This Rare $220,000 Vintage Rolex Has an Olympic Backstory

A much sought-after "Jean-Claude Killy" will give you a conversation starter with any Rolex aficionado.

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Source: Matthew Bain Inc.

Jean-Claude Killy was a two-time skiing World Cup winner from the mountains of France who captured the world's attention when he won the so-called "Triple Crown" of alpine skiing in 1968 at Grenoble, France. He won gold in the slalom, giant slalom, and downhill events at the age of 25. 

Later in life, he dabbled in race car driving and acting in movies and married one of his co-stars, French actress and pin-up model Danielle Gaubert.

Jean-Claude Killy in 1967.
Jean-Claude Killy in 1967.
Photographer: ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

It will not surprise you to learn that he was also very handsome.

So it made sense that he became an ambassador for Rolex and remained one for many years.

There is even a "Killy" Rolex nicknamed after him, a manually wound, triple-date calendar Dato-Compax chronograph. Like the man himself, it is elegant and multi-talented.

Any Killy watch is a rare find. They were made only from 1940 to 1960, and their complexity makes them a grail watch for Rolex aficionados. There are lots of minor variations rendering them eminently collectible: For example, on this watch, the "31" date indicator is at 12 o’clock on the dial, whereas in rarer versions the "1" sits at top. This was probably made in 1953. (Killy was 10 then, but who's counting?)

This particular Killy has sunken steel markers, which is rare; more common versions have gold markers. Likewise, in this version there is no luminescence on the dial, which has a lovely patina. It’s in top condition, purchased from the estate of the original owner. It has never been polished, which means none of the markers are worn.

A side view of the Jean-Claude Killy Rolex.
A side view of the Jean-Claude Killy Rolex.
Source: Matthew Bain Inc

At 36 millimeters, it will fit nicely on a smaller wrist, and it will give you something to talk about with any serious Rolex collector.

The Rolex "Jean-Claude Killy" Reference 6036 is available at Matthew Bain Inc for $220,000.

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