6036 Rolex ‘Jean-Claude Killy’ Datocompax, Pink Gold

There’s Rolex, and then there’s complicated Rolex. The latter, we’ve only seen a handful of times and it’s pretty much all vintage. You could make an argument for the Sky-Dweller, but I wouldn’t want to. No, full calendar and split seconds Rolex emerged in the 50s and disappeared as quickly as they came, now extremely collected. The most complicated is arguably this, a complete calendar chronograph better known as the Jean-Claude Killy. And it’s a lifetime’s study. This is the kind of watch that will garner all the attention in a room full of Paul Newmans. Particularly in pink gold on matching Oyster bracelet.


French alpine skier Jean-Claude Killy took home a trifecta of golds in the 1968 Winter Olympics, a dominant force on the slopes. This skill rocketed the man to public consciousness and early 70s limelight. Rolex have a habit of sponsoring the most established athletes, whatever the discipline. This strategy was in play even then, and Killy was in fact a Rolex ambassador. Moreover, he was eventually on the board. And yet, the Rolex which bears his name has hardly been seen on his wrist. It is reported that Killy owned a 6236, but photographic evidence is slim. Nonetheless, the connection is now firm established and collectors rarely let a good name go free.

The Killy evolution is comprised of five references: 4768, 4767, 5036, 6236, and this 6036. All boasted a triple calendar and chronograph, all anti-magnetic, and some in Oyster cases. This 6036 (an Oyster toward the end) was produced in approximately 500 steel examples, 170 yellow gold examples, and 144 pink gold examples such as this. Pink gold examples were regularly 250K watches in 2015. By 2018 that was 500K. Now, we’re seeing multiple examples top a million, particularly on bracelet. By the way, can we all take a moment to appreciate how sexy the straight-end Oyster bracelet in pink gold is? Today, this is one of the most historically significant Rolex references ever made, a marker of times gone by and what the brand might have been had they pursued serial complication with the same tenacity as Patek did. Oh, what might have been.  

This example is not perfect, but great. The case has been polished, not abusively but the top of the hallmark is on its way out. The dial has probably been cleaned one lightly in the 90s if I had to guess. There is patina present and overall it’s great, with only very light patina present. It comes as part of Phillips spring auctions.