Paul Newman did more than just own a Rolex Daytona – the man is almost single handedly responsible for making it the most popular timepiece produced by the company. Now, the original watch gifted to the Hollywood actor by his wife is going up for auction.
This, the earliest model of the Rolex Daytona (made in the mid 1960’s to early 1970s, reference number 6239) boasts a tri-colored dial with red hash marks, white face, and numbers in the subdial that have a kind of art-deco font. The watch also has a personal touch, a note from Newman’s wife on the back reading, ‘Drive Carefully Me’. It was only after a photograph of Paul Newman was published on the cover a magazine sometime in the 1980s that this chronograph watch really took off in popularity. Originally this style of Rolex Daytona had been simply dubbed the ‘exotic’ dial, but after the famous actor was seen with it, the watch increasingly was referred to as the ‘Paul Newman Daytona’. The watch will likely fetch something in the high six or low seven figures – all of which will reportedly go to the Nell Newman Foundation.