White Gold Rolex Submariner Prototype Becomes World's Most Expensive Sub

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White Gold Rolex Submariner Prototype (photo" Christie's)
The Rolex Afternoon portion of Christie’s latest watch auction took place in Geneva, Switzerland just hours ago and produced sales records for their collection of vintage Rolex timepieces. One of their record breaking watches was the White Gold Rolex Submariner Prototype from the 1970s. This unique dive watch stood out for its bezel, material and condition.

The rarity of this prototype certainly played a role in helping it earn the auction house over 631,500 Swiss francs, the second highest Rolex sale this afternoon behind the Green Khanjar Daytona Reference 6263 that brought in 727,500 Swiss francs. The biggest wristwatch sale of the auction was a Patek Philippe Haile Selassie Reference 2497, which went for 2,911,500 Swiss francs, more than triple its estimated value.

Hodinkee covered the auction results in their latest blog post, commenting on the strange circumstance of this and other rare Rolex models bringing in record amounts this weekend. This Prototype model certainly deviates from what watch enthusiasts would consider the most classic staples of the Submariner model. But it seems that collectors are beginning to favor these deviations over adherence to brand standards.

There are many examples of unique vintage Rolex watches that look nothing like contemporary Rolex model configurations. In a previous post, I presented five of the rarest Rolex models in the world, none of which look like their popular counterparts. Many of them, like the White Gold Prototype, never even went into production. However, the results of recent vintage watch auctions like Christie’s A Rolex Afternoon prove that scarcity and singularity are the ultimate luxury.

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