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Rolex Daytona, ref. 6239 ''Paul Newman''. Estimate: USD 118,000-148,000
Rolex Daytona, ref. 6239 ''Paul Newman''. Estimate: USD 118,000-148,000

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.

Price Development

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.

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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.

Press contacts

Vilhelm Islandi Bramsen

Vilhelm Islandi Bramsen

Head of Department Wristwatches +45 8818 1239

Bruun Rasmussen – the Whole World's Auction House!

"Going once, going twice. Sold to the lady in the front row”. For 75 years, Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers has sold art, antiques, design, jewellery, wristwatches and collector’s items in the heart of Copenhagen. It was Arne Bruun Rasmussen who founded the auction house at Bredgade 33 in 1948, and until 2022 the Bruun Rasmussen family owned the company. Today, the company is owned by the British auction house Bonhams - one of the world's leading and oldest auction houses.

Being a part of Bonhams, means that Bruun Rasmussen has joined a global network, which benefits both the art and the customers, the latter has gained access to far more auctions and the former has a better chance of achieving the market's best hammer prices. The goal is to constantly confirm to our customers that Bruun Rasmussen is a sought-after auction house with the highest expertise in valuation and sales. Bonhams and Bruun Rasmussen share the core values of knowledge, credibility, commitment and renewal, and the old Copenhagen auction house will thus continue to base its business on its well-known values under the auspices of Bonhams.

With CEO Jakob Dupont at the helm, an extensive digitization process has taken place during the past years, making the auction house a significant player on the international market. With solid experience and in-depth knowledge complemented by highly professional advice and appraisal service, the company is the link between sellers and interested buyers from all over the world. Every year, 70,000 unique works of art are sold at three types of auctions – the traditional Live Auctions and the two web-based auctions Online Auction and Direct Auction.

Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers
Sundkrogsgade 30
2150 Nordhavn
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