Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE Hong Kong Monday, November 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 6239, inside caseback repeated
    Case No: 1’958’386
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel folded Rolex bracelet stamped 7835, endlinks stamped 271, max length 175mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped D
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was born in the early 1960’s replacing its previous chronograph ref. 6238. The ref. 6239 was introduced with “Cosmograph” on the dial for the first time. A legend was born. However, during its initial launch the reception was not widely accepted as the general trend during the respective era was still predominantly focused on traditional timepieces instead of sports watches. Present in catalogues dating back to 1964, the ref. 6239 appeared in various dial configurations, with early examples fitted with “No Daytona” dial featuring an underline, “Daytona” present under Cosmograph in large or small text witnessed in examples from 1965 and with the final transition “Daytona” at 6 O’clock fitted in examples from the late 1960’s.

    Simultaneously, so-called exotic dials appeared in examples of ref. 6239 from the second half of the 1960’s featuring either a 2 colored dial in white or black or a 3 colored dial in white or black with red accents manufactured by Singer. With a new and funky dial layout, the initial reception was low and collectors preferred the traditional Rolex dials, which is now obviously reversed. The dial earned its nickname the “Paul Newman” due to the iconic actor himself sporting an example which was a gift from his wife Joanne Woodward in 1972. Synonymous to the world of racing and often seen on his wrist during his races, the marriage between the Daytona, the exotic dial made by Singer and the famous Hollywood actor and indie racer came to life on the cover of an Italian magazine from the period.

    The present example is an amazing and rare specimen of a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6239 fitted with a three color dial in black. The serial in between the lugs is crisp and clean stating a 1’9XX’XXX case with a correct cal. 722-1 encased in examples from 1967 until it was replaced by the upgraded cal. 727. Hailing from its original owner from Malaysia, the present watch alone is credited with an incredible story of its own. With direct reference from the original owner, the present ref. 6239 Paul Newman was a lucky survivor of a fire. It was one of the only items that the owner decided to take with him when his house was minutes away from burning into ashes. The present example is an excellent specimen of an ultimately rare Paul Newman Daytona, which could have been ashes instead.

  • 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. 6239, inside caseback repeated
An extremely fine, attractive and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet and “Paul Newman” dial

Circa 1969
37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp

HK$940,000 - 1,400,000 

Sold for HK$1,625,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019