Despite the period, the watch market seems to be bursting with health, at least in the fantastic world of auction houses. During the auction "Important Watches"Organized by Sotheby's, was beaten for well 3.27 Million Dollars (USD), including taxes, a very rare example of Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 16516 in platinum with lapis lazuli dial.
This is the More expensive "modern" Rolex ever auctioned. A record that significantly surpasses the previous one, when the same auction house Sotheby's broke a one-of-a-kind Daytona in platinum with a mother-of-pearl dial ref. 16516, for 817,000 Thousand Dollars (USD).
This specimen, delivered by a private collector, had never appeared in any industry publication or even on the market. Made in 1999, it is theunique example of a Daytona in platinum with a lapis lazuli dial and equipped with a Zenith-derived movement, the cRolex 4030 book. It shares with the other known platinum specimen, both the same reference 16516, that's the letter A of the serial.
This 16516, too, was part of a special order of the then CEO of Rolex Patrick Heiniger, who himself wore a platinum Daytona in the 90s. Mr. Heiniger used to give these 'special' Rolexes to his most important business partners and friends. In fact, the watch beaten by Sotheby's in 2018 was given to Francesca Gobbi - whose family owns the historic Gobbi 1842 store in Milan - on the occasion of her wedding.
To understand the importance of these specimens, it must be remembered that they were made in platinum long before its "official" introduction in 2013, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Daytona.