Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 6241
    Case No: 2'084'363
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman "John Player Special"
    Material: 14K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K gold Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of the most intriguing aspects of collecting vintage Rolex Daytona timepieces is the remarkable amount of aesthetic variety the line has to offer: one can find “standard” models and bejeweled models. Among the standard models, one can find the simple two color scheme dial in different variations (black, white, double Swiss, underline, small Daytona, Big Red, tropical registers….) and the Paul Newman dial also varies according to model, metal and year of production (three color, two color, Panda, champagne, Sotto….).

    While beauty is inherently subjective, few - if any - collectors will disagree with the statement that among such a variety of options, one of the most visually striking iterations of the Daytona is the one exemplified by the present timepiece: the John Player Special Paul Newman 6241. The alternation of black and gold details of the dial is perfectly reprised on the case with its gold sheen and pitch black bezel. Such a chromatic scheme - black with gold trimmings - is also found on Lotus race cars from the 1970s due to the sponsorship of the cigarette brand “John Player Special”, which was defined by those colors (actually the “JPS” color scheme being introduced in 1972). This is the origin of the JPS nickname.

    The present specimen represents by far the rarest iteration of the already spectacularly scarce JPS, as it is cased in 14K gold rather than the more usual 18K, most probably in an effort to abate taxation costs when importing the watches into some countries. Furthermore, it is offered in superior condition: the dial is as fresh as when it was originally made, still retaining all the luminous accents which aged to a champagne hue, in a remarkable strike of luck perfectly harmonizing with the outer track they sit upon. The “sing-a-song” Swiss designation is also absolutely flawless, showcasing sharp serifs.

    Representing one of the most visually arresting iterations in the entire Daytona (and possibly in the entire Rolex) production and offered in exceptional condition, this rare trophy will grant enormous satisfaction to its new lucky owner and - considering the depletion of the unknown Daytona reservoir over the recent years - it is highly unlikely that another 14K JPS in similar condition will ever again be discovered on the market. A truly perfect occasion for the collector of highly important wristwatches.

  • Artist Biography


    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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Ref. 6241
A fine, rare and extremely attractive 14K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with Paul Newman "John Player Special" dial

Circa 1969
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF350,000 - 700,000 

Sold for CHF800,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019