Only white-gold Rolex Daytona going to auction

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The only Rolex Daytona in white gold | Phillips photos

Daytona Beach is, of course, a historic racing venue in northeastern Florida — first on the beach course and later on the high-banked oval and infield road course — and has shared its first name with some highly collectible cars (and not only Ferrari, but the high-winged, pointy-nosed 1969 Dodge) and watches (Rolex).

One of those Rolex Daytona watches — so rare it’s been nicknamed “The Unicorn” — headlines the Daytona Ultimatum auction, scheduled for May 12 by Phillips and Bacs & Russo. The Unicorn is the only Rolex Cosmograph Daytona made of white gold, and it is going to auction for the first time.

“Until now, its owner has always asserted that this Cosmograph would never be for sale. Quite simply, it was irreplaceable,” Phillips said in its news release. “But realizing the good that could come from a public sale, John Goldberger has decided the time has come to part with it.”

Goldberger is selling the watch to benefit Children Action, a foundation that benefits youth around the world, Phillips said.

The Daytona Ultimatum will be a themed auction offering 32 rare Rolex Daytona watches.

Except for the white-gold catch (No. 6265), Rolex produced manually wound Daytonas only in stainless steel or in 18- or 14-karat yellow gold, and sometimes with custom dials and bracelets.

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But in 1970, the company did one chronograph in white gold as a special order for a German retailer.

“By giving most probably the rarest vintage Rolex watch, John Goldberger is not only making a phenomenal philanthropic gesture but he is also contributing to provide a long-term positive difference in the lives of thousands of children,” Bernard Sabrier, founder of Children Action, is quoted in the Phillips news release.

“I never dreamt I would one day sell this watch, and I have known about this watch for long enough to realize what it means to John Goldberger to have come to this decision,” said Aurel Bacs, senior consultant to Bacs & Russo. “I am therefore honored to have been entrusted with the sale of such an extremely important piece, the only white gold manual winding Daytona known to the world.”

The auction is scheduled to take place at the Hotel La Reservet in Geneva, Switzerland.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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