Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI Geneva Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1970
    Reference No: 6264, inside caseback stamped 6241
    Case No: 2'357'419
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona "Paul Newman - Lemon"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 727, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, endlinks stamped 71, measuring 200mm max.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp ref 7205, further stamped J10.
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a series of Rolex service guarantee papers and invoices between 1997 and 2010.
    Literature: An example of a reference 6264 with “Lemon” dial is illustrated and catalogued in John Goldberger’s 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, pp. 254-255.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Paul Newman dials are considered grails amongst Cosmograph Daytona collectors but the highest echelon of this rarified category is the “Lemon”, which displays a classification of traits that is rarely ever seen and consequently, singularly coveted.

    What differentiates a “Lemon” Paul Newman Daytona from the more commonly found champagne-dial Paul Newman Daytona? The devil is in the details, and the details are in the dial. To be considered a “Lemon” Paul Newman, the main dial must have a matte-finished, grené, or grained, texture with an almost powdery effect with a more cream yellow color than a metallic gold or champagne. Compared with the yellow main dial on the champagne Paul Newman Daytonas, the “Lemon” dials feature an intense shade of yellow that sets them apart.

    The most distinctive feature can be found on the subdials of the “Lemon”. Instead of matching the gilt printing found on the black outer track, they have vivid, white printed Art Deco numerals – a coveted characteristic immediately spotted by those who know. Overall, the combination of the creamy yellow dial and stark, white subdial numerals is quite striking – especially when paired with a black outer track.
    The dial on the present example is striking, not just thanks to its excellent state of preservation but especially thanks to the fact that the subdials are turning to a dark brown and the outer track has turned to a seductive light brown giving the watch incredible charisma.

    The present watch retains its original Mark I bezel, with inner caseback stamped 6241. To add to its authenticity, most of the Rolex Daytona Paul Newman’s with so-called “Lemon” dials in 18K yellow gold appear in the same serial number range as the one being offered here, beginning with 2’357’XXX, and the current example is within 60 digits of “El Limoncito”, sold by Phillips New York in June 2022 for over $2,000,000.

    The present “Paul Newman Lemon” is accompanied by a series of Rolex service guarantees and invoices from 1997 to 2010 demonstrating that the manufacture gave this piece their internal blessing.

    A grail among grails the present reference 6264 “Paul Newman Lemon” with tropical dial offers a perfect storm of highly appealing traits which propels the present timepiece to the pinnacle of desirability for the connoisseur of highly important and attractive timepieces.

  • 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. 6264, inside caseback stamped 6241
An extraordinarily rare, extremely attractive, and important yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman Lemon” dial, brown “tropical” subsidiary registers and outer track and service papers

Circa 1970
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF550,000 - 1,100,000 

Sold for CHF816,500

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: XVI

Geneva Auction 5 - 6 November 2022