Paul Newman was once the world’s most bankable film star, and currently, he became the undisputed leader of the watch world at Phillips auction house in New York when his 1968 Rolex Daytona sold for $15.5 million.
(Including the buyer’s premium of 12.5 percent, the initial cost amounts to $17,752,500.) After 12 minutes of voting, the watch was offered to a telephone bidder, setting a fresh record at the largest cost ever reached for an auction wristwatch.
More than 400 individuals from around the globe came together for the Winning Icons auction at Phillips ‘ New York office at 57th and Park Avenue to witness Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona legendary auction.
The prior record for an auction Rolex was laid in May when the Bao Dai Rolex, also by Phillips, opened for more than $5 million, and the preceding record for an inventory wristwatch was $11 million for a Patek Philippe ref. 1518 timepiece, including Phillips.
Newman’s own’ Paul Newman’ Daytona— a donation from his spouse, actress Joanne Woodward — was soon regarded as the Holy Grail among the enthusiasts of watches. “Many individuals say this is the planet’s biggest watch,” Geoff Hess said.
A Rolex vintage collector and Analog Shift CEO. “Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona watch transcends watch collections, transcends the society of the watch,” he proceeded.
“This watch appeals to people far beyond the watch world. I don’t remember a watch that has origins and links in so many societies, and it’s an extremely powerful blend,” Hess said.
It appeals to individuals who enjoy Hollywood memorabilia, of course, and to those who enjoy and admire motorsports and vehicles. It’s also an American item, so it speaks to the society of American history.
According to Paul Boutros, Phillips Senior Vice President and Head of Watches for the Americas, the Rolex Daytona has an extraordinary “exotic” dial layout and was nicknamed’ Paul Newman’ in the 1980s because it was always seen carrying it.
“It’s a whimsical, architecture ##real signature dial,” he said, “there are about 2,000 to 3,000 of this kind of dial in the globe.” Boutros observed that since the 1980s “everyone has been looking for Paul Newman’s Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona.”
And through another collector, it discovered its way to Phillips. “The watch discovered us in this situation.
The previous proprietor, James Cox a former Newman’s sister partner, has held the watch since 1984 when Paul Newman presented it to him, “Boutros stated. Cox requested his lawyer’s guidance when it came to selling the luxury watch, Boutros said, and the lawyer placed him in contact with a watch collector who, in turn, suggested Phillips.
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