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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1966
    Reference No: 6240
    Case No: 1’658'473
    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, end links stamped 357, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex clasp
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by green Rolex wallet, Treviso, Italy Gioielleria Giraldo service invoice dated January 5, 2000 and original gaskets

  • Catalogue Essay

    Collecting Rolex wristwatches has multiple facets: the straightforward aesthetic pleasure of the watch, the technical aspects such as the efficiency of the automatic module and the water resistance of the Oyster case, or the search for distinguished-provenance-watches (American actor Paul Newman comes to mind, but also Steve McQueen or James Bond).

    Arguably the most fiercely discussed and intellectually stimulating part of Rolex collecting is the “correctness” of a timepiece. As Rolex archives are not public, scholars and collectors have been endlessly refining the characteristic a certain reference should have and their evolution over the lifetime of the model. While a consensus has been reached on many topics, some questions are still open, waiting for the appearance of further information to be answered.

    One such question was if reference 6240 truly ever originally mounted a Paul Newman dial. While the market is highly confident the answer to this question is yes, there was a lack of conclusive evidence.
    The present timepiece finally clarifies the situation once and for all: offered by the wife of the late original owner, the absolute originality of the dial is not only proven by the testimony of the family, but also by a number of pictures spanning about fifty years and portraying owner Doctor Corsini wearing the watch, providing documentation of the remarkable life of both this watch and of its owner.

    The Corsini 6240 was bought in Padua-based Rolex retailer "Rocca 1794", with the first earnings of Dr. Corsini’s career as a surgeon. The following year, 1971, he went to Africa to work as supervisor of the hospital of the Combodian Missionaries Humanitarian Mission in Kalongo, Uganda. After this experience he returned to Italy, where he continued his career until becoming Chief of Medicine for General Surgery at the Padua Hospital. One of the highlights of his life is when, in 1985 to 1987, he was part of the team which scientifically examined an alleged miracle for the beatification process of Vicenza Bishop Giovanni Antonio Farina (1803 - 1888). The team concluded that the recovery in question could not be explained by science, a first step which led to Archbishop Farini being eventually beatified in 2001 (and later canonized in 2014). The following year, in recognition of his services, the Bishop of Treviso granted Dr. Corsini the title of Commendatore dell’Ordine di San Silvestro, and pictures taken at the proclamation ceremony show the 6240 on his wrist. He retired in 2009 and lived the last years of his live surrounded by the love of his family.

    As fascinating as the history of this watch is, it is fully matched by the quality of the dial, which survived through time in astoundingly good condition, without any mark or scratch. Both the outer track and the subsidiary dials have acquired a charming ivory hue over time, matched by the tonality of the luminous material, absolutely unspoiled. Interestingly, the step to the outer track is very pronounced; the “T Swiss T” designation is, as expected from this time, sing-a-song: with tall center and short extremities, giving it a sort of pyramidal or “roof” look, hence its Italian definition “a casetta”, literally: “little house” style. The serial number 1’658’473 confirms what long suspected by the market: correct Paul Newman 6240 should have 1’658’xxx serial number.

  • 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. 6240
A fine and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "Paul Newman" dial and bracelet

Circa 1966
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF150,000 - 250,000 
€129,000-214,000
$159,000-265,000

sold for CHF348,500

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