We are all aware that the Rolex Daytona is one of the main attractions in auctions. Recently, we showed you a very nice and rare example of a Daytona Paul Newman transitional 6264, that will be auctioned soon in Monte-Carlo. This one was already a rare bird, complete with papers and boxes, and a reference number rare enough to set the estimation at € 150.000 Euro – an ‘impressive’ estimate for a ‘Dayto PN’. However tonight, 22 July 2014, there is another Paul Newman Daytona that might get collectors even more exited. It will be auctioned by Artcurial in Monte-Carlo, and this one could break the ceiling, with an estimate of € 200.000 – € 400.000 Euro: a Rolex Daytona 6263 Paul Newman with a tropical ‘Coffee’ dial and a unique pedigree. Big question: insane or justified?
If you look at the catalog of this Artcurial auction, you might find some very nice Pateks, some rare Submariners or, well, everything from the Rolex catalogues, new or vintage. And amidst of these watches, one is creating (once again) a real buzz in the watch world: lot 313: a ‘unique and ultimate’ Rolex Daytona 6263 Paul Newman with an estimate of € 200.000 – € 400.00 Euro. You might find it weird because these 6263 PN are not the rarest and are usually sold for approximately € 100.000 – € 120.000 Euro, even with a good pedigree and all the required papers / authenticity proofs.
However, lot 313 is special: “unique and very fine stainless steel manual winding chronograph wristwatch with rare chocolate registers, Rolex Daytona reference 6263. Round case. Screwed crown, pushers and caseback. Mark I bakelite bezel with tachometer scale graduate to 200. Cream dial known as ‘Tropical’ with 3 sub-counters in a unique coffee colour, with matching minute rail-track, 30min sub-dial at 3, 12h sub-dial at 6 and small second at 9. Mechanical movement with column wheel, Calibre Valjoux 727. Original ‘Oyster’ caseback engraved ref. 6239. Very rare first generation (Mk1) chromed brass pushers, a.k.a. ‘Millerighe’. Folded Oyster bracelet ref. 7835 with end-links ref. 271, signed deploy ant buckle”.
In addition to that, the watch was owned by the same family for many years with a complete service historic from 1976 to 1993, with not less than 11 recorded services (with engravings inside the caseback). This piece has been authenticated as fully original and is in a mint condition.
So here it begins to get complicated for non-initiates. To clear up the situation, what we have here is a fully original Rolex Daytona ref. 6263, with an exotic ‘Paul Newman’ dial (a specific layout and sub-counters typo) that has turned into a coffee colour (due to humidity, sun exposure or a bad reaction of the lacquer). We must admit, the brown colour is pretty amazing. We also have to admit that the watch has a very impressive pedigree and that its authenticity shouldn’t be a problem. But (and that’s a big BUT) is the estimation justified?
Recently, a Rolex Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ in gold, with a unique lemon dial was sold for € 560.000 Euro. OK, that was a prototype, a gold edition and a UNIQUE one. It reached an insane price but it was sort of understandable. We also understood why Eric Clapton’s PN Daytona reached $ 500.000 USD. It was an extremely rare ‘albino’ version (full silver dial) and it was worn by legendary guitar player, singer, song writer and most important and influential guitarists of all time. The one we have here has just a very nice patina, compared to a standard 6263. It is not that easy to find a nice Rolex Daytona 6263 Paul Newman in good condition and with papers, but it is possible – and for much less than this one’s estimate. The 6263 is not the rarest of them all.
The explanation for that price is clearly speculation. We’re not into passion anymore but into pure finance. Stocks are facing a large volatility, bonds are not giving profits anymore and gold is overpriced. So what about investing into another type of assets: vintage and collectible watches, with insanely increasing and high prices. We are big fans here, at Monochrome-Watches, of vintage chronographs and such a situation is not what we are executing from the market. This specific Rolex Daytona 6263 Paul Newman with this amazing tropical coffee dial is a pure beauty. But the price is not justified by the love for watches anymore, nor by the rarity. Tonight we’ll have the results of the auction and we’ll keep you updated with this unique lot.
What to think about such an estimation?
UPDATE: This ‘Ultimate Coffee Panda’ was sold to an Asian collector for €336.600 Eur / $453.333 USD (including fees). It set 2 new records: the most expansive Daytona with tropical dial ever auctioned in the world and the most expansive Rolex ever auctioned in France.