New York Auction 26 October 2017
Paul Newman’s “Paul Newman” Daytona. One of the world’s most precious – and most priceless – timepieces. Ever.
Lot. 8 Ref. 6239 An iconic, highly attractive, and historically important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with off-white dial and tachymeter bezel. Estimate in excess of $1,000,000.
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.
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.