Sotheby's has once again proven the popularity of the platinum Rolex Daytona series with another record-breaking sale. This time around, the rare Rolex "Zenith" Daytona with the turquoise dial sold for $3.14 million – the second-most expensive modern Rolex timepiece to ever sell.
The million-dollar price tag is unsurprising given how unusual the timepiece is. SJX reports, that it is one of a five-piece run of the “Zenith” Daytona in platinum that were made at the behest of former Rolex chief executive Patrick Heiniger in 1999. All five watches share the same model reference 16516 and are powered by the Rolex cal. 4030 that’s based on the Zenith El Premiro movement.
While only four of the original five models are known, each watch is considered to have a dial in a rare exotic material. The platinum Daytona that just sold has a turquoise mineral stone dial, rendering it highly unusual as the material has never been used before in the Daytona. And last year the Daytona with a lapis lazuli dial sold for a record-setting $3.27 million. Watch aficionados believe that these rare watches were a prototype run for the subsequent Daytona models with unique dials that never materialized.
There are said to only be two known examples of the turquoise dial version in existence. Which explains why the originally estimated auction price of $512,800 to $1,025,600 was exceeded. Like last year, a battle of bidders caused the price to soar. Well worth it, some might argue, considering you own an irreplaceable piece of watch history.