‘Paul Newman’ Rolex Daytona sells for record-breaking $17.8 million

The Winning Icons watch auction that had the world’s eyes on it has ended, with a thrilling bidding war that concluded with the sale of the unique Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Cosmograph Daytona by Paul Newman being sold for a record-breaking $17.8 million dollars.

Joanne Woodward chose this reference 6239 fitted with an ‘exotic’ dial, as a gift for Paul Newman . It sold for $17,752,500.

That makes it the most expensive watch ever sold at auction.

Phillips Auction House, a leader in collectible watch auctions, sold the watch in a sale that lasted 12 minutes and commenced with a phone bid at a $10 million dollars. Watch fans around the world followed the sale online while more than 600 people filled the sales room in New York.

More than 50 watches were sold including rare and important pieces from Omega, Heuer, Audemars Piguet, Cartier and others.

The story behind the watch
The Phillips Auction 

This record-breaking Rolex Daytona was originally bought for Paul Newman in around 1968 by Joanne Newman in reference to his budding passion for motorsport. He wore it frequently and it has been well looked after, being presented for auction in excellent condition. The dial patina has aged with a mellow patina that reflects its age, as have the original luminous hands and hour markers that are also original. A signed letter from Paul Newman’s daughter confirming its provenance and supporting the auction was included with the watch that features the engraving ‘Drive carefully me’ on the caseback.

The lot was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the most significant Rolexes ever to come to auction. The watch has been in the Newman family for more than 50 years and the Phillips auction was the first time it has ever been put up for sale.

A portion of the proceeds are going to The Nell Newman Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation, in support of Paul Newman’s philanthropic values.