Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona - Watch of the century

It’s hard to understand how just one man could make such a difference to the value of a watch, but that’s exactly what happened when the Rolex Paul Newman’s Daytona sold at auction for $17.8m in 2013. We might be more accustomed to seeing watches fetch huge figures at auction than ever before, but this one watch has come to represent all that is good about Hollywood longevity.

Newman was the exception to the rule of ‘you can’t have it all’; he was Hollywood’s golden boy, he cherished his wife, made classic films that have stood the test of time, and was a proactive humanitarian fundraiser. That sort of sparkle can rub off on a watch.

The Rolex and Newman relationship

As experienced pre-owned watch jewellers in central London, S&R are always keen to see the partnerships that Rolex creates with celebrities, but none match the brilliance authenticity of the Newman and Rolex relationship.

Not only an actor, Newman was a bona fide racing fan, with his love of the sport sparked by his starring role in 1969 film, ‘Winning’. It’s unsurprising that, soon after, Newman was frequently spotted wearing a Rolex Daytona, the very watch which was named after the world-famous Daytona Speedway in Florida.

The development of this timepiece

Surprisingly, the Rolex Cosmograph, which was first produced in 1962, had been a slow seller for the brand. It had been sold with a hefty discount as there were so few of them in circulation, and were known for their ‘exotic’ dials. Everything changed when Newman featured in an Italian magazine article, wearing a Daytona 6239 with the ‘exotic’ white dial that had failed to capture hearts and minds previously.

While Newman was an established Rolex fan, wearing several Cosmographs – including steel white gold versions of the Zenith movement Daytona – it is the References: 6239, 6241, 6262, 6263 6264 6265 that he is most famous for, with those with the exotic dial named the ‘Paul Newman’.

What makes a 'Paul Newman Rolex' so special?

The exotic dial featured on the Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ models can be spotted for their contrasting black sub-dials against a white background or vice versa. With an outer track in the same colour as the three sub-dials, each has hash marks with small square ends.

Pre-owned Rolex watches at Suttons & Robertsons London Jewellers 

 S&R London Jewellers are renowned for having a wide selection of pre-owned Rolex watches for ladies and pre-owned Rolex watches for men. Discover our pre-owned Rolex collection online today, or feel free to visit us in our London Store to see your options in-person. 

Here at S&R London, we also stock pre-owned designer, luxury, vintage and antique watches from other world leading and Swiss watch brands such as Rolex, Breitling, Carter, TUDOR, OMEGA, TAG Heuer, Bvlgari and more. 

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