Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: SIX New York Saturday, June 11, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1968
    Reference No: 6239
    Case No: 1’958’511
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal.
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex folded Oyster bracelet, reference 7835 19, endlinks stamped 371
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The reference 6239 is truly a game-changing model: for the first time in Rolex history, the tachymeter scale moves from the dial to the bezel, making this model the very first representative of the iconic Cosmograph Daytona family. It was produced from approximately 1963 until 1976 and was available in stainless steel, 14K and 18K yellow gold. Intriguingly, the model was originally billed as the "Le Mans". It was eventually named the "Daytona” after the 24 Hours of Daytona automobile race – likely due to marketing reasons, as the United States was a rapidly growing market for Rolex at the time.

    Of the 6239s produced in the 1960s, comparatively few were fitted with now-sought-after and charming "Paul Newman" dials. Manufactured by Singer and offered by Rolex as an alternative to the standard silvered and black dials, this dial configuration was originally named "exotic", and not a commercial success. Featuring a three-dimensional design with Art Deco-style numerals, the black grèné dial with white subsidiary dials, coupled with the bright red of the “Daytona” signature at 6 o’clock, and outer red 1/5th seconds track form a strikingly beautiful aesthetic. The dial has been well-preserved and aged most attractively, with the beautiful luminous material of the dial acquiring a creamy hue almost harmonizing with the coloration of the subdials and outer track.

    Eagle-eyed collectors will note that this example of the 6239 does not, in fact, bear the metal bezel which defines the reference, but a black acrylic, aftermarket bezel of its kindred reference 6241. Given that this watch was purchased at auction over three decades ago in this configuration by our esteemed surfing medical practitioner-cum-watch collector, it can be hypothesized that early in this watch’s life, the bezel was lost and the prior owner sought a replacement bezel to achieve his desired aesthetic.

  • 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
An appealing and desirable stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman” exotic dial and bracelet

Circa 1968
37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

$80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for $195,300

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: SIX

New York Auction 11-12 June 2022