Rolex Daytona Anniversary - Aurel Bacs Interview

Rolex Daytona Anniversary - Aurel Bacs Interview

Aurel Bacs, an internationally renowned specialist and auctioneer, joined Christie's in 2003 as international co-head of the watch department, having been in the auction industry as a watch specialist since 1995.

Mr. Bacs has held sole responsibility for Christie's watch department worldwide since 2010.

Widely acknowledged as the best auctioneer in horology, he is the only quadri-lingual auctioneer for watches in the world.

W: What does the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph represent for you?

AB: A monument! And a mirror of 20th century design, equally important to the history of wristwatches like the Acropolis and the Colosseum are essential to antique architecture.

Do you have or have you ever wanted to own a Rolex Daytona? If yes, could you please tell us the ref / year ?

Throughout my “horological career” I desired to own Rolex Daytonas, especially in my 20s. I owned and wore a variety of stainless steel models. I remember in particular the automatic reference 16520 and manual wind reference 6265.

According to you, why has this watch become so mythical?

In my view, I think it is down to two rational factors and one soft factor. Firstly, its simplicity, thanks to its clear lines, it has remained timeless. Secondly, its functionality which meant that it was not just art for art’s sake, as is the case for so many other watches which one can hardly wear. The third element, which I can’t explain, is the Daytona’s mythical appeal similarly to that of a Hollywood star or famous artist; you either are a star or you are not but stardom can’t be created or rationally explained.

50 years after its launch, how do you imagine the future evolution of this emblematic model?

I believe that it is not just a privilege for Rolex to have such a mythical watch in their line like the Daytona but also a burden. In fact, any company blessed with such a legendary product is responsible for looking after it and maintaining its reputation and tradition. For example, Porsche with the 911 and Hermès with the Kelly bag must know the feeling…

In this context, I wish Rolex and the Daytona a happy 50th birthday for the last 50 years and every success for the next 50 years that Daytona remains the most desirable chronograph wristwatch in the world.