Monochrome Watches
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Paul Newman’s Rolex ‘Big Red’ Daytona ref. 6263 Sells for USD 5,475,000

An impressive result for Newman's other Daytona

| By Brice Goulard | 2 min read |

3 years ago, in 2017, one of the most important vintage watches ever offered for sale, a watch of superb provenance, a watch that meant a lot for the collecting community, broke the record for the most expensive wristwatch ever auctioned. Indeed, Paul Newman’s Paul Newman Daytona sold for $17,752,500 – before another watch took back the record, the unique Patek Grandmaster Chime for Only Watch, for CHF 31 Million. Today, as Phillips was hosting its Racing Pulse auction in New York, two important watches surfaced. First was one of McQueen’s Heuer Monaco from Le Mans, which broke the record for the most expensive Heuer. Second was yet another Rolex Daytona owned by Paul Newman. And if it didn’t set a new record, it remains an impressive result for what is ‘just’ a ‘Big Red’ Daytona ref. 6263 (provenance apart…)

While Newman’s Rolex Daytona Paul Newman was certainly amongst the most important watches to ever come at auction, this Rolex Daytona also comes with a great pedigree… And thus, expectations were high, once again. Of course, since it was worn and owned by one of the most revered actors ever, Paul Newman. But mostly, after the record set by his other Daytona, the collecting community was particularly looking at this one too.

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This present black, non-exotic dial Cosmograph Daytona, reference 6263 was bought for Newman once again by Joanne Woodward. This “Big Red” reference 6263 with screw-down pushers was worn by Paul Newman, as seen in countless images, beginning with its purchase in 1983 by Joanne Woodward until 2008. It was the watch he wore the longest and was most often photographed wearing until Newman gifted it to his daughter, Clea Newman Soderlund in 2008 before his passing. Its caseback is beautifully engraved with the phrase, Drive slowly Joanne” explains Phillips.

Today, this watch has been offered by Phillips during the Racing Pulse auction and it achieved yet another impressive result. Certainly, it remains far from THE Paul Newman Paul Newman Daytona, however, at USD 5,475,000, it is an extremely high price for what is, other than its origin, a rather classic Daytona Big Red – which would normally sell for about USD 80,000. Once again, the provenance and pedigree of the watch proved to be an important factor in the final price.

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