Reference 6239, the very first model of the celebrated "Daytona" series, succeeded reference 6238 and could be found in sales catalogues in Europe as of 1964. The model remained in production until the mid-1970s. Available in stainless steel, 14K and 18K gold, reference 6239 was the firm's first chronograph with the tachometre scale engraved on the bezel and the subsidiary dials printed in a different colour than the main dial for better readability. The dials of the first models featured only the designation "Cosmograph", referring to the outer space travels of the early 60s. The "Daytona" was added shortly after to mark Rolex's sponsorship of the renowned Nascar stock car race. The so-called "exotic" dial, later nicknamed "Paul Newman", became soon available for reference 6239, either two-coloured white/cream and black or three-coloured, such as the present watch, with the addition of the red seconds scales.
The present lot is an exciting example of reference 6239, distinguished not only by its remarkable condition, but also by its provenance, as it has been consigned for sale by its first and only owner.
For detailed descriptions and illustrations of reference 6239 see Rolex Daytona - a legend is born by Carlo Pergola, Stefano Mazzariol, Giovanni Dosso, pp. 44 - 61. Different versions of reference 6239 in regard to case material and dial layout are furthermore described and illustrated in I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pp. 296-30