Rarest Rolex on the Planet "The Unicorn" Goes up for Auction

Rolex Daytona 6265 in White Gold
This is a vintage Rolex Daytona Reference 6265 in solid 18k white gold.  It was a special order made in 1970 and delivered to a German retailer in 1971.  It is rare because Rolex did not make any white gold manual-winding Daytonas - only thought to have been produced in yellow gold or stainless steel.  Of course, vintage Daytona's are in high demand, but this is a one of a kind making it a priceless artifact.  Nicknamed "The Unicorn" partly because of its rarity and partly because of its white gold color, the Reference 6265 is going up for auction at Phillips, with proceeds going to Children Action.
John Goldberger, collector and owner of "The Unicorn"  Image: Hodinkee

Famed collector John Goldberger, and author of 100 Superlative Rolex Watches and Patek Philippe Steel Watches, is the current owner of the rare Daytona.  He acquired the timepiece just eight years ago.   Upon picking up the Daytona for the first time, he noticed that this did not feel like a stainless steel Daytona.  It was much heavier.  Although Rolex used white gold in their production of Day-Date models during the 1970's the precious metal never made it to the Daytona line which was designed to be an every-day watch.  Most Daytonas were made in stainless steel to stand up to the wear and tear of daily use.

The Unicorn has a black "sigma" dial and white gold hour markers.  The bracelet comes from a white gold reference 1507 Oyster Date, but is not the original band that came with the timepiece.  It isn't known what band was delivered with the white gold model.  The crown and pushers are made from stainless steel, rather than white gold.  The Daytona bezel with tachymetric scale supports measuring average speeds up to 200 miles or kilometers per hour.  It has a small seconds hand at 9 o'clock a 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock and 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock.  On modern Daytonas the dials at 9 and 6 are swapped.

The Unicorn will likely fetch millions for the charity, if recent history and astronomical price increases at auction are any indication.  The question is whether it will set new records, considering its rarity.  Certainly the most expensive Daytona, the Paul Newman, which recently went for over 17 million, has celebrity fame to drive the price up.  The Newman watch though was not nearly as rare as The Unicorn.  We will find out on May 12, 2018, in Geneva, where the Unicorn will be featured as part of the Daytona Ultimatum auction.

LeBron James' Rolex Collection

Labron James wearing a Yellow Gold Day Date  Image:Getty
LeBron James is arguably the greatest basketball player in history.  Certainly he is the most noteworthy player to play in the NBA since Michael Jordan and is often compared with Jordan's greatness.  Although he has less NBA Championship rings (three as compared to Jordan's 6), he is an absolute force of nature on the court and still has many more years left to play.  He is taller and stronger than Jordan and can play all 5 positions, making him one of the most versatile players in NBA history.  Most impressively, James has powered his team to attending 8 championship series in his career, and notably 7 of the last 7, and winning it all 3 times on two different teams.

James is touted for his consistency (averaging over 37 points a game), durability (very few injuries) and a multitude of skills including defensive, offensive, rebounding and assists.  James is the ambassador to Audemars Piguet and is most often seen sporting the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph LeBron James.

However, James has been spotted wearing his share of Rolex timepieces.  He has been spotted with three different Rolexes, all showing his preference for new timepieces in Yellow Gold.

Rolex Day Date in Yellow Gold
Rolex Presidential Day Date in Yellow Gold
The Rolex Day-Date was released in 1956 and was noteworthy becoming the first wristwatch to display both the date and day of the week on the dial.  Due to the President bracelet and the luminaries that have worn the Day-Date, the Day Date became known as the "Presidents" watch. 

The Presidential Day-Date II Reference 218238BKRP has a stunning black dial and Arabic numerals in 18k gold.  The case and bracelet are made from 18k gold. The fluted bezel gives the timepiece a distinct luxury, often adding a level of sophistication and a distinctive look of alternating light and dark gold.

It is the smallest of the three Rolexes in LeBron's collection at only 41mm, but it sports both the day of the week at 12 o'clock and the date at 3 o'clock.

The Day-Date II is powered by a caliber 3156 with 48 hours of power reserve.  It has a twinlock double waterproofness system, supporting a depth of 330 feet.

Sky Dweller in Yellow Gold
Rolex Sky Dweller in Yellow Gold
The Rolex Sky-Dweller provides information that global travelers need to keep track of time.  It has the Dual Time Zone function so that you can see two time zones simultaneously.  The center hour, minute and seconds hands indicate the local time.  The hour hand can be adjusted quickly in one hour increments forwards and backwards without stopping the watch, preserving time accuracy.  This is a key requirement for the King who needs to have quick hour adjustments when traveling back and forth to basketball stadiums across the US.

