The Rarest Rolex Yacht-Master Ever Made Just Sold For $4 Million

Yacht rock.

The Rarest Rolex Yacht-Master Ever Made Just Sold For $4 Million

Image: Monaco Legend Group

When it comes to the world’s biggest watch auctions, Rolex is a brand that’s always very well represented, with rare and vintage pieces from the brand regularly selling for big bucks. But a luxe take on an otherwise somewhat overlooked Rolex watch (at least from an auction result perspective) has just sold for a particularly hefty sum…

First introduced in 1992, the Rolex Yacht-Master is a bit of an unusual beast. It’s very similar to the Submariner, arguably Rolex’s most iconic watch, yet it isn’t quite as water-resistant (only rated to 100m compared to the Sub’s 300m) and features a more tactile, distinct bezel. Essentially, it’s a luxury Submariner, meant more for above-water adventures than properly aquatic ones.

Perhaps it’s because of its relatively short history, but the Yacht-Master has never been an auction darling – at least compared to models like the Daytona or GMT-Master. However, one Yacht-Master has made a big splash at Monaco Legend Auctions’ Exclusive Timepieces auction over the weekend.

The watch in question? A fully platinum piece unique ref. 16620PT once owned by the former CEO of Rolex, Patrick Heiniger, which sold for a whopping 2.625 million USD (~3.928 million AUD).

WATCH our guide to the top 5 most expensive Rolex watches ever sold at auction below.

Some more details about the one-off watch: as mentioned above, it features a platinum case, bezel and bracelet. If that wasn’t luxurious enough, it also features diamond and sapphire indices. Very bougie.

But what’s really cool about it is that it’s got a unique dial colour – a very light grey – as well as the text “Dix Millionième Chronometre” in place of the model name and chronometer certification. It also reportedly has a specially-engraved automatic rotor.

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As you may have guessed, the model was produced for Patrick Heiniger to commemorate Rolex producing 10 million chronometers – an outstanding achievement for the brand. The Yacht-Master was also the only new Rolex model introduced during Heiniger’s tenure (indeed, it was released the same year he took the reigns of the legendary Swiss brand), so the model had a particular significance to him.

In short: it’s the rarest Yacht-Master ever made, and now it’s officially the most expensive, too.

Image: Monaco Legend Group

This Yacht-Master isn’t the only piece unique Rolex produced in the 90s. Heiniger also had a few platinum Daytonas with precious stone dials made, which he gave to friends and associates.

One of those, the Rolex Daytona Lapis Lazuli Platinum ref. 16516, sold for 3.27 million USD (~4.89 million AUD) back in 2020, making it the most expensive platinum Rolex ever sold.