A fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "Paul Newman" dial, bracelet and box

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1967
    Reference No: 6239
    Case No: 1'695'227
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona "Paul Newman"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 7835 19, endlinks stamped 357, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex box

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex reference 6239 is an incredibly appealing timepiece, whose desirability continues to be on the rise, especially when it comes with a Paul Newman dial. The version with black dial, white sub-counters and periphery adorned with a red track is visually arresting and sleek.

    Rolex introduced reference 6239 in 1963. With hindsight this was a crucial moment for the brand. The watch received a new model name, the "Cosmograph", and for the first time it removed the tachymeter scale off the dial and placed it onto the bezel. The rest, as they say, is history.

    The earliest 6239s had no Daytona logo on the dial, with the commonly accepted reasoning being that Rolex wanted to capitalize on society’s fascination with space travel, but also to concentrate their marketing efforts on specific geographic locations. That first full year of production, 1964, Rolex sponsored both the French Le Mans and the American Daytona motorsport endurance races. Indeed, the Cosmograph was initially marketed as the ‘Le Mans’, but Rolex quickly switched gears and settled on the American ‘Daytona’ product name, which would soon begin appearing on dials.

    It is interesting to note that the models with “Exotic” dials which were later dubbed “Paul Newman” by collectors after the famed actor and automobile race car driver was photographed regularly wearing one in the 1980s, were a commercial failure, rapidly discontinued consequently, making them rarer.

    Reference 6239 was produced until 1976 and was available in stainless steel, 14K and 18K gold.

    The present reference 6239 with Paul Newman dial impresses thanks to its very appealing condition. The case retains strong proportions and the dial is beautifully preserved.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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217

Rolex

Ref. 6239
A fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "Paul Newman" dial, bracelet and box

Circa 1967
36.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF120,000 - 180,000 
€106,000-158,000
$123,000-184,000

sold for CHF150,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018