Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Paul Newman dial, bracelet and box
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more 6239 Paul NewmanThe “Paul Newman” Dial Cosmograph DaytonaThe word iconic, however much a cliché, is the only one suitable to describe the Rolex Cosmograph Paul Newman Daytona. Rolex Cosmographs with a Paul Newman dial are now one of the ultimate goals of the Rolex collector.Described by Rolex at the time as “exotic”, this particular and very distinctive dial design with its square-headed subsidiary indexes would have a seismic effect on the vintage watch collecting market many years later. The nickname “Paul Newman” is thought to have first originated in the early 1980s after the “King of Cool” was shown wearing a Rolex Cosmograph with “exotic” dial in old publicity shots from the 1970s. He had apparently received it as a present from his wife in 1969.The following lots comprise a dazzling and exceptional selection of Paul Newman Cosmograph Daytonas including references 6239, 6241, 6264, 6262 and 6263. All these pieces are immensely desirable in their own right with some world-class rarities amongst them including Lot 217 with flawlessly preserved dial, Lot 218 – the gold 6264 tropical “lemon” dial and Lot 223 – the 6263 Oyster Sotto.
Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Paul Newman dial, bracelet and box


Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Paul Newman dial, bracelet and box
Signed Rolex, Cosmograph, Daytona, ref. 6239, case no. 1’875’537, circa 1968
Movement: mechanical, cal. 722-1, 17 jewels
Dial: white, matte, applied square numerals, luminous accents, luminous hands
Case: screw back, bezel engraved with tachymetre scale graduated to 200 units per hour
Signed: case, dial and movement
Dimensions: 36.5 mm. diam.; overall length approx. 200 mm.
With: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, deployant clasp, Rolex Guarantee booklet bearing nos. “6239/161-000-4” and stamped by Bucherer, Service Estimate dated 12 December 2016, copy of Bucherer invoice, product literature, two green leather document holders, box and outer packaging
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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

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Lot Essay

The present watch can be considered the Paul Newman archetype: in fact, this is among the very first Daytonas to be fitted with a Paul Newman dial. The first appearance of this hallowed dial is indeed around case number 1’6xxx’xxx, in 1967, and this watch was produced just the following year.

Given its exceptional condition, this dial is the ideal textbook on which to study the subtle differences present on these early Paul Newman versions. The most apparent of these is the Swiss designation at 6 o’ clock. It is slanted to the sides, with the center markedly higher than the extremities. This so-called “sing-a-song” style is found only on early Paul Newman versions, and it is later abandoned in favor of linear, more modern graphics. Interestingly, when the outer track is white, the Swiss designation is printed red in one passage. On black outer tracks, such as in the present piece, the process is two-step: first the designation is printed white, and then a red layer is printed on top of the white one. It is thought this process was intended to make the red more bright and contrasting. It appears that three-color white Paul Newman dials – with red divisions on black outer track – later tend to be superseded by examples with white fifth of a second divisions, most probably because of the increased contrast provided by the white on black color scheme.

A final touch of refinement is given to the present watch by its distinguished retailer, as it was originally purchased at the prestigious Bucherer jewelry, considered a landmark of Swiss luxury. Interestingly, the Guarantee paper does not bear the case number of the watch, but the number “161-000-4”, which is beyond any reasonable doubt the internal Bucherer identification number for the item.

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