Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1972
    Reference No: 6263 inside caseback stamped 6262
    Case No: 3'048'248
    Model Name: Oyster Cosmograph "Paul Newman Panda"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 727, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 7835/19, end links stamped 271, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp stamped 2.71
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Very few watches are as recognizable, cherished, and discussed as the “Paul Newman” Daytona. With its history from relative obscurity in the 1960s and 1970s, to the early 21st-century as being the number one most sought after collectors’ watch, it is an iconic timepiece, which few will own, but all will appreciate.

    The reference 6263 evolved from earlier models, inheriting features from the reference 6240, the first Daytona fitted with screw down pushers, making the case fully waterproof and earning it the designation of “Oyster”. Introduced in 1969 along with its companion piece the reference 6265, both models featured the upgraded caliber 727, and while the reference 6263 sported a black acrylic bezel, the reference 6265 had a metal bezel with tachymeter.

    Rolex’s “exotic” dial, now known as the “Paul Newman” dial, was introduced in the late 1960s in the reference 6239 with a lukewarm reception. Produced for only a few short years, it was not until the 21st century that demand for these timepieces became meteoric. Early “Paul Newman” dials featured a three color scheme in red, white and black with a red Daytona signature over the 12-hour register at the 6 o’clock. This combination included dials with a white background and black subsidiary dials and the reverse with black background and white subsidiary dials. As the Rolex Daytona chronograph evolved, so too did the exotic dial and by the late 1960s, the transitional references 6262 and 6264 featured a two color dial in black and white, with the red outer scale removed and replaced with white marks.
    With the reference 6263 a slight but perceivable shift was made and the “Paul Newman Panda" dial was born. Named for the beloved Chinese Panda bear, this highly appealing dial style resembled the face of the bear and today is considered by many to be the most beautiful and classic of all the exotic dials. The red Daytona signature at 6 o’clock was removed and the stark white and black dial perfectly played of the black acrylic bezel.

    We are delighted to offer the present example with Mark 1.5 dial, based on the configuration and print of the text, in such pleasing condition.

    The dial of the present lot is a pleasure to behold. Its 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 dial are also characteristic of “Paul Newman” style dials. Adding further to its desirability is the fact that the outer minute track has turned a harmonious brown "tropical" color. It is interesting to underline the rare presence of the “millerighe” pushers.

    The combination of rarity, quality and good looks make this Rolex 6263 a trophy watch worthy of a prominent place in the world’s finest collections.

  • 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. 6263 inside caseback stamped 6262
An attractive and extremely rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Mark 1.5 dial, brown "tropical" outer minute track and bracelet

Circa 1972
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF300,000 - 600,000 

Sold for CHF355,600

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023