Produced between 1966 and 1969, reference 6241's total production amounts to roughly 3000 pieces, slightly less than 400 in 14k gold. It is an educated guess that only a fraction of these were fitted with the Paul Newman dial, either in gold or in this case, in black. Beyond its aesthetics, John Player Special reference 6241 is an extremely rare model. Less than 10 examples in 14k gold with black Paul Newman dial have appeared at auction in the last 20 years. Models in 14k gold, such as the present watch, were exclusively reserved for the North American market.
On the 21st of April, 1985, a young Brazilian driver gained his first great Formula One victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix held at Estoril. That day, Ayrton Senna started his racing career by crossing the finishing line for Team Lotus sporting the John Player Special livery in a vehicle that is still today regarded as one of the most 'beautiful' racing cars of all time. The colors of that car, totally black with contrasting gilt details and trimmings, are still synonymous with elegance and charm. The reference 6241 black dial Paul Newman echoes that elegance and charisma.
For detailed descriptions and illustrations of reference 6241 see: Rolex Daytona - a legend is born, Carlo Pergola, Stefano Mazzariol, Giovanni Dosso, pp. 94-108. A similar example is illustrated and described in: Ultimate Rolex Daytona, Pucci Papaleo, pp. 256-259