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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1968
    Reference No: 6241
    Case No: 1’947’388; inside caseback repeated 6241
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona, “Paul Newman John Player Special”
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Literature: A similar example of the present reference prominently illustrated in the Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo, pp 256-229

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Daytona ref. 6241 was initially introduced in 1965 with a production spanning just four years until 1969. It is estimated that only 3,000 examples of the reference were produced during the period across three metals: stainless steel, 18K yellow gold, and 14K yellow gold made for the American market. According to our research, the yellow gold examples were produced in less than 300 examples, and only a mere portion in 14K variant. Highly sought after the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6241 features a black acrylic bezel and round pump pushers, and had the option to be paired with a bracelet or strap. The movements were fitted with either the calibre 722 for early examples approximately from 1965 to 1967, or later production with calibre 722-1 instead. Greatly adding to the collectability of the reference is the rare batch fitted with the highly attractive “Paul Newman” dial made by Singer.

    One of the most alluring, most desired and visually striking amongst this breed is indeed the present “John Player Special Paul Newman”. In 1972, John Player & Sons tobacco company sponsored the eccentric Formula One Lotus team which emblazoned the cigarette maker’s logo on its race cars. Clad in a powerful black and gold livery to match John Player & Sons’ colors, the Formula One car became an instant hit. Iconic on the circuit, the contrasting colour scheme down the intricate trim and details with uncanny resemblance to the aptly nicknamed JPS ref. 6241 had become a grail pieces for collectors.


    A sight to behold, Phillips is honoured to present this absolutely fresh-to-the-market legend. Amongst the best of its class, the present JPS ref. 6241 bears all coveted traits that every collector dreamed of. Offered by a Japanese collector, the state of preservation is simply jaw dropping. The dial, flawless and astounding, the vibrant contrast of the gold registers with crisp concentric tracks glows with perfection. Each luminous plot perfectly intact around the champagne outer track are aged in matching hue with the gold hands. Following along the track with each plot, one will spot the charismatic, wide “sing-a song” T-SWISS-T inscription with pronounced serifs sitting on the very edge of the dial found on examples towards the end of the 1960s.

    What makes this specimen the ultimate trophy is not only its exceptional preservation, but also the two French gold import hallmarks indicated with the owl symbol and the Geneva Helvetia hallmark stamped crisply on the caseback and lugs. Bearing the serial number 1’947’388, just a few examples away from a previously sold example from our Geneva Watch Auction: Two, Lot 222 with case serial 1’947’352, possibly a unique example of the ref. 6241 retailed by HERMÈS. Both specimens dates back to circa 1968 belonging to the same batch of the last production from the reference to be delivered to France. Beautifully oxidized coherently throughout the case, the warm patina not only oozes incredible vintage appeal that only achieved with the passage of time, but furthermore states its untouched original condition of the watch. Engraved with crisp numbers, the oxidation evidently displayed between the lugs along with the absence of endlinks markings can tell us that the watch was born with a strap during the 60s.

    A exceedingly rare example to appear in auction in recent years, the present specimen of the ref. 6241 with highly appealing traits is certainly a unmissable timepiece for all connoisseur seeking for this highly important vintage Daytona.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Property from a Japanese Collector

819

Ref. 6241
An exceedingly rare and immaculately preserved yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial and French import hallmarks

Circa 1968
37mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
HK$4,650,000 - 9,400,000 
€513,000-1,040,000
$596,000-1,210,000

Sold for HK$13,560,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII

Hong Kong Auctions 25-26 November 2021