With a Rolex undated Guarantee stamped Karl Hauser Uhren, München, two period Rolex Cosmograph brochures, Bucherer Munich service invoice dated 22 November 2011, rating sheet, period presentation box and outer packaging.
The present example of the highly sought-after "Panda" Paul Newman Daytona is offered in outstanding condition. The dial has aged impeccably, and the white background acquired a soft and appealing eggshell hue. The case is full and crisp, and the black bezel virtually immaculate, the bracelet dates from the same period as the watch. Furthermore offered with a contemporary Guarantee, box and brochures, it is unquestionably one of the most appealing "Pandas" to ever appear at auction.
Few companies can be deemed equal to Rolex under the point of view of experimentalism. The crowned house never shied away from incepting new dial variations, slight case modifications, movement upgrades, pushers improvements and so on. And they did all these trials on production models. Consequently, the vintage - and modern as well - Rolex production offers an horological landscape which is filled with rare and beautiful landmarks. One of the highest pleasures for the Rolex collector is indeed to travel this fantastic land and, if lucky enough, to admire and possibly own one of the legendary and rare treasures which it holds.
The "Panda" Paul Newman is by many considered one of the most attractive dial variations which can be found on a vintage Daytona - and it is certainly one of the rarest and most recognizable. The Paul Newman (or "Exotic", as originally called by Rolex) dial is, by definition, not what one would define as a paradigm of understatement: the dial construction on two levels, the square numerals in the subsidiary counters, the red outer scale found in the three color Paul Newman dials are all elements with strong character. Many of the original Rolex clients probably shared this point of view, thus choosing to avoid this dial (consequently making the Paul Newman dial the rare gem it is now).
The Panda version, however, seems to struggle to balance the flamboyant dial design with a monochromatic black and white palette. The result is simply superb: the dichromic alternation coupled with the elaborate design create an effect of sporty elegance which is rarely found on a sport watch.
This dial design might very well have been a test on Rolex part to see if a "toned-down" version of their exotic dial would captivate more followers on the market. Whatever the reason behind it, we can only be grateful such a beauty was designed and admire it now, when one is lucky enough to come across one of these exceedingly rare icons.