A rare, extremely well-preserved, and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Paul  Newman” dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1972
    Reference No: 6263, inside case back stamped 6262
    Case No: 3’048’323
    Model Name: Oyster Cosmograph, “Paul Newman Panda”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 727, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, stamped 7835 19, endlinks stamped 271, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 2.70
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.
    Literature: A similar example of a stainless steel reference 6263 "Paul Newman Panda" is illustrated in Ultimate Rolex Daytona by Pucci Papaleo, pages 348 and 349.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the pantheon of watch collecting, probably no other model is as recognizable, cherished, and discussed as the “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona chronograph. With its history from relative obscurity in the 1960s and 1970s, to the early 21st-century as being the number one most sought after collectors’ watch, it is an iconic timepiece, which few will own, but all will appreciate.

    The reference 6263 evolved from earlier models, inheriting features from the reference 6240, the first Daytona fitted with screw down pushers, making the case fully waterproof and earning it the designation of “Oyster”. Introduced in 1969 along with its companion piece the reference 6265, both models featured the upgraded caliber 727, and while the reference 6263 sported a black acrylic bezel, the reference 6265 had a metal bezel with tachymeter.

    Rolex’s “exotic” dial, now known as the “Paul Newman” dial, was introduced in the late 1960s in the reference 6239, and was not well-received by retail clients. Produced for only a few short years, it would be another 20 years before they became of interest to collectors. It was not until the 21st century that demand for these rare timepieces became meteoric. Early “Paul Newman” dials featured a three color scheme in red, white and black with a red Daytona signature over the 12-hour register at the 6 o’clock. This combination included dials with a white background and black subsidiary dials and the reverse with black background and white subsidiary dials. As the Rolex Daytona chronograph evolved, so too did the exotic dial and by the late 1960s, the transitional references 6262 and 6264 featured a two color dial in black and white, with the red outer scale removed and replaced with white marks.

    With the reference 6263 a slight but perceivable shift was made and the “Paul Newman” Panda dial was born. Named for the beloved Chinese Panda bear, this highly appealing dial style resembled the face of the bear and today is considered by many to be the most beautiful and classic of all the exotic dials. The red Daytona signature at 6 o’clock was removed and the stark white and black dial perfectly played of the black acrylic bezel.

    The present reference 6263, fitted with a stunning Mark 2 “Panda” dial, is a wonderful representation of the model. Preserved in outstanding overall condition, the dial is exceptional in all aspects - remaining virtually flawless, with no marks, blemishes, or scratches to be found anywhere on its surface. The white grené surface of the dial is clean and very bright, and the original luminous hour markers are all complete and perfectly intact and have aged to a beautiful and consistent light cream
    color. The case remains in a similarly remarkable state of preservation – likely unpolished, crisp, fully proportioned, with few signs of careful wear.

    The present “Paul Newman Panda” is a remarkably pristine example that is sure to please the most demanding connoisseur who seeks perfection in a trophy timepiece

  • 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, inside case back stamped 6262
A rare, extremely well-preserved, and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman” dial and bracelet

1972
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

Estimate
$300,000 - 600,000 
CHF299,000-598,000
€272,000-544,000
HK$2,350,000-4,700,000

sold for $425,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

GAME CHANGERS

New York Auction 10 December 2019