The Sky Dweller has a 24 hour display allowing the wearer to distinguish daytime from night time hours.  The Date change is linked to local time and the date changes in a few milliseconds at midnight in its aperture at 3 o'clock.  The scratch resistant sapphire crystal has a cyclops lens over the date window for better readability.

This timepiece is stunning for several reasons.  It has a champagne color dial and 18 ct gold hour numerals.  It has a matching 18 ct gold Oyster bracelet with Oysterclasp system. The Sky-Dweller is slightly smaller than the Yacht-Master II, at 42mm.  It is powered by a caliber 9001 self-winding movement with a 72 hour power reserve.  It has a Twinlock double waterproofness system which supports a depth of 330 feet.

Rolex Yacht-Master II in Yellow Gold

LeBron's has exquisite taste with this gorgeous Yacht Master II in 18 ct yellow gold. It is a distinctive design embodying the spirit of the sailor, and combining the rich heritage of Rolex who has been designing timepieces for regatta's since the 1950's.

Rolex Yacht-Master II in Yellow Gold
The Yacht Master II is a large 44 mm timepiece with a blue Ring Command bezel. The bezel can be used as a programmable countdown which can be synchronized with regatta race start times. It has an Oyster bracelet with an Oysterlock folding clasp and the Easylink comfort extension link allowing the wearer to increase the bracelet length when needed.

Touches of blue and red are extended through on the white dial. It has luminescent hour markers surrounded by yellow gold, with a large triangular marker at 12 o'clock and a rectangular one at 6 o'clock for increased visibility.  The luminescent hour hand is clearly defined as a circular disk and is clearly distinguished from the minute hand.  The Chromalight display provides long-lasting blue luminescence in dark situations.

The countdown clock can be programmed for a duration between 1 and 10 minutes and is noted by a hand with a large red triangle with luminescent inside.   There is an additional small seconds dial at 6 o'clock.

The Yacht-Master II uses scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and has a triplock triple waterproofing system, supporting a water-resistance up to 330 feet deep.  The Caliber 4161 self-winding movement provides reserve power up to 72 hours.

Robert De Niro's Hunter/Killer Rolexes

Robert De Niro with a Vintage Rolex Daytona (Paul Newman) image: famewatcher
Robert De Niro is one of the greatest Hollywood A-list actors of all time with a tremendous lineup of some of the greatest movies ever made including The Godfather Part 2 (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Untouchables (1987), Good Fellas (1990), Analyze This (1999) and Meet the Parents (2000). You almost can bank on a De Niro film being a powerful moving experience.  Even his comedies have depth.

Clearly De Niro loves his Rolexes.  In the above picture we can see him with the classic vintage Paul Newman Daytona Reference: 6241 with a white dial and stainless steel case and band.  This classic uses a 37 mm case and is powered by a manual winding Valjoux 72 movement. The screw-down crown makes the winding a bit more challenging, and turned off many buyers at the time.

This is a highly sought after Rolex, often pulling in well over 100k at auction.  It has a plexi-glass crystal and a Paul Newman dial.  The chronograph pushers are at 2 and 4 o'clock and the dial can support measuring track lap times up to 200 kilometers/miles per hour.  It has a centre hour, minute and seconds hands, small seconds hand at 6 o'clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock and 12-hour counter at 9 o'clock.
Robert De Niro in the Academy Award Winning movie Deer Hunter with
a Submariner Ref 5512 No Date - image in Rolex Magazine
In the title of this article I am making reference to De Niro's Submariner in both "Deer Hunter" and more recently, in the movie "Killer Elite."  The Vintage Submariner 5512 had a long production run from 1958 through 1978.  It has a 40mm stainless steel case and matching stainless steel band.  It has no date, a black dial, and as it ages, its lumens create a beautiful and highly coveted patina which is extended to the patina on the hour and minute hands.  It is powered by a caliber 1530 movement and supports a diving depth of up to 660 feet.  It has an acrylic crystal and a black matte dial, making the hour markers stand out impressively. The crown guards protect the scre-down crown.  Because of the long production history, it isn't difficult to pick up a Reference 5512 for under 15k.

Orlando Bloom's Vintage Rolex Collection

Orlando Bloom wearing a vintage Rolex Explorer II image from CrownandCaliber.com

Orlando Bloom is an English actor whose breakthrough role came as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This was followed up by The Hobbit trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean and Troy (2004). Bloom has had great success as part of historical and ensemble casts. However he has received numerous nominations and awards while creating some of the most memorable supporting characters in history. Personally, Bloom has been tied to superstar singer Katy Perry, super model Miranda Kerr (who he married), and actress Kate Bosworth.

