Sunday, November 26, 2017

Winning: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 6239, 6241, 6262, 6264, 6265, 6263, 6240

This is probably one of the most expensive Rolex. Its value is not based on what precious metal it is made of or how many carats of flawless princess cut diamonds or gemstones it has.... Obviously it has none.

It is famous because of Mr Paul Newman wore it when filming Winning..... Someone actually watched the film over and over again and could not conclude whether Paul Newman actually wore Rolex Cosmograph. 

During preparation for Winning, Newman was trained for the motorsport by drivers Bob Sharp and Lake Underwood, at a race track high performance driving school—which sparked Newman's enthusiasm for the sport and led to his participation as a competitor in sports car racing during the remainder of his life. He would eventually launch the much successful Newman/Haas Racing with his longtime racing competitor and friend Carl Haas, winning more than 100 races and 8 Drier's Championships in IndyCar Series. (Quoted from Wikipedia)

Rolex released their first chronograph wristwatch around 1937. (Quoted from The Rolex Report) In 1960, Rolex introduced the Cosmograph, a watch designed to measure and record elapsed time. and the first model being 6239. Rather than designing their own movement, Rolex used Valjoux 72B movement to power the Cosmograph. Valjoux 727 movements were used in later model like 6263, and 6265. These watches soon became known as Daytona tribute to the International speedway where Rolex is the official timer. Below is a quick reference chart I found on Hodinkee wrote an extensive piece regarding all these watches and can be view by clicking HERE.

Hand winding Rolex Daytona ceased production in 1988. Rolex never officially called any piece of Cosmograph Daytona the Paul Newman edition. Paul Newman Edition are based on the exotic dials that contain 3 colours (Black, White and Red). They are basically the same like any other cosmographs but the price different is many folds. That's make Paul Newman Daytona, the most dangerous watch to buy or collect because of high chance you may end up with a Phantom or Frankenstein watch.  

Below is a mugshot of the heart of Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. Cal 72 or Cal 727 is a 17 jewels adjusted to 3 positions and has an amplitude of 18,000 bph. It has a power reserve of 48 hours. 

Rolex did not make a lot of these chronographs back in the 1970's as they were not that popular. These were relatively cheap too back in the days. In US after taxes, it was only USD 210 as shown below. In Malaysia, I heard it was about RM 2000 during 1980's. Then again it was quite a lot of money during my innocent years. 

The price of these watches have increase exponentially. No Wall Street speculators could have predicted this. Below is a graph I found on This site provides an in-depth discussion on Paul Newman Cosmographs.

In October 2017, the Holy Grail, Paul Newman's personal Daytona was sold at Phillips' auction on Park Avenue. The winning number is a record-breaking $17,752,500. 

The legend has it this vintage Rolex ref 6239 Daytona that was given to Paul Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward back in 1968 during the filming of Winning. Below is a photo of that watch by Forbes.

The back of the watch is engraved: “Drive Carefully Me.”  That is a very sentimental touch by Mrs Newman.....

It was said that Mr Newman wore the watch for more than a decade before generously gave it to his daughter's boy-friend.... Damn, I was too young to date his daughter at that time.......

Ending this post with some of the old catalogues found on Google......

P.S. I am too poor to own a Genuine Rolex Paul Newman Edition. Well if I can go back in time, I will definitely da bao (cash & carry) all........... As if I have the MONEY.......


James M. Dowling, Jeffret P. Hess. The Best of Time, Rolex Wristwatches 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Pg 215-231.
John E. Brozek. The Rolex Report 4th Edition. InfoQuest Publishing Inc. Pg 65-67
Martin Skeet, Nick Urul. Vintage Rolex Sports Models 3rd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Pg 106-117.
Kesaharu Imai. Rolex 3,621 Wristwatches. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Wang Chin Lung (王进龙). Watch Art 钟表艺术. Pg 120-124.

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