Hermès has been founded in 1837, when Thierry Hermès (1801-1878) first established Hermès as a harness workshop on the "Grands Boulevards" in Paris and that was later moved to the prestigious address 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Mindful of making the finest harnesses, Thierry Hermès was prized several times, setting the basis for the future development of the brand.
Based on their know-how developed by making fine harnesses and the relationships that they soon developed with suppliers of the finest goods and eminent personalities like the Tsar of Russia to name only one of the first that granted his trust to the family brand, Hermès broadened its activities from harnesses to travel bags, watchmaking and furniture. As a pioneer, Hermès was granted the exclusive rights to use the zipper for leather goods and clothing. This led the basis for the development of comfortable yet elegant sport accessories.
The most emblematic models of the brand are the Kelly bag and the Birkin bag, the latter named after French actress Jane Birkin following her comment that her "Kelly" was not practical for everyday use. Not to forget the famed "Hermès Carré" that quickly received the favor from an elite that enjoyed wearing it on many occasions. Among its aficionados are to mention HM Queen Elizabeth II, Grace Kelly and Sharon Stone.
The Rolex Daytona is widely accepted as one of the world's most iconic and legendary wristwatches ever created.
The "Paul Newman" version is the dream of watch collectors and examples in yellow gold represent the pinnacle to aficionados since they perfectly symbolize past lifestyle from an era, regrettably, gone by. One cannot help but associating the precious metal version of the Daytona with race-car tracks and their true heroes, with the thirst for adventure and with the real "hollywoodesque" exclusivity which today we hardly know as many luxuries have become commodities.
The present yellow gold reference 6241 is one of the best preserved and most attractive gold "Paul Newman" chronographs to be offered at auction in recent years. Examples of such quality can be acquired maybe once or twice a year, consequently they are extremely rare finds and, for many collectors, they are on "top of their wish list".
The ultimate personalization of this watch is however its Hermès signature finely engraved on the case back, proof that it was retailed by the most famous Paris house. The case back also displays the French gold import marks and stamp of Rolex France. The world-wide community of watch collectors, scholars, specialists and book authors have never heard of or seen another Daytona retailed by Hermès, rendering the present reference 6241 the only example blessed with this additional signature.
Many of the world's most distinguished retailers regrettably can't confirm some 40 years later if they did indeed retail a certain watch as often their sale books have been lost over time and the valuable information inside too. Much to the delight of the Rolex community, this is not the case for this watch. In fact, Hermès in Paris are able to confirm that this very watch with serial number 1'947'352 was retailed by themselves and sold on 30 November 1971.
This fully legitimate "double-signature" is adding further depth, personality and history to this watch as there are only very few other names - watch manufacturers and retailers - with such mythical fame and credibility as Rolex and Hermès. It is a blessing that the engraved Hermès signature is still crisp and clear today as it was when applied to the case back some 40 years ago.
It is easy to understand why this chronograph is not simply considered "just a regular gold Paul Newman" (as if there was such a thing!) but the one and only " Hermès Paul Newman". Known through key Rolex literature, it enjoys celebrity status amongst collectors and it is acknowledged to be one of the world's most important Daytonas in existence.
For wristwatch collectors, double-signed masterpieces are the final stage of aspiration and this " Hermès Paul Newman" is today as special and unique as it was to its first owner in 1971 when picking it up at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint- Honoré.