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Auction Report The Rolex Ref. 6062 'Dark Star' Is The Coolest Watch Of This Week's New York Auctions

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When a new season of auction catalogs comes out, it's often an overwhelming experience. All of a sudden there are hundreds of watches to look at, evaluate, and judge, and with the quality of catalogs these past few years, more and more of them are genuinely worth spending some time examining. But, every season, there are also a few watches that jump out immediately and say "Hey! Over here!" When it comes to Christie's New York evening sale, taking place this Thursday, there was not a moment of doubt as to which watch was most exciting: the Rolex ref. 6062 "Dark Star." And, in fact, I think this is the most exciting watch of this week's New York auctions overall.

On the wrist the Dark Star looks incredible.

So what exactly is this watch beyond the catchy nickname? It is a Role ref. 6062 automatic triple calendar with moonphase in solid yellow gold. The watch dates to circa 1952 and has a special dial adorned with gold star markers at eight of the hours, a so-called stelline dial (meaning "little stars" in Italian). Now, these things on their own would make for a pretty spectacular and rare watch. It's though that around 670 yellow gold 6062s were produced, but only a tiny fraction of these have star dials. A few of these stelline 6062s have come up at auction over the last half-decade or so and they always attract plenty of buyers. But what makes the Dark Star special has nothing to do with how it left the Rolex factory nearly 70 years ago. 

Looking at the caseback you can see the natural color of the yellow gold. 

The patina on the case is nicely offset by the bright, clean dial.

The watch comes paired with a yellow gold Rolex buckle. 

The name Dark Star comes from the heavy patina that covers the bezel and both the top and sides of the case. It has a dark, purple appearance that shows shades of blue, green, and orange, depending on how the light hits it. The overall effect is that of a dark opal or mother-of-pearl. This patina has formed due to the surface of the yellow gold oxadizing, and it could easily be polished or cleaned away – that it remains so dark and thorough is seen as a sign that this watch has likely gone mostly unworn and almost certainly unpolished for decades. You can see the original color of the gold on both the caseback and the razor sharp Super-Oyster crown.

The crown doesn't show the same patina as the case.

And now for the matter of price. The estimate on this watch is $1,000,000-2,000,000, which is nothing to scoff at. It's often hard with these high-value, unique watches to get context or perspective on figures like these, but luckily for us this watch has sold at auction before, giving us a helpful benchmark. Christie's last sold the Dark Star in December 2011, when it fetched $542,500. Just a week before that sale a more pedestrian ref. 6062 sold for under $100,000, meaning that even back in 2011 the Dark Star was deemed worthy of more than a 5x premium. Considering what's happened to the vintage Rolex market in the last seven years, a doubling in price doesn't seem outrageous at all, and when you factor in the sale of unique watches like the Bao Dai and the prices achieved by steel ref. 6062s, it could easily go for more.

No matter the final sale price, the Dark Star is one very special watch.

The Rolex "Dark Star" is lot 160 (the final lot) in Thursday night's sale, which starts at 6:00 PM ET at Christie's New York headquarters.

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