph on offer—and the enchantment continues today.

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Although used, the case is excellently preserved, with strong and crisp hallmarks on the bottom of the lugs. The dial is also in mint condition, with very little signs of ageing.

Also in white gold, the bracelet—though not the original—comes from a white gold reference 1507 Oyster Date, which fits the face well and is correct for the period, offering a subtle texture to the wrist for the wearer. Finally, the crown, which is a different colour to the case and pushers, is made from stainless steel.

Supervised by Phillips auction house, the watch will headline The Daytona Ultimatum, a thematic sale of 32 of the finest Rolex Daytonas ever made. “The Unicorn” is expected to make in excess of US$3 Million. 

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