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If you’re interested in watches, you’ve heard about the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona. But what makes it so special? And how did it get its name? Did Paul Newman wear it in a movie? Did he sell it and donate the profits to charity? What gives? And when you’re done reading about the watch, let us know if you’re interested in acquiring one – we have access to one (pictures of the actual watch available are at the end of the blog). Keep in mind that one of these watches fetch tens of thousands of dollars – and that’s being conservative.
Rather than recreate the wheel, I’ll pull Wikipedia’s explanation of the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona:
Although Rolex continues to manufacture a version of the “Daytona”, the rarest versions of the Rolex Daytona are the first versions, those whose reference number contains four digits, for example the 6238, 6239, 6240, 6241, 6262, 6263 6264 and 6265 References, produced from 1961 to 1987. The 6238, 6239, 6241 and 6262 References were the first versions, and were not “Oyster” versions, they did not have a screw down winding crown or screw down timing buttons. The movement used was a manual wind Valjoux cal. 72, named the Rolex Cal. 722. The 6263, 6264 and 6265 References were produced commencing 1970, were Oyster versions with screw down crown and screw down timing buttons. The movement used remained based on the manual wind Valjoux cal. 72, but with some refinements, and was called the Rolex Cal. 727. These Daytonas are very rare and very collectible. The movement has proven to be exceptionally reliable and accurate. In fact, the Cal. 727 was certified as a chronometer in some cases.
The rarest Daytonas are those with the so-called Paul Newman dial. Its distinguishing features are subtle and often unnoticeable to the untrained eye. First, a Paul Newman dial must be in a Reference 6239, 6241, 6262, 6263, 6264 or 6265 watch, installed by Rolex Geneva as original. All of these References had acrylic domed crystals. That aside, the sub-dials of a Paul Newman dial have block markers instead of lines, will have cross-hairs across each sub-dial meeting at center (unlike the normal Daytona), and the minutes sub-dial placed at 9:00 is marked at 15, 30, 45 and 60, whereas a normal Daytona dial is marked at 20, 40 and 60. The dial may or may not have the word “Daytona” written on the dial above the hour sub-dial located at 6:00. The dial came in four color and layout combinations, and was installed as an option by Rolex on the Daytona line of watches in the Reference 6239, 6241, 6262, 6263, 6264 or 6265 watches. The watch has been out of production since the early 1970s, and Rolex is not able to supply any replacement version of it.
It is said that Paul Newman wore this watch until his death in 2008, and had done so since 1972, the watch having been given to him by his wife, Joanne Woodward, when Newman took up automobile racing.
The original Daytona watches were not in demand when produced, and were inexpensive, but have gained rapid esteem among collectors, are known as the “Holy Grail” of collectible watches and fetch considerable prices at auction.
So there you have it! Now…do you want one? Get out your checkbook – but don’t worry – this is an amazing investment. A collector’s item and a work of art.
Check out the Rolex watches for sale through eRelyx.