Press release -
Rolex Daytona "Paul Newman" up for Auction
Among the many wristwatches Rolex has produced through the ages, there is hardly a more sought-after model than the Daytona "Paul Newman". Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers can now present the watch with a reference 6239.
The exclusive wristwatch from 1966 has an estimated price of DKK 800,000 – 1,000,000 (USD 118,000-148,000), and it will be for sale at the auction house’s Live Auction in Copenhagen on 9 June at 6 pm.
“The Rolex "Paul Newman" model can easily be described as an icon. The watch is highly sought after for several reasons – there is well-known and unique origins and the dial's exceptional look, for instance. The watch will undoubtedly become the crown jewel in any Rolex collection,” says Vilhelm Islandi Bramsen, Head of the Wristwatch Department at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers.
The offered watch is in fine condition with original parts, a lightly polished case and comes from the original buyer in Denmark.
The Man and the Watch
It was back in 1962 that Rolex became the official timekeeper at the famous Daytona racecourse in Florida. It also happened to be one year before the manufacturer launched the Cosmograph Ref. 6239, nicknamed the “Daytona”. The watch featured a tachymeter scale on the bezel and was developed specifically to fit the needs of race car drivers.
Paul Newman was a celebrated actor but also an avid motorsports enthusiast, a political activist and a generous philanthropist, and he began wearing a variety of the Rolex Daytona models in 1972. Interestingly, the “exotic dials”, and therefore also the “Paul Newman” variations, were hugely unpopular at the time, so much so that Rolex almost couldn’t even give them away. However, as legend has it, the moment Newman was captured on the cover of an Italian magazine sporting the timepiece, it shot up in popularity with amazing velocity.
It is incredible that a watch which began life costing approximately USD 1,500 in the late 1980s went on to become a USD 10,000 watch in the early 1990s, and then a six-figure watch in the early 2000s. In 2018, Bruun Rasmussen sold a Daytona “Paul Newman” ref. 6241 for a price of DKK 1.7 million (USD 327,000 including buyer’s premium), which made it the most expensive wristwatch sold at auction in Denmark.
The most expensive Rolex Daytona ever sold (aside from Paul Newman’s own Daytona, which went for USD 15.5 million), is a Ref. 6263, one of only three known yellow gold Oyster “Paul Newman” Daytonas, with a lemon green dial. It ended up making it to USD 3.7 million at an auction in May 2017.
Start your search for your next watch at bruun-rasmussen.dk/watches
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first Live Auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.
In 2004, the first Online Auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, England, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions, the daily online auctions and - the latest edition - Direct Auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.