Since Rolex debuted the Daytona Cosmograph in 1963, the automotive-inspired chronograph quickly evolved into one of the most significant watch models in history. While many influential individuals have been spotted with a Rolex Daytona on their wrist, none quite measure up to the legendary movie star, director, race car driver, philanthropist, and family man, Paul Newman. In 2017, the famous ‘Paul Newman’ Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239 engraved with “Drive Slowly, Joanne” on the backcase, sold at auction for a record-breaking $17.8 million. Today, the auction professionals at Sotheby’s are proud to announce the upcoming sale of two Rolex Daytona watches from the collection of Paul Newman.
The first Rolex Daytona chronograph part of this monumental occasion is a special 16520 reference given to the winners of the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona Race. 70-year-old Paul Newman was awarded the white dial ‘Zenith’ Daytona after his team won their GT-1 class, making him the oldest man to ever win the race. The backcase of the watch is engraved with the Rolex 24 Hour logo and the phrase “Paul Newman Rolex Motorsports Man Of The Year 1995.”
The second collector-grade example is yet another “Drive Slowly, Joanne” Rolex Daytona gifted to Newman by his wife. This model happens to be the only 18k white version ever owned by Paul Newman and was worn by the racer during his iconic Last Racing Laps at Lime Rock Park on August 13, 2008. The two historic Paul Newman-owned Rolex Daytona Cosmographs will head to auction as part of Sotheby’s Important Watches category on June 9th at 10 am EDT in New York.