The present Daytona wristwatch is an impressive and very well-preserved representative of a ref. 6241 in 14K gold, featuring the iconic ‘Paul Newman’ dial.
Only very few ref. 6241 in gold have been delivered with such exotic “Paul Newman" dial and even fewer are in such an attractive, authentic condition. The dial impresses with its original, unrestored condition. The well-preserved, slightly creamy luminous accents are intact and in a shade perfectly matching the luminescence of the gold hands. The full case has not been subject to careless polishing and features well-defined proportions and edges. The serial and reference numbers are clearly legible. The subtle signs of oxidation visible to both sides of the case underline the fact that the watch has not been used or polished in a long time. The overall appeal of this superb timepiece is completed by the very rare Mk 1 bezel, highly sought-after by collectors and often replaced during services.
A piece of contemporary history such as the present wristwatch provides us with an insight into the production processes of the period. A closer look at the dial reveals that the imprint "T Swiss T" has slightly shifted towards the left side and appears in a slightly darker golden colour, compared to the outer seconds scale. This indicates that it was printed apart from the golden seconds scale and that the dial alignment under the tampon printing machine was not performed with the utmost precision. Likewise, the digit four in the number 45 of the 60 seconds counter is printed in a somewhat imperfect manner. It can be assumed that it must have been made by an older or unclean printing pad that had not functioned in a perfectly proper manner. These small discrepancies make this timepiece unique and indicate that the final inspection at the time was more likely to practice higher levels of tolerance than the contemporary production processes.
During the 1970s, watches in 14K gold were predominantly delivered to the North American market. Due to the restrictive import duty regulations, it was easier and cheaper to import 14K gold than 18K gold and deliveries only took place following an advance order. To save additional costs, only the watch cases were delivered and fitted with locally manufactured bracelet and stamped “Rolex USA”, such as the present example. Due to the lack of demand for these watches, the years of production and delivery are not necessarily identical, often resulting in differences of up to 3 years between production of the watch case and the bracelet.
Reference 6241 was introduced into the market in the mid-1960s and remained in production until around 1969. Available in stainless steel of 2250 pieces, 300 pieces in 18K gold and 450 pieces in 14K gold, it was fitted with the "non-Oyster" or "non-screw down" chronograph buttons and a bezel with black plastic insert, the tachymetre scale printed in white. The dials featured the designations "Rolex Cosmograph" but not always the "Daytona".
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.