When an original Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona is offered for sale, collectors take notice. To own one is a dream for so many. This absolutely fresh to the market watch is the “Paul Newman” Daytona after which all others came second. Likely purchased in 1968, Joanne Woodward chose this reference 6239 fitted with an ‘exotic’ dial, as a gift for Paul Newman as his passion for motorsport was just beginning. Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Newman was seen wearing several generations of Daytona models. This is the first and only ‘exotic’ dial Daytona he wore, making it the ultimate Rolex Daytona wristwatch. This wristwatch has been worn by Paul Newman lovingly over the years, but also well preserved by the consignor, James Cox. The case retains its original proportions, lines, and edges, and in our view, has never been polished. The wonderful, “DRIVE CAREFULLY ME” engraving on the case back is perfectly crisp and completely intact.<br /><br />Likely to have been originally purchased at Tiffany & Co. in New York, an inventory number possibly engraved by the luxury retailer is found on the underside of the left lug. The dial has developed a creamy, warm patina that is consistent with its age. The luminous hour markers have also aged charismatically along with the luminous hands – all completely original and intact. It comes accompanied with a signed letter written by Paul Newman’s daughter, Nell Newman, documenting its provenance and her support of its sale. The Daytona is a model that will forever be associated with Paul Newman, made famous by him thanks to this very timepiece. The present lot therefore presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the most mythical, most important, and most recognizable watches of the 20th century. It’s now being sold for the first time since leaving the inner circle of the Newman family, nearly 50 years after its purchase by Joanne Woodward. We are thrilled to offer it here, with a portion of the proceeds going to The Nell Newman Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation, in support of Paul Newman’s philanthropic values. Its impeccable provenance, incredible “DRIVE CAREFULLY ME” engraving from Joanne Woodward, and wonderful original condition make Paul Newman’s “Paul Newman” Daytona one of the world’s most precious – and most priceless – timepieces. Ever.
Case/Bracelet: The case in very good overall condition, with shallow wear throughout. The case in our view may never have been polished. There are a few heavier marks to the sides, the bezel with some loss of black lettering. Factory finish remains to the lugs, however the bevels are slightly rounded due to wear. The engraving “DRIVE CAREFULLY ME” is perfectly crisp and intact. Dial: The dial is clean and original, having developed a lovely patina from natural age. The luminous plots are original and intact, matching the original luminous material found in the hands. There is some aging oxidation around the inner rim of the dial. Movement: The movement and chronograph are running.
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">Paul Boutros</a><br> Head of Watches, Americas<br> +1 212 940 1293<br> <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>
This actual watch is seen on Paul Newman’s wrist in hundreds of published photographs, and for example, is prominently illustrated in Paul Newman: A Life in Pictures by Pierre-Henri Verlhac, and in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo Editore.
Cosmograph Daytona ‘Paul Newman’
<p>Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.</p><p>One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.</p>