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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 6263 inside case back stamped 6239
    Case No: 2'197'880
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona "Oyster Sotto"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 727, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, endlinks stamped 71N, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 2.68
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • 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 25 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.

    The present watch is classified as a late Mk 1 variant with a serial number of 2'197'880. 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. The present watch shows all the correct features one would expect. Most interestingly, hard horological collectors may notice that the top and bottom of "S" in Oyster is ever so slightly thinner. Considering all the correct features of the watch, one can surmise it was done by human error during the stamping of the "Oyster" of the case. 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. Even the bracelet is correct, with 71N endlinks and being stamped for the second quarter of 1968.

    It is not an overstatement to say that the present specimen not only is a new discovery, but also a true “Crown Jewel” for all collectors of highly important 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. 6263 inside case back stamped 6239
A highly rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Paul Newman Mk 1 "Oyster Sotto" dial and bracelet

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

CHF400,000 - 800,000 

Sold for CHF504,000

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