RACING DRIVER AUCTIONS OFF ROLEX DAYTONA FOR THE BENEFIT OF UKRAINE’S CHILDREN

Now you have the opportunity to get your hands on a genuine winner’s watch – won by the Danish racing driver Michael Christensen at the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona race. The former world champion wants to support the children of Ukraine in achieving a brighter future and has therefore chosen to put his extremely rare Rolex Daytona up for auction. It will be sold at Bruun Rasmussen’s Copenhagen saleroom on 28 September.

The 32-year-old race car and factory driver for Porsche Motorsport, Michael Christensen, clearly remembers the 2017 edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona race in Florida. After his colleagues had overcome several challenges such as rain and cold weather, he got into the car a good two hours before the finish line would be in sight. From this point in the race, he managed to drive the car from 7th place and all the way to victory. Together with his team, the Dane was able to step onto the winner’s podium, where he received the iconic Rolex Daytona as part of the prize.

Now Michael Christensen has chosen to put his winning watch up for auction. The watch is uniquely laser engraved, proving that it was presented as a prize to the winner of 24 Hours of Daytona. It is valued at DKK 250,000-300,000, and Michael Christensen wants to donate the profits from the sale to Save the Children in Ukraine:

“I am fully aware that it is almost unheard of for a racing driver who has won the 24 hours of Daytona race to sell one of these completely unique watches. The watch is one of my most cherished belongings since it represents one of my biggest and proudest victories. At the same time, the situation in Ukraine is unbearable and sad, and when I looked at the watch, I kept thinking that it could do so much more good than just lying in my safe deposit box. I have been lucky enough to grow up in a safe environment and be able to do what I do now, while most children in Ukraine are now growing up under completely different circumstances. If I can help just a little bit, so they can look forward to a better life, then I will do it,” says Michael Christensen.

Besides the 24 Hours of Daytona, Michael Christensen is known as one of the best sports car drivers in the world having won races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the 24 Hours of Spa, the 12 Hours of Sebring, just as he won the official WC “FIA WEC” in the GTE class during the 2018/19 season.

A Rolex Watch for Winners

The offered Daytona watch is a further development of the sports model that Rolex launched in 1963 under the name Cosmograph and is designed for all kinds of races. Inspired by race car driving, the watch is designed with a stopwatch function and a tachymeter that can be used to measure speed. On the back you will find a laser-engraved inscription confirming that this particular watch was given as a prize at the 24 Hours of Daytona race. The box that the watch comes in is also special, as the decoration is only seen on the Rolex boxes for watches won in this race.

”There are already an incredible number of similarities between watches and cars, not least the great appreciation of the engineering and design work, but it is rare that you see both parts combined in one and the same auction. While many Daytona models may seem the same, it is precisely in the details that things start to get exciting,” says Vilhelm Islandi Bramsen, head of the department for wristwatches at Bruun Rasmussen.

“In addition to the watch’s distinctive caseback, it carries a sentimental value that can be difficult to place a value on, as it was given as first prize at one of the world’s biggest races. It’s a really fantastic story,” he says.

The Daytona model on offer has the ref. 116503 and is made of 18k gold and steel with a white dial, gold hour markers and hands and fitted on an “Oyster” bracelet with folding clasp. The watch has a self-winding chronograph movement, calibre number 4130.

About the Rolex Daytona

In 1965, Rolex launched the Daytona model. Initially, the model was called the Le Mans, but Rolex quickly decided that Daytona suited the watch better. The model is named after the 24 Hours of Daytona race at the Daytona racetrack in Florida, which has long been a centre for some of the world’s most popular motor races. The watch has appeared in countless variations over the years and has been on the market under the name Daytona since 1965.

The special thing about the Daytona model is that it is equipped with a chronograph, while on the bezel of the watch there is a so-called tachymeter scale, which enables you to calculate your average speed over a given distance. The watch is available in several versions, including steel, gold and platinum, and it is also available with different dial variants.

The Daytona watch is valued at DKK 250,000-300,000 and can be viewed at Bruun Rasmussen’s preview in Copenhagen 15-19 September. It goes under the hammer 28 September at 6 pm.

“Going once, going twice. Sold to the lady in the front row”. For 75 years, Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers has sold art, antiques, design, jewellery, wristwatches and collector’s items in the heart of Copenhagen. It was Arne Bruun Rasmussen who founded the auction house at Bredgade 33 in 1948, and until 2022 the Bruun Rasmussen family owned the company. Today, the company is owned by the British auction house Bonhams – one of the world’s leading and oldest auction houses.

Being a part of Bonhams, means that Bruun Rasmussen has joined a global network, which benefits both the art and the customers, the latter has gained access to far more auctions and the former has a better chance of achieving the market’s best hammer prices. The goal is to constantly confirm to our customers that Bruun Rasmussen is a sought-after auction house with the highest expertise in valuation and sales. Bonhams and Bruun Rasmussen share the core values of knowledge, credibility, commitment and renewal, and the old Copenhagen auction house will thus continue to base its business on its well-known values under the auspices of Bonhams.

With CEO Jakob Dupont at the helm, an extensive digitization process has taken place during the past years, making the auction house a significant player on the international market. With solid experience and in-depth knowledge complemented by highly professional advice and appraisal service, the company is the link between sellers and interested buyers from all over the world. Every year, 70,000 unique works of art are sold at three types of auctions – the traditional Live Auctions and the two web-based auctions Online Auction and Direct Auction.

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