In 2009, Orlando Bloom was robbed by thieves connected to the Bling Ring. They stole over $500,000 worth of Rolex timepieces including some of the beautiful Vintage Rolexes shown below.
Rolex Explorer II: Image from Fratello Watches
Orlando Bloom clearly has a taste for vintage Rolex timepieces.  This first Rolex is an Explorer II reference 1655.  It was introduced in 1971 and was manufactured until 1984/5, when it was replaced by the reference 16550.  

The Explorer II was developed for the Speleologists or "cave explorers" who worked day or night underground and would often lose track of time due to lack of sun exposure.  It was adopted by mountain climbers too, who admired the big Orange 24 hour hand indicating AM and PM, on the immobile 24 hour scale indicator on the bezel.  

The Reference 1655 is water resistance to 300 feet.  It has a date window and a cyclops lens.  The stainless steel Explorer II was dubbed the Steve McQueen by collectors even though the timepiece may not have been worn by McQueen.  

The Reference 1655 has an hour hand, minute hand, seconds hand and the 24 hour hand.  It has a large hour triangle marker at 12 o'clock and smaller markers at 9 and 6 o'clock.  There are smaller markers indicating the various 24 hour markers.  For example at 1400 hours, there is a marker closer to the bezel at the beginning and end of the 1400 hour.  Or specifically at 1400 and 1500 hours.  There is another marker closer to the center of the dial, indicating the middle of the 1200 hour or 1430.  These markers can be visible in dark lighting situations.  

The Reference 1655 is powered by the caliber 1575 which provides about 48 hours of power reserve.  The 1655 sells for around 17k in the after market.  The Explorer II has gone through several changes over the years.  In 1984 Rolex introduced the Explorer II 16550 which was built on the Caliber 3085, and changed many features including the hand design.  In 2011 Rolex released the reference 16570 which had a new caliber 3187 and 904L steel case with Oyster bracelet.   It is quite a stunning timepiece with the black dial, and stainless steel case.  It can take a pounding.  The 24 hour luminescent markers are quite different from the modern Explorer II timepieces, making this, particularly more useful in the darkness.

Rolex Milgauss 6543: Image BobsWatches
The second Rolex from Orlando Bloom's collection is a 1950's Vintage Milgauss 6543.  This is quite a rare fined for the famous actor since the Reference 6543 was in production for a short period of time  when it was replaced by the 6541.  It is thought that only 88 of these timepieces actually were manufactured by Rolex.  

The Milgauss got its name from the French "mille" meaning one thousand and "Gauss" referring to the German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss who was well known for his research into magnetic fields.  The Milgauss was designed to resist magnetic fields up to 1,000 gauss.    It was marketed to research laps including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) who reportedly asked Rolex to develop the Milgauss.  It was ideal for people who work around strong magnetic fields such as researchers in laboratories, hospital employees, and power plant workers.  However, by today's standards, the Milgauss would probably not withstand the magnetic fields of some equipment and should probably be removed before handling those tools.  

It is anti-magnetic since the escapement is made of anti-magnetic alloy.  The 6543 has a honeycomb dial that over time turns a dark brown.  First manufactured in 1954, the Reference 6543 features a caliber 1065 automatic movement which provides approx. 44 hours of power reserve.  It has a 40 mm case and has dagger numerals at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock.  The hands are luminous and it has a screw down crown, water resistant case, and a 60 unit black bezel.  The cost on this timepiece ranges from 82-144k at auction.

Vintage Rolex GMT-Master 1675
Image: BobsWatches
The third vintage Rolex from Orlando Bloom's collection is a Rolex GMT-Master 1675 which was produced between 1959 and 1980.  The "Pepsi" coloring of Red and Blue on the dial is quite popular among collectors.  This timepiece has a beautiful yellowing aged patina on the dial's hour markers which contain a large triangle at 12 o'clock, rectangles for 6 and 9 o'clock and circles for all other markers except 3 o'clock where the cyclops lens and date window are located.  The 1675 has a 40mm case and has crown-guards.  Linked to the aviation industry, the GMT-Master has grown to be one of Rolex's finest timepieces made.  

It is powered by a caliber 1575 and sports 44 hours of power reserve.  It is waterproof to 165 feet.  It was initially produced with a linked bracelet, but the Jubilee bracelet was introduced in 1968.  

