Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XII Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1969
    Reference No: 6241
    Case No: 2'084'285
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona, "Paul Newman John Player Special"
    Material: 14k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 14K yellow gold riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 215mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 14K Rolex USA deployant clasp stamped "7.72"
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 6241 was manufactured from approximately 1966 to 1969. It is among the rarest Daytona models ever produced. 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 14K yellow gold and most probably made for the American market.

    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.

    The present watch is distinguished by its exceptional 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 to come to the auction market in recent years.

  • 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 very rare and attractive 14K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with black "Paul Newman" dial and bracelet

37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF600,000 - 1,200,000 

Sold for CHF780,200

Contact Specialist

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

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XII

Geneva Auction 6 - 7 November 2020