Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1967
    Reference No: 6239
    Case No: 1'626'974
    Model Name: Daytona Cosmograph "Paul Newman"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722-1. 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet stamped "71" to the endlinks and "7205" to the endlinnks, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped "4 67"
    Dimensions: 36.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Superbly iconic and highly sought-after, Rolex Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman” dials are one of the most well-designed chronograph dials of the past century. Unfortunately they are also one of the scarcest horological resources on the planet. Thus, the opportunity of purchasing such a well-preserved and fresh-to-the market piece as the present watch is becoming exponentially uncommon.

    Reference 6239 is truly a game-changing model: for the first time in Rolex history, the tachymeter scale is removed from the dial to the bezel, making this model the very first representative of the iconic Cosmograph Daytona family. It was produced from approximately 1963 until 1976 and was available in stainless steel, 14K and 18K gold. An intriguing trivia is that the model was originally named as the "Le Mans". It was eventually named the "Daytona” after the 24 Hours of Daytona automobile race - a choice possibly also motivated by marketing reason, the USA being at the time a fast growing market for the company.

    In production as an alternative to the standard silvered and black dials, this dial configuration was originally named "exotic" by Rolex, before its association with the immortal actor. Paul Newman dials were poorly received by the public, and thus their production lasted for about 4-5 short years, making them today as scarce as they are appealing.

    The present example is an incredibly well preserved 2-owners-since-new specimen. Residing in the same Italian family since the 1970s, the original owner was a missionary priest who found the manual winding inconvenient. Thus, he exchanged it with the current owner for an automatic Omega.

    As expected from a 1967 6239, the watch mounts its original “250” bezel. Early Daytona bezel follow an evolution: the very first specimen feature a graduation to 300 uph with the number “275”. Second series bezel - such as the present one - feature the same end scale, but present only a dot for the 275 marks. Later bezel are graduated to 200 uph. First and second series bezel are extremely scarce to begin with, and the fact that many pieces had their original bezel exchanged for a replacement one during a service adds to their rarity.

  • 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. 6239
A highly rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "Paul Newman" dial and bracelet

36.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF120,000 - 220,000 

Sold for CHF264,600

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022