Not owned by a celebrity or an athlete, but this unique Rolex Yacht-master belonged to the boss of Rolex itself, and it may sell for more than $2.2 million

A very special and ultra-rare Rolex is soon going to cross the auction block which can sell for up to $2.2 million. The highly desirable timepiece is a one-of-a-kind Rolex Yacht-Master that was originally owned by the Swiss watch brand’s former CEO, Patrick Heiniger. The Heiniger family lead the Rolex brand for more than half a century His father was a close friend of Rolex’s founder Hans Wilsdorf and eventually took over the company as the Directeur General de Rolex after Wilsdorf passed away in 1960. Having joined Rolex in 1986, Patrick became the third managing director in the brand’s history in 1992 and was appointed as the CEO in 1995. He helmed the iconic company till 2008 and passed away five years later from an unspecified illness aged 62. He’s remembered as the Rolex chief who became the architect of a crucial restructuring of the brand and simplifying its production process.

Released in 1992, Yacht-Master is one of the newest models in Rolex’s line-up. It was also the first and only new model to be launched under the leadership of Patrick Heiniger. During his tenure, Patrick commissioned some of the most important and precious Rolex watches ever produced, including the bespoke Yacht-Master currently up for sale. The unique timepiece is a prototype that was created to celebrate the ten-millionth chronometer movement, commemorated with a special dial inscribed with the text “Dix Millionième Chronometre.”

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Image – Patrick Heiniger

Patrick Heiniger was known for his love for platinum and chose it as the material to make the prototype Yacht-Master. The bespoke timepiece features a 40mm platinum case and houses the same caliber 3135 that powered the Submariner at the time. It gets a custom engraved winding rotor which is also made from platinum. The unique dial has a one-of-a-kind silver color and finish. Additionally, it features diamond hour markers, baguette-cut sapphires at six and nine, and a triangular-cut sapphire at 12.

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The historically important Rolex will go under the hammer at the Monaco Legends Group’s ExclusiveTimepieces auction that will take place on 22 and 23 April. The watch is estimated to sell anywhere between €1,000,000 –⁠ 2,000,000 ($1.1 million to $2.2 million), but we won’t be surprised if it ends up fetching more.

[All images by Monaco Legand Auctions]

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Written By
Sayan Chakravarty, a Senior Writer at Luxurylaunches, brings over 10 years of automotive journalism expertise. He provides insightful coverage of the latest cars and motorcycles across American and European markets, while also highlighting luxury yachts, high-end watches, and gadgets. An authentic automobile aficionado, his commitment shines through in educating readers about the automotive world. When the keyboard rests, Sayan feeds his wanderlust, traversing the world on his motorcycle.