Rolex - The Watch Auction: One Geneva Saturday, May 9, 2015 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1971
    Reference No: 6263, stamped 6262 inside the case back
    Case No: 2'874'334
    Model Name: Oyster Cosmograph "Albino"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, 727
    Bracelet/Strap: Rolex Oyster, reference 7835, end links numbered 271
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding clasp, stamped 2.71
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: Published in the Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo, pages 372 to 375

  • Catalogue Essay

    Few vintage collectors watches are so famous that they have a name on their own: “the Duke Ellington 1563”, “ the Bao Dai 6062” , “the platinum J.B. Champion” and the “Oyster 6263 Albino” to name just a few of the best known. What these uber-watches have all in common is their extreme rarity, famous ownership and record- and history-making appearance at auction.

    The present Rolex reference 6263 is one of only four known examples of white dialled Cosmographs where the subsidiary dials are not in black with white printing but in the same silver finish as the dial plate. The visual impact is striking and the more a specialist’s eye is trained to see Rolex Daytonas the more he (or she) will believe that they are victims of an optical illusion. It comes as no surprise that the market and scholars have named the all-white Cosmographs “Albino”.

    This highly unusual reference 6263 dates to 1971 and has its correct calibre 727 movement but also the correct MK1 pushers and bezel for the period.

    The earliest years of this watch are unknown, but it is understood that Eric Clapton purchased the watch in the late 1990s. It was then auctioned at Christie’s New York on the 5th of June 2003, as property from the Collection of Eric Clapton. A few years later, at Sotheby’s New York, it smashed the previous world record for any Rolex Cosmographs when selling for 505,000 USD, five times its presale auction estimate.

    Without a doubt, there are very few Rolex Cosmographs so prestigious, desirable and valuable as the present “Albino”. We are honoured to have been entrusted with the sale of this iconic wristwatch.

    Sir Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945), is an English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Ref. 6263, stamped 6262 inside the case back
An extremely rare and highly important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, "THE OYSTER ALBINO", formerly in the collection of Sir Eric Clapton

37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF500,000 - 1,000,000 

Sold for CHF1,325,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm