Patrizzi & Co Announces the Auction of “The Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection”

On 22 March 2009, Patrizzi & Co will auction “The Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection” at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, Milan. The Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection is considered as the one of the finest collections of Rolex watches in the world.

Davide Blei, a legend in the world of international media buying, is noted for collecting only the very best examples of Rolex which he believes is one of the most important watch brands in existence. “I chose Rolex for the beauty of their watches,” says Blei. “They have a wonderful way of putting color, metals, and tones together.”

The Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection, Lot 41: Ref 1680: Yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date “Submariner” 660 ft/200 m, Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified made in 1973. Estimate: € 15,000 – 20,000.

Inevitably, Blei’s Collection will be compared with the Mondani Rolex Collection. Where Mondani’s collection was probably one of the most comprehensive collections ever made of Rolex watches, Blei’s collection is made up of probably the most exquisite examples of vintage Rolex that you are ever likely to see.

The Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection, Lot 65: Ref 6264: Stainless steel “Paul Newman”, Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with white dial, black subdials and black bezel made in 1970. Estimate: € 40,000 – 60,000.

Blei’s collection includes exceptional examples of Rolex Paul Newmans and Jean-Claude Killys as well as some rare Stelline Ref 6062s, several of the famous Daytonas, and several unique mini collections, including important chronographs, and a collection of personalized watches – all with individual logos on the dial.

The Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection, Lot 112: Ref 6062: Pink gold Rolex Super-Oyster “Stelline”, Perpetual Officially Certified Chronometer made in 1951. Estimate: € 150,000 – 200,000.

Of the watches in the collection that are very much currently “in vogue” there are superb examples of the Submariner, the GMT, the Explorer, and the Sea Dweller.

The Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection, Lot 114: Ref 3525: Pink gold monochrome “Monoblocco” Rolex Oyster Chronograph Antimagnetic with pink dial made in 1940. Estimate: € 70,000 – 90,000.

Recognized as probably the world’s most important watch expert, Osvaldo Patrizzi, founder and chairman of Patrizzi & Co, trained originally as a watchmaker and then, spotting the growing interest of watch aficionados in collecting and buying these miniature masterpieces, he formed his first auction house.

Patrizzi was the first to develop thematic auctions as he watched the growth in market interest in specialist complication watch brands such as Patek Philippe, Cartier, Rolex, Swatch, Vacheron Constantin, and Omega.

Update: 22 March 2009

Auction Results

The most exciting point of the Davide Blei sale is not just the fact that 98% of the lots were sold, it is the fact that there is an active, strong demand and enthusiasm for fine timepieces. These 114 Rolexes were of exceptional quality and rarity, and all in excellent condition with great character. So it is comforting to know that despite a global economic crisis, fine horology remains, as it has throughout history, a strong, stable market, capable of inspiring great passion and excitement.

The auction room was packed and spilled into the adjacent lounge. Over 200 people followed the sale from start to finish (with more than 100 online). There was plenty of action, with clients online, bidding or simply following the sale, people packing the room, telephone bidding from around the world, and the written bids which kept coming up to the last minute. The sale fetched a total of € 2.736.400.

The top lots were:

  • Lot 12: Rolex “Oyster Perpetual, Officially Certified Chronometer”, case N° 942663, Ref 6062, made in 1953: Sold at Euros 197.000,–.
  • Lot 20: Rolex, “Oyster Chronograph, Antimagnetic”, case N° 576370, movement N°10323, Ref 6236, made in 1958: Sold at Euros 75.000,–.
  • Lot 34 :Rolex “Oyster Perpetual, Officially Certified Chronometer,” case N° 788588, movement N°10341, Ref 6062, made in 1951: Sold at Euros 82.000,–
  • Lot 39: Rolex “Oyster Perpetual, Officially Certified Chronometer” case N° 942576, movement N° 10278, Ref 6062, made in 1953: Sold at Euros 130.000,–
  • Lot 63:Rolex “Oyster Chronograph Anti-Magnetic” “Jean-Claude Killy”, case N° 917888, Ref 6036, made in 1952: Sold at Euros 65.000,–
  • Lot 73: Rolex “Oyster Chronographe” Antimagnetique Ref 6032, case N° 693994, made in 1950: Sold at Euros 77.000,–
  • Lot 88: Rolex Oyster Chronograph, “Anti-magnetic”, case N° 116000, Ref 6036, made in 1955: Sold at Euros 90.000,–
  • Lot 99: Rolex, “Oyster Chronographe” Anti-Magnetique, case N° 584448, Ref 6036, made in 1947: Sold at Euros 96.000,–
  • Lot 105: Rolex “Oyster Chronograph” Anti-Magnetic, case N° 907471, Ref 6034, made in 1952: Sold at Euros 80.000,–
  • Lot 112: Rolex “Oyster Perpetual ” Officially Certified Chronometer, case N°788649, movement N° 10323, Ref 6062, made in 1951:Sold at Euros 150.000,–

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