A fine, extremely rare and very attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Mark 1 "Paul Newman" dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1970
    Reference No: 6263, inside caseback stamped 6239
    Case No: 2'197'903
    Model Name: Oyster Cosmograph "Paul Newman Panda"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 727, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex riveted Oyster bracelet, reference 7205, end links stamped 57, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding deployant clasp stamped 3.70
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: A similar example of a stainless steel reference 6263 "Panda" is illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo, pp. 348 and 349

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Daytona with exotic dial known worldwide as the ‘Paul Newman’ is not only the most coveted vintage chronograph amongst Rolex collectors today but has also become a household name thanks to the shattering USD 17.7 million obtained for Paul Newman’s personal Daytona (with “Paul Newman” dial) auctioned by Phillips in New York in October 2017.

    The present reference 6263 is nicknamed “Panda" due to the dial's exotic black and white color scheme, which mimics the colors on the face of the delightful bear. In an interesting twist of fate, the Daytona chronographs with “Paul Newman” dials, which are avidly sought after today, were quite unpopular upon launch, and this lack of commercial success led Rolex to produce very limited numbers, making these timepieces exceedingly rare.

    This timepiece bears all the correct details of a "Mk 1" Paul Newman Panda with a 2.1 million serial number. The first, and most striking detail, is the "Mk 1" dial, which features thin "Rolex Oyster Cosmograph" text without any serifs. The "Paul Newman Panda" generally features four subtly different dial configurations in accordance to the serial number, and later examples display sharp serifs.

    The case back stamped 6239 is correct, as scholarship suggests that early reference 6263s were fitted with the leftover case backs of references 6239 and 6241.

    The dial of the present lot is a pleasure to behold. It’s zen-like serenity is further enhanced thanks to the lack of unnecessary inscriptions, the Art-Deco style of the font used and the hash marks with small squares found on the subsidiary dials are also characteristic of “Paul Newman” style dials.

    Fitted with an acrylic bezel, the reference is also recognized for its screw-down pushers for improved water resistance. The present watch comes with its original riveted Oyster bracelet stamped for the third quarter of 1970.

    This reference 6263 “Panda” is fresh to the market. Bought in 1970 by the father of the consignor, it was given to the latter for his 18th birthday, and worn sparingly.

    Freshness to the market, rarity, attractiveness and desirability make this Rolex reference 6263 a must have in any fine collection.

  • 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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179

Rolex

Ref. 6263, inside caseback stamped 6239
A fine, extremely rare and very attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Mark 1 "Paul Newman" dial and bracelet

Circa 1970
37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF250,000 - 450,000 
€214,000-386,000
$265,000-476,000

sold for CHF492,500

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018