The 1675 has an hour hand, minute hand and second hand.  The second hand markers surround the entire black dial.  The red 24 hour hand helps aviators and world travelers keep track of a second time zone with the rotating 24 hour bezel.  A world class actor such as Orlando Bloom could definitely appreciate having the ability to track 2 time zones as he travels from one movie set to another or hangs with his entourage, models and actresses.  His collection of vintage Rolex timepieces is quite impressive.  Hopefully the theft does not damper his enthusiasm to collect such fine representations of Rolex history.  


Ellen DeGeneres Wears Rolex

Ellen DeGeneres wearing a steel Rolex Daytona with black dial (Picture from EllenTV)
Ellen Lee DeGeneres is a very popular American comedian, television host, actress, writer, producer and activist.  She got her start doing stand-up in the early 1980's and appeared on The Tonight Show, Oprah Winfrey Show and elsewhere.  She has appeared in person and as a voice over actress in movies The Love Letter (1999, Finding Nemo (2003) and has been highly successful hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2003.  She has also hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys, and even stars in the Disney World's Epcot Center Universe of Energy attraction (Ellen's Energy Adventure).

To say that Ellen is a Rolex fan would be a major understatement.  Although she has been seen wearing Panerai and Audemars Piguet, she is more often seen wearing various styles of Rolex, including new and vintage models.  Although it would be difficult to cover all of her Rolex collection in one sitting here, I will show you three of her more distinctive Rolex timepieces.

Rolex Daytona
Ellen is quoted once as saying that Rolex Daytona watches were her favorite, claiming that the Daytona is the "only watch I wear."  She owns both vintage and new models like the steel Rolex Daytona with the black dial pictured above and to the left here.

Although I could really start with some of the more rare and expensive Daytona's in here collection, I love connecting with Ellen's down-to-earth personality which has helped her tremendous rise to fame, by showing this reasonably priced Cosmograph Daytona in steel.  Certainly one of the lower priced items in Ellen's Rolex collection, this timepiece combines so much power, beauty and craftsmanship into a single unit. Ellen did not get where she is at today without working hard, and this timepiece can keep up with her work ethic like a champ.

The simple timelessness of steel and luminescent hour markers is beautifully countered by the black dial and bezel.  The Oyster case is 40mm 904L steel as is the matching Oyster bracelet.  The black bezel has a tachymetric scale which allows drivers to perfectly measure average speeds up to 400 kilometers or miles per hour.  I don't think you will find Ellen driving a racecar any time soon.  However, she obviously admires the symmetry of the 3 mini dials- a small seconds hand at 6 o'clock, a 30 minute counter at 3 o'clock and a 12 hour counter at 9 o'clock.

The caliber 4130 mechanism gives Ellen approximately 72 hours of power reserve.  The screw down crown and pushers at 2 and 4 o'clock, along with the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal give a water resistance up to 330 feet.

Rolex Day-Date
The second Rolex is a 36mm Presidential Day-Date.  This model comes with either a fluted or domed bezel.  The hour markers could either be luminescent gold markers or gold Arabic numerals.  The 36 mm Oyster case is made out of 18 ct Everose (pink) gold, and is matched with a President 3 link bracelet, also in matching Everose gold. 

The functions of this timepiece include a center hour, minute and seconds hands in gold.  It has an instant date and day in windows at 3 o'clock and 12 o'clock, respectively, with rapid setting and stop seconds for precise time setting.  The screw-down crown and double lock system provide water resistance to 330 feet.  It is powered by a caliber 3155 and has a power reserve of approximately 48 hours.

This is a stunning timepiece by any calculation and I applaud Ellen for adding this distinctive and regal "Presidential" timepiece to her collection.  Ellen is Hollywood royalty and deserves to own one of the crown jewels of the Rolex line.

37mm Rolex Yacht-Master II
The last watch I want to cover here is a beautiful Yacht-Master II, 37 mm in Everose Gold.  Ellen has been seen lately sporting this beautiful "ladies" timepiece.  The smaller 37 mm Oyster case is made from 18 ct Everose (pink) gold.  The bracelet is a flexible metal blades system covered with high-performance elastomer and an oysterlock safety clasp. 

The black luminescent markers surrounded everose gold, look stunning against the black matt sand-blasted dial.  The bidirectional rotatable bezel is similarly in a stunning raised black lettering with lighter black background allows the wearer to calculate sailing time between two buoys.  The date window and high-precision timekeeping of this Swiss Chronometer helps keep Ellen on time even in amidst her busy schedule.

It is powered by a caliber 2236 movement with approximately 55 hours of power reserve.  The scratch-resistant sapphire and Triplock waterproofness system gives the timepiece waterproofness up to 330 feet.  Although Ellen clearly will happily wear a larger 40mm Rolex, this 37 mm is probably more fitting for her petite frame.

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