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

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  • Condition Report

  • Description

    View our Conditions of Sale.

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 6264; inside caseback stamped 6241
    Case No: 2’357’479
    Model Name: Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “El Limoncito”
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 727, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Jubilee bracelet, stamped “Hecho in Mexico”
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.
    Literature: An example of a reference 6264 with “Lemon” dial is illustrated and catalogued in John Goldberger’s 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, pp. 254-255.

  • Catalogue Essay


    The uncovering of the present lot bears all the hallmarks of a watch specialist’s dream. A low-resolution image, sent to an incorrect e-mail address. A tentative phone call, asking for more images. The hurried booking of cross-country flights and rental cars. The meeting: a gold chronograph placed unobtrusively on a living room coffee table, the Pacific Ocean visible through the windows and the late afternoon sun illuminating one of the most incredible finds “in the wild”: an original family Rolex Paul Newman with “Lemon” dial.

    Determining the hierarchy of Paul Newman dial rarity is one of the first ordeals a budding watch specialist must master. At the very top are the Paul Newman exotic dials fitted to precious metal Daytonas, of which there are three, distinguished by their color configuration: champagne with black subdials and gold graphics, black with champagne subdials and black graphics, and grèné yellow with black subdials and white graphics. The latter, nicknamed “Lemon”, has been seen the least often publicly, and is perhaps the most striking and unusual configuration.

    Our first task: confirm the correct-ness of the dial. With a quiet assemblage of loupes and UV lights, the specialists peered into the dial, examining each lume plot with careful anticipation. Perfection. Next: the case. Spectacular, with strong proportions, beautiful original finishing, original bezel. The bracelet was a special surprise: the clasp stamped “Hecho in Mexico”, indicating it was fabricated in Mexico under the specifications of Rolex. It felt heavier and better made than other Jubilee bracelets of the era, though with some irregularities that give it a handmade feel. The bracelet itself is quite heavy, with solid links rather than hollow links one finds on U.S.A.-made bracelets for example.

    The present watch retains its original Mark I bezel, with inner caseback stamped 6241 – consistent with other examples. To add to its authenticity, most of the Rolex Paul Newman Daytona’s with so-called “Lemon” dials in 18K yellow gold appear in the same serial number range as the one being offered here, beginning with 2’357’XXX, and the current example is within 20 digits of several other confirmed pieces. All lume plots are perfectly plump and intact, reacting correctly under UV light, and the dial is as near perfection as has been seen in recent memory.

    Absolutely fresh-to-the-market, Phillips is proud to offer this stunning example of the 18K yellow gold reference 6264 with Paul Newman dial, which we have nicknamed “El Limoncito”. A Spanish-language play on the Italian nickname for the Lemon, so-called “Limoncino”, “El Limoncito” is a nod to the Mexican origins of the family who owned this watch since its production in 1969. Consigned by the family of the original owner, this watch was the crown jewel of a small collection of watches the original owner had amassed, and he hardly ever wore it over the course of his life.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 6264; inside caseback stamped 6241
An outstanding, fresh-to-the-market, exceptionally well-preserved, and extremely rare yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with ‘Paul Newman Lemon’ exotic dial, white subdial graphics, and bracelet, offered by the family of the original owner

Circa 1969
37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

$600,000 - 1,200,000 

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Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]


Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285

[email protected]

The New York Watch Auction: SIX

New York Auction 11-12 June 2022