On the 22nd, Sotheby’s auction house announced on its official website Ins account that it will sell a rare Rolex Daytona Ref.16516 at the Hong Kong auction in April. According to Rolex naming rules, the number at the end of the model represents the material of the case, and “6” is platinum.
Although Rolex Platinum Daytona is not rare now, it is also a rare style. The previous generation of Platinum Daytona, which used Zenith’s movement, has always been a “legendary” existence until the public appearance of Ref.16516 in 2018.
According to Sotheby’s watch department head Sam Hines (Sam Hines), there are only five Daytonas made of Pt950 platinum. This was originally customized by Patrick Heiniger, the former CEO of Rolex. Four of them were given to friends, colleagues and partners, and he himself kept one.
Two pieces have been unveiled before, the first is Ref.16516 with mother-of-pearl plate. It is a wedding gift given by Rolex CEO Heiniger to Francesca Gobbi and Romain Sardou in 1999. The commemorative engraving of that year is still kept on the back of the case. The family behind the woman Gobbi owns Gobbi 1842, a famous Milan watch shop that was born in Italy in the 19th century.
The auction was launched in 2018, and the final transaction price was approximately RMB 6 million, which was the most expensive Hyundai Rolex model at the time.
The second unveiled Ref. 16516 is a natural lapis lazuli dial, which was auctioned for 22.9 million yuan in July 2020. It also broke the historical auction record of the most expensive modern Rolex at the time.
The interesting thing is that these three Ref.16516 are all special dials, one mother-of-pearl, one lapis lazuli, and this Stella, all of which are different.
Rolex used a process in the 1970s and 1980s to cover the copper substrate with colored paint first, then iterate several times, and finally apply a layer of varnish and polish. Because the varnish is translucent, it will present a lustrous and translucent feeling under light, much like a traditional enamel plate. Rolex used this craft extensively on the Day-Date series and released a variety of colorful styles. Because the supplier of this paint is called “Stella”, and this latter kind of disc also has its own exclusive name “Stella dial”.
In 2020, Rolex will apply this “Stella dial” process to the brand’s most introductory series “Oyster Perpetual”, launching three sizes of 31, 36 and 41 mm, and five colors of yellow, red, green and blue. Although it is the most entry-level series, the price of the new OP in the secondary market is stimulated because the public price is not high and the sports models are too hot.
This year’s Oyster Perpetual Stella fire, Tiffany color is the highest premium, 36mm version of the public price of 43,400 yuan, the secondary market over the public price of almost 30,000.
Rare watch + rich story background + current popular Tiffany color Stella dial, under such a background, this Ref.16516 will feel like heaven.