The present lot is a highly important discovery in the world of prized vintage Rolex. Collectors and enthusiasts alike will note that this timepiece is almost unheard of in the market today and constitutes extreme rarity among collectable timepieces.
Joseph Linz & Brothers
Retailer to the most prestigious brands, Joseph Linz & Brothers opened in 1877 and have since maintained a large and impressive store in Dallas, Texas.
Its beginnings stem with five brothers, who in the late 19th century opened in Denison, despite their upbringing in St. Louis. For decades, the jewelry firm were a staple in the community but they were recognized far and beyond their physical location. It was their reputation which preceded them, and their long-standing relationships with clients which held them in high esteem.
It is no coincidence then, that when Rolex Watch USA moved into the Texas market in the mid-20th century, that they chose to sell their exclusive watches through Linz Brothers. And it was not only brands which favored selling in the Linz store, but clients also showed loyalty to the retailer. In fact, it is known that one of the most important watch connoisseurs and collectors, Mr. J. B. Champion, chose Linz Brothers as his preferential retailer, alongside the Henry Stern Watch Agency in New York, frequenting both on a regular basis and placing special orders to add to his already impressive watch collection.
Despite Linz Brothers being one of the biggest retailers for Rolex in North America at that time, an extremely small number of watches with the ‘LINZ’ signature have ever come to market. Moreover, only a few have ever been seen to grace the dials of the coveted Rolex ‘Paul Newman’.
Reference 6239 "Paul Newman" Daytona
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, is among the most appreciated and recognized chronograph models by any manufacturer.
Available in stainless steel, 14k and 18k gold, reference 6239 was the firm's first chronograph with the tachymeter scale engraved on the bezel and the subsidiary dials printed in a different color 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", soon became available for reference 6239, either two-colored white/cream and black or three-colored, such as the present watch, with the addition of the red seconds scales.
When the Daytona comes fitted with the rare “exotic” or so-called “Paul Newman” dial, its rarity, aesthetic appeal, and collectability are profoundly increased. This dial, distinguished by the three-dimensional construction, with sunken subsidiary dials and sunken outer chapter ring, was an alternative dial offered to clients at the time. Ironically, this variation was not appreciated by the market at the time of its production. It took decades for collectors to appreciate this "exotic" dial variation, now considered a treasure. The dial is preserved in excellent condition and its attractiveness is increased through the obviously original and nicely aged luminous accents. Paul Newman himself wore a reference 6239 with a white dial, a gift from his wife, and he used it in particular for his racing career.
The reference 6239 Paul Newman Daytona was available with a white dial and black text and registers, or as is the case here, a black dial with white printing and registers. On the present example, the unmistakable ‘LINZ’ logo with ‘N’ written backwards stands out in white so clearly against the deep black dial. Moreover, the graphics of the numerals, the font of the Rolex designation, the sunken subdials style, the step at 6 o' clock, the angular Singer hallmark on the back of the dial, absolutely everything is exactly as it should be on a black Paul Newman dial, but it is the crisp white LINZ signature which catches the eye and gives this already highly appealing timepiece a stand out quality like no other. Its bold and attractive aesthetic is heightened by its well-preserved case and crisp serial and reference numbers which are rightfully stamped in-between the lugs.
Of those sought-after watches that were signed by the maker as well as the retailer, such as those with Rolex and Tiffany & Co. signed dials (please see lot 72 in this sale), or perhaps those with Patek Philippe and Gübelin signed dials, (please see lot 92 in this sale), this example must be considered the rarest, most well-pronounced and distinctive statement of the so-called ‘double-signed’ dial.