July 31, 2019

The iconic Paul Newman Daytona - A timepiece like none other!

“Like a genial hotelier, Rolex has introduced me to some of the nicest people. I ask about their Rolex and they ask about mine. It's as marvelous a conversation piece as it is a timepiece. - Maurice Chevalier”


A classic example of a watch that has greatly increased in value over time is the Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona. The Rolex Daytona watch is the most well known chronograph in the Rolex family, and in the world of horology too. Functional, sporty and amazingly well built, it is an epitome of luxury and was made popular by race car driver, and actor Paul Newman. Often looked at in awe, and turning heads, the Rolex Daytona truly is one of the most coveted watches among horologists and amateur watch collectors alike. 




The Paul Newman Daytona : The story behind the name 


Whether we’d like to admit it or not, the "Paul Newman" Daytona is a watch extraordinaire, as beautiful and valuable as it is a rarity to find.


The Rolex Daytona has an unusual "exotic" dial design, and was dubbed the 'Paul Newman' in the 1980s because he was always seen wearing it. According to legend, it was gifted to Paul Newman when he had taken up racing in, all the way back in 1972. It is also said that the iconic actor, wore his Rolex Daytona every day of his life, until his death in 2008.


About nine years later, in October of 2017, Paul Newman’s legendary Rolex Daytona which was believed to be lost, surfaced and was sold at the Phillips Auction House in New York for a whopping  $17.8 million!  


A much adored gift from his wife, this iconic watch became so famous that it began to be known simply as Paul Newman’s Paul Newman. For a long time this beauty was thought to be lost, but resurfaced thanks to James Cox, who is the present treasurer of the Nell Newman Foundation.  



Did you know that till date, there has never been another watch that has been sold for as much? The best part is that a portion of the huge proceeds were given away to support the Nell Newman Foundation, which was built to help carry on this iconic legend’s legacy in philanthropy.


What makes a Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman”?


Contrary to popular belief, there are actually very few distinctive design anomalies to distinguish between a Paul Newman Rolex from the standard vintage Daytona. The first thing is that the watch should have one of the following six reference numbers: 6239, 6241, 6262, 6263, 6264, or 6265.

The second need is for the watch to have all the right details, like the Art Deco font of the numbers, the fine lines in the sub-dials, and the 15, 30, 45, and 60 numerals on the 9 o’clock subdial instead of the usual 20/40/60 numeral configuration.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the  proper Paul Newman Daytona only comes in one of four colors for both the dial and also specific combinations of layout of dial features. These colored dial versions exist on the models 6239, 6241, 6263, 6264 and 6265. There are no replacement versions that exist for this watch.


Things to keep in mind while buying a Paul Newman Rolex Daytona 


Because there are such few differences between a regular Daytona and a Paul Newman Rolex Daytona , except for a few changes in the dial, finding the Paul Newman Daytona can be quite tricky and potentially difficult watch. Which is why unfortunately there are some people who have taken advantage of this situation,  to insert fake Paul Newman dials on the normal Daytona watches, trying to pass them off for authentic Paul Newman watches.


So if you’re buying a Rolex watch and  especially a Paul Newman Daytona, please make sure to go through a reputable website.


How much does a Paul Newman Daytona cost?


While the original Paul Newman’s Daytona fetched a whopping final price of $17,752,500, including the buyer’s premium of 12.5%, you can own a Paul Newman Daytona if you’re willing to shell out a relatively handsome sum of about $123,600. 


Keeping in mind the rarity of the watch, it is very common to also see the prices for this watch reach astronomical figures in auctions and sales. For people who are willing to take a different route, and not opt for the  special, multicolor dial design, you can find that option too, at about $66,000. You can rest assured knowing that these vintage watches are completely identical in terms of technology. 


Is it easy to buy a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona in Hong Kong?


In Hong Kong, you can find both new and pre-owned Rolex Paul Newman Daytona watches in abundance in Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui districts, with lots of tourists who are looking for a bargain. 



We are located in the center of the busy shopping and tourist district of Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, and our core expertise is the sale of new and used watches belonging to some of the best Swiss brands, including Rolex. 


We at the Phoenix Watch Company have been specialists in the sales of luxury watches for more than two decades, and would love to have you over for a visit!




Did you know, the movie Crazy Rich Asians did a whole bit on an expensive, rare gift that got so much hype, that the main character, Pierre Png even spoke about it in a recent Forbes interview?


A horological rarity, and an aspiration for every watch lover, The Paul Newman Daytona has always been in the spotlight, in one way or the other. And even though the Rolex Daytona continues to be relatively popular and abundantly fond, it is the “Paul Newman” that continues to be the most sought-after and rarest of these watches.