An exceedingly rare and outstandingly beautiful yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with black ‘Paul Newman’ dial displaying contrasting gold registers

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1968
    Reference No: 6241 "John Player Special"
    Case No: 1’926’526
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 37.5mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Literature: The present watch is prominently illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo Editions, pages 256 to 259.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 6241 was manufactured from approximately 1966 to 1969. It is among the rarest Daytona models ever produced. Research indicates that less than 300 examples were cased in 18K yellow gold. A so-called “John Player Special”, the present watch is an exceedingly rare variant of the “Paul Newman” model. It is notably one of a few handful of known “John Player Specials” cased in 18K yellow gold.

    In 1972, John Player & Sons sponsored the Lotus Formula One team, which emblazoned the cigarette maker’s logo on its cars. Clad in black and gold livery to match John Player & Sons’ corporate colors, the Formula One car became an instant hit and icon. Donning the same colors, the “John Player Special Paul Newman” shares its name with the racing vehicle. While the watch was conceived some years before the car and has no relation to the sporting event, the similarities between the two are absolutely uncanny, from the contrasting black and gold graphics, to the intricate trim and details.

    Only known through literature and making its auction debut, this watch is distinguished by its unmatched condition. The case back still retains its crisp edges confirming its untouched state of preservation. The dial itself is astounding. Free of imperfections, it features round and complete luminous dots that are consistent in color, even when viewed under the telling rays of a black ultraviolet light. The hands furthermore match the numerals, and both display warm yellow patina. The case, too, is preserved in excellent condition with deep hallmarks beneath the lugs. The freshness, ‘correct’ tells and rarity of the present watch renders it one of the most exciting, astonishing and beautiful examples of reference 6241 to ever appear in the public eye

  • 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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Rolex

Ref. 6241 "John Player Special"
An exceedingly rare and outstandingly beautiful yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with black ‘Paul Newman’ dial displaying contrasting gold registers

Circa 1968
37.5mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF500,000 - 1,000,000 

sold for CHF912,500

Contact Specialist
Tiffany To
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 96 63
tto@phillips.com

Daytona Ultimatum

Geneva Auction 12 May 2018