An exceedingly rare, magnificent and early chronograph wristwatch with ‘Oyster Sotto Paul Newman’ dial, tachymeter bezel, guarantee and presentation box.

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 6263 "The Oyster Sotto" inside case back stamped 6239
    Case No: 2’085’571
    Model Name: Cosmograph Oyster Daytona
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal.727, 17jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, end links stamped 271, max length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 3.70
    Dimensions: 37.5mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex Guarantee dated November 22, 1972 stating the watch was sold in Pelloni, Roma, product literature, fitted presentation box and outer box.
    Literature: The present watch is prominently illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo Editions, pages 344 to 347. The same watch is illustrated in 100 Superlative Watches by John Goldberger, pages 260 to 261.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The most unattainable and sought-after variant of all Paul Newman wristwatches is unequivocally the “Oyster Sotto Paul Newman”. Scholars estimate that less than 20 examples have appeared and no more than a handful have been sold at auction thus far.

    The moniker “Oyster Sotto”, meaning “Oyster Underneath” in Italian, signifies the correct dial configuration of a reference 6263 “Paul Newman” fitted with a black dial. A correct one displays “Rolex Cosmograph Oyster” rather than “Rolex Oyster Cosmograph”, the latter of which is the correct configuration of a “Paul Newman” with white dial. “Oyster Sotto” dials were fitted to the earliest 6263s, the “Oyster” designation referring to the model’s water-resistant screw-down pushers.

    Prominently displayed in literature, this watch is one of the most impressive “Oyster Sotto” wristwatches to ever appear in the public eye. The watch is positively unpolished, exhibiting crisp lug-holes and razor-sharp edges. It even displays original bevels on the bottom edge of the lugs, which would have disappeared with the slightest polishing.

    Among the very first “Oyster Sotto” Cosmographs ever produced, the present watch is classified as Mk 1. It features a “small R” in Rolex and ever so slightly slanted ‘H’ in “Cosmograph”. Furthermore, the “Oyster” designation does not have serifs. These dials were originally fitted to non-waterproof references 6262 or 6264, which bore “Rolex Cosmograph”. The “Oyster” inscription was thus added to the dial after by Rolex,
    to denote reference 6263’s waterproof ability.

    Most importantly, the earliest “Oyster Sotto” models are all found within a close serial range of each other, bearing a 2’085’xxx serial number. To date, the market has identified a handful of correct Mk 1 examples, all within 10 digits of each other. Moreover, they are fitted with a 6239 case back stamped C.R.S for the maker C.R. Spillmann S.A. Other correct features of this watch are the first generation ‘millerighe’ pushers, the 5-point Rolex crown that displays only the coronet and the Mk 1 bezel.

    As an even nicer touch, it’s offered with its Rolex ‘Garanzia’ dated November 22, 1972 stating the watch was sold in Pelloni, Rome. Situated on Via del Corso 140, retailer and jeweler Pelloni was eventually purchased by Hausmann & Co, still in business today.

  • 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. 6263 "The Oyster Sotto" inside case back stamped 6239
An exceedingly rare, magnificent and early chronograph wristwatch with ‘Oyster Sotto Paul Newman’ dial, tachymeter bezel, guarantee and presentation box.

Circa 1969
37.5mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF1,000,000 - 2,000,000 

sold for CHF1,662,500

Contact Specialist
Tiffany To
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 96 63
tto@phillips.com

Daytona Ultimatum

Geneva Auction 12 May 2018