A fine and culturally significant yellow gold wristwatch with day, date and bracelet, sold to benefit the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1967
    Reference No: 1803, inside case back further stamped 1800
    Movement No: DD7172
    Case No: 1'608'186
    Model Name: Day Date
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1555, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, endlinks stamped 53B, max length XXXmm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp, stamped 8385
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by a Rolex green leather presentation box and outer packaging.

  • Video

    Game Changers: Jack Nicklaus

    "From April 1967, I wore that watch for 50 years. It was just a part of me." In advance of our upcoming Game Changers watch auction in New York, Jack Nicklaus shares the story of the first watch he ever owned, which he fortuitously received the same year he won his second U.S. Open and set the U.S. Open scoring record. All proceeds from the sale of Nicklaus' prized Rolex Day-Date will directly benefit the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Phillips is honored to present the cherished wristwatch of the greatest champion in the history of professional golf, Jack Nicklaus – also known as the Golden Bear. The Day‐Date is Rolex’s most prestigious model and one of the world’s most famous watches. Originally launched in 1956, the Day‐Date, with its famous “President” bracelet, was the first wristwatch to feature a date and fully spelled‐out day of the week indication on its dial. The sporty elegance of the Day‐ Date is appealing to a variety of consumers around the world, due to its versatility, robustness, and elegance, enduring for over six decades as one of the most popular and sought after Rolex models. In 18-karat yellow gold and fitted with a stunning and extremely rare champagne‐ colored “pie‐pan”‐style dial, with tapered and faceted baton hour- markers —reminiscent of golf tees.

    This Rolex Day‐Date Reference 1803 in yellow gold has graced the wrist of Mr. Nicklaus nearly every day since he received it as a gift from Rolex in 1967 and would truly become one of his faithful companions over the course of his illustrious career. The watch was present when he won 12 of his record 18 professional major championship titles — often photographed when Jack Nicklaus hoisted the championship trophy following his victories. This particular Rolex’s history is one of the rare instances where a singular timepiece has been photographed repeatedly, in this case over a span of five decades, on the wrist of an athlete or celebrity.

    The story of this important Rolex begins in the late 1960s. While attending the Canada Cup in Tokyo in 1966, Mr. Nicklaus was offered a watch of his choice during a Rolex cocktail event that he attended with golf icons Gary Player and Arnold Palmer. Mr. Player, who was sponsored by Rolex at the time, recommended that Mr. Nicklaus choose the gold Day‐Date on display. Having never previously owned a watch, Mr. Nicklaus decided to take his friend’s advice. Mr. Nicklaus received his golden Rolex Reference 1803 — aptly matching his famous moniker, Golden Bear — the following year in 1967, the same year he won his second U.S. Open and set the U.S. Open scoring record. Although he eventually acquired a number of watches throughout his lifetime, Mr. Nicklaus has revealed that this Rolex is the very first watch he owned, and a wristwatch that he wore daily, barely ever leaving his wrist for over 50 years.

    Phillips is especially proud to announce that 100% of the present lot’s proceeds will directly benefit the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and its ongoing efforts to provide the best care to children in need around the world. With its superb provenance combined with Mr. Nicklaus’ iconic athletic status, the present lot is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain one of the most widely viewed and most important Rolex wristwatches from one of the greatest athletes and champions of all time. Phillips is honored to assist with the Foundation’s philanthropic efforts and further extend the legacy of The Golden Bear.


    Buyers may claim a charitable contribution deduction for the hammer price, but such deduction will be limited to the excess of the hammer price paid for the lot over its fair market value. In accordance with applicable IRS regulations, Phillips will provide a good faith estimate of the fair market value of the lot upon request from the buyer. Phillips assumes no liability of any kind or nature whatsoever in regards to the services of the IRS, any values issued by the IRS, nor for any delays by the IRS in issuing any such values.
    By making a request to Phillips for the fair market value, the buyer expressly waives any and all claims of any nature against Phillips in this regard.
    Bidders are advised to consult with their own tax advisors to determine the application of the tax law to their own specific circumstances and whether a charitable contribution deduction is available.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    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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Rolex

Ref. 1803, inside case back further stamped 1800
A fine and culturally significant yellow gold wristwatch with day, date and bracelet, sold to benefit the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation

1967
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

Estimate
$100,000 - 200,000 
CHF99,100-198,000
€90,400-181,000
HK$782,000-1,560,000

sold for $1,220,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

GAME CHANGERS

New York Auction 10 December 2019