SOURCE: Melrose Jewelers

December 26, 2008 04:00 ET

Rolex: Eric Clapton's 1971 "Albino" Rolex Daytona Sells for $505,000

Eric Clapton's 1971 Albino Rolex Daytona Broke Auction House Records by Selling for Over Half-a-Million Dollars

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - December 26, 2008) - Rolex: Eric Clapton's 1971 Albino Rolex Daytona recently broke an auction house record by selling for over $500,000. Rolex is apparently the new champion in the auction house, certifying the watch company's legendary position as the creator of the highest quality wristwatches. On April 23, 2008, an ultra-rare 1971 "Albino" Rolex Daytona, formerly owned by rock n' roll legend Eric Clapton, sold at Sotheby's "Important Watches Auction" for $505,000 including buyer's premium. Although it was expected to fetch $100,000-$150,000 by watch experts, the Rolex Daytona broke all records when it sold for over half a million dollars once the dust had settled.

This article, by John Lavitt, can be viewed in its entirety at the MJ Rolex Watch blog at: http://www.melrosejewelers.com/rolex-watch-blog/eric-clapton's-1971-"albino"-rolex-daytona-sells-for-505000/ in the U.S. or http://www.melrosejewelers.co.uk/rolex-watch-blog/eric-clapton's-1971-"albino"-rolex-daytona-sells-for-505000/ in the U.K.

Created by Rolex in 1971, the watch is nicknamed the "Albino" Daytona because the background and subsidiary dials are a monochrome silver color, in stark contrast to the normally contrasting dials of more common Rolex Daytona watches. It was a design that was not too popular, as the contrasting outlined sub-dials make for better visibility. If you look at the Rolex Daytona models today, they have no "Albinos." Basically, the watch was an unpopular variant of a popular model. Before the auction, the Rolex Daytona was not even expected to be in the top three of most expensive watches sold on that day. At this auction, the 6th most expensive watch sold was a "James Bond" Rolex Submariner from 1959, which brought in $211,000. The 2nd through 5th most expensive watches sold at this auction belonged to Pate Philippe and ranged from $217,000 to $445,000. At the Antiquorum's recent $8.5 million Rolex auction, the top-priced timepiece sold for $248,000.

For years, Eric Clapton has been recognized as a major Rolex watch collector. The guitar legend's personal collection is quite extensive, and Clapton even named his record collection of greatest hits, "Timepieces." Still, nothing in Clapton's collection compares in price to the 1971 Rolex "Albino" Daytona, which will now go down in history as the Rolex that shocked the refined world of high-priced auctions.

About Melrose Jewelers

This article was published by the MJ Rolex Watch Blog, http://www.melrosejewelers.com/rolex-watch-blog/, or in the U.K. at http://www.melrosejewelers.co.uk/rolex-watch-blog/. Melrose Jewelers, USA's largest online Rolex retailer, is a member of the NAWCC (National Association of Watch Collectors), the MJSA (Manufacturers & Jewelers Association of America) and the California Sheriff's Association. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Rolex Day Date President and Presidential, Rolex Oyster, Rolex Submariner, Rolex GMT Master, & Rolex Daytona are trademarks of Rolex USA. Melrose Jewelers is not an authorized agent or affiliated with Rolex USA, Rolex S.A., or Rolex International. All Rolex watches offered by Melrose Jewelers are Preowned; no new Rolex watches are available from Melrose Jewelers. Melrose Jewelers warranties it watches solely through its store. Rolex USA has no obligation to service watches sold by Melrose Jewelers.

The MJ Rolex Watch Blog is published by Melrose Jewelers, http://www.MelroseJewelers.com, USA's largest online Rolex retailer. Melrose Jewelers is a member of the NAWCC (National Association of Watch Collectors), the MJSA (Manufacturers & Jewelers Association of America) and the California Sheriff's Association. Melrose Jewelers is not an authorized agent or affiliated with Rolex USA, Rolex S.A., or Rolex International. All Rolex watches offered by Melrose Jewelers are Preowned; no new Rolex watches are available from Melrose Jewelers. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Rolex Day Date presidential and Rolex Oyster are trademarks of Rolex USA and a list of New Rolex Watch Dealers can be found at the Rolex website. Melrose Jewelers intends to complement the jewelry store offerings of Tiffany's (TIF), Zales (ZLC), Amazon.co.uk (AMZN), Blue Nile UK (NILE), and Signet (Kay Jewelers & Jared The Galleria) (SIG) with Rolex wristwatches.

About the Melrose Jewelers Preowned Rolex Standards:

The 2008 Preowned Rolex Awards Winners are: Watch Finder (WatchFinder) WatchFinder.co.uk, Second Time Round (Second Time Around) SecondTimeRound.com, Dream Watches Dream-Watches.co.uk, Watches.co.uk, & Blowers Jewellers blowers-jewellers.co.uk, A and E Watches (A & E Watches, A&E Watches), Time and Gems (Time & Gems, Time&Gems), Portero, JomaShop (Joma Shop), Bernard Watch and Stein Diamonds.

Melrose Jewelers U.K. http://www.MelroseJewelers.co.uk

Melrose Jewelers Canada http://www.melrosejewelers.ca

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