Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1968
    Reference No: 6239; inside caseback additionally stamped 6239
    Case No: 1'998'831
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex riveted Oyster bracelet, max overall length 210mm, endlinks stamped 57
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Playing an important role in Rolex history, the reference 6239 introduced in 1963 was the very first Cosmograph Daytona model. The red “Daytona” text was not displayed on the earliest models as the brand initially marketed the reference as the “Le Mans” before settling on “Daytona,” which would start appearing on the dials shortly after the change. Available in stainless steel, 14K, and 18K gold, the 6239 was the first chronograph by the historic manufacture to feature the tachymeter scale outside the dial, incorporated instead on the bezel.

    The present watch is a stunning example, maintaining its lovely, original “Paul Newman” exotic dial in flawless condition, housed in a very likely unpolished case. The black on white grené dial is instantly recognizable due to its Art-Deco-style numerals within the subsidiary registers and coupled with the bright red “Daytona” text at 6 o’clock, creating a strikingly beautiful aesthetic. The dial’s beauty is enhanced by the outer red 1/5th seconds track and well-preserved concentric circles of the subsidiary dials. The perfectly preserved luminous plots have begun to take on a pleasing and consistent warm beige hue.

    In production as an alternative to the standard silvered and black dials, this dial configuration was originally named "exotic" by Rolex, before its association with the iconic actor. Paul Newman dials were poorly received by the public at first, and thus their production lasted for about 4-5 short years, making them today as scarce as they are appealing.

    The present example was purchased by an astute collector of vintage Rolex timepieces who appreciated its Japanese market origin, a country renowned for owners and collectors committed to the utmost quality and condition. The identical configuration of Paul Newman’s very own “Paul Newman” Daytona, ref. 6239 (serial number 2,005,325) that sold for a world record $17.8 million by Phillips in October 2017, the present 6239 with tri-color Paul Newman exotic dial is certainly one of the finest examples to ever be offered publicly.

  • 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 additionally stamped 6239
A stunning and exceptionally well-preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman” dial, tachymeter bezel, and bracelet

Circa 1968
36.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

$200,000 - 400,000 

Sold for $431,800

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Americas
+1 (212) 940-1293

Isabella Proia
Head of Sale, New York
+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: X

New York Auction 8 - 9 June 2024