The legendary “Bao Dai” Rolex Reference 6062, once owned by the last Emperor of Vietnam, could be the most expensive Rolex fake watches with black dials. Again. After selling at the 2002 Geneva auction for what was at the time the most expensive Rolex ever acquired at an auction, the watch disappeared into a private collection, emerging only now for the second time ever. The “Bao Dai” which Phillips auction house calls the “most valuable and desirable Rolexes” and the “most complicated and iconic Oyster-cased model” ever made by the Swiss watch manufacturer leads The Geneva Watch Auctions’ upcoming big sale of seven rare Rolex watches in Geneva, to be held on May 13 and 14 at the Hôtel La Réserve. The watch has a jaw-dropping pre-sale estimate of Rs 9 crore to Rs 19 crore.
The triple calendar with moonphase in yellow golden cases Rolex Oyster Perpetual replica watches is one of three black dial models known to exist with diamond markers. Of the three, the Bao Dai, is the only one to feature diamond markers at the even hours. The mythical timepiece also comes with an interesting story which Aurel Bacs (the impresario now running Phillips’ watch department) shared in a press statement. According to Bacs, who got the backstory from the Emperor’s son, the Emperor purchased the Ref 6062 on a whim in the spring of 1954 in Geneva when he was attending Indochina conflict peace talks. During one of his meetings at Hotel des Bergues (now the Four Seasons), Bao Dai stepped out for some air, walked across the street and entered Philippe Beguin, where he announced himself as the 13th Emperor of Vietnam and asked for the most expensive Rolex watch available in the shop. As the legend goes, the now defunct watch retailer had to call the Rolex headquarters to meet the Emperor’s requirements. Rolex had in stock a Ref. 6062, in 18k gold with a gold bracelet (and diamond-set dial), which was immediately despatched to the shop. The watch at the time cost about Rs 2.58 lakh. It was later passed down to the Emperor’s son, after his death, who later auctioned it off in 2002.
Given the rarity (and the imperial provenance) of the “Bao Dai”, the copy watches with self-widning movements will likely sell for above the current Rolex record of Rs 16,15,37,500 (fees included) achieved by the Rolex Ref. 4113 split-seconds chronograph at the same auction by Phillip’s in 2016.