At Ideal Luxury our work is our passion, and so working with our clients and dealing with fine watches, diamonds and jewelry on a daily basis is a great joy. But, some days are really extra special. Recently we experienced one of those days when a customer brought in a very special watch…an extremely rare 1952 Rolex 18K Gold Oyster Perpetual.
The features of this special watch are this:
- 18K Yellow Gold 1952 Rolex ref. 6098 Oyster Perpetual w/ a rare silver honeycomb ’star” dial
- Watch “head” only just like the photo below
- Known as the “Everest Watch” as the steel versions were used in the early Mt. Everest expeditions for their reliability and toughness
- Featured on page 23 of John Goldenberger’s “100 Superlative Rolex Watches“
This watch was presented to Ideal Luxury as part of an extensive estate that belonged to a deceased Hollywood actor. The watch belonged to his father who received it as a corporate gift recognizing 25 years of faithful service. The Executor of the estate was not familiar with the watch or its significance / value. After some research we realized the watch was rare, especially the dial, with sales and auction listings from $15,000 to $180,000 depending on condition, completeness and accoutrements. It was very intriguing to say the least.
Not wanting to make a mistake for the client or for ourselves, we offered to do some additional research, consult some of our experts for rare watches and make him a firm offer to either purchase the watch or auction it off on behalf of the estate. The client wanted to get a few more opinions so we actually let it walk out the door. Although we hated to see it leave and felt we put our best foot forward, we don’t like to put pressure on our clients to make a decision. After consulting with two other local Rolex buyers the client chose to return to Ideal Luxury with the watch with the hope of learning more. He said he felt our honesty and specialized “consultive” approach to our clients was exactly what the watch deserved.
We immediately had our master watchmaker inspect the watch for authenticity and condition, both of which came back positive. It also allowed us to document the watch with photos of both the outside as well as the inside case and movement. We consulted three trusted experts on the value of the watch. Two of them showed interest but did not make an offer, however the third guessed it was worth around $10,000. We explained our client was looking for much more. After consulting a private collector the expert quickly returned with an offer of $20,000 which our client respectfully declined.
Considering the uniqueness of the watch and the very hot market for Rolex we convinced our client to let us auction off the watch on eBay. We actually purchased the proper vintage Rolex gold buckle and original crocodile strap in order to present a “complete” watch for sale. Before we could prepare the watch for auction the collector reached out with a mid five figure offer and our client finally acquiesced. The collector was happy to make an addition to their collection and our client was very pleased to have a quick and easy transaction completed.
You never know what’s going to walk through the door.