Golf legend Jack Nicklaus's gold Rolex sold at auction Tuesday evening for $1 million, equating to $1.22 million with the buyer's premium.
The Golden Bear's Rolex, which he wore for over 50 years and during 12 of his majors, sold Tuesday night at an auction held by Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo. The watch attained mythical status in the golfing and watch world. It adorned Nicklaus' wrist as he hoisted trophies, appearing in countless photos. It is widely considered one of the three most important watches ever in sports.
Rolex gave Nicklaus the 18-karat-gold Rolex 1803 Day-Date as a gift in 1967. While sports stars and celebrities often sell watches at auction, it's rare for a watch to be worn for so long – and during the biggest moments of such a storied career. Gold Day-Dates from the same time period, in a similar condition, would typically sell for $10,000 to $12,000.
Proceeds of the sale will go to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, which works with pediatric hospitals across the U.S. to fight childhood illness.
The most expensive watch ever sold at auction is a Patek-Philippe one-off timepiece that sold at a charity-auction for $31 million in November. Before that, the record-holder was Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona, which sold for $17.7 million in 2017.
Also selling Tuesday was Marlon Brando's stainless-steel Rolex GMT-Master, which he signed on the back and which wore during the filming of Apocalypse Now." It sold for $1.95 million, equating to $1.952 with the buyer's premium.