When it comes to the world of luxury watches, nothing can beat a Rolex. However, the Rolex Daytona adds a totally different spin to the mix. This watch that is closely associated with motor racing has raised eyebrows after selling at a whopping $17.8 million in an auction in New York. One would wonder why such a simple wrist wearable watch should cost so much. The answer lies in the details of the watch. This particular Daytona boasts of rich history, including victorious moments on the racing track. The Daytona is also uniquely designed to match the needs of motor racers.
About The Watch
Its architecture is somewhat different from the normal timepieces. It adds several components to enhance its movement and readability. According to Rolex, this watch allows drivers to read elapsed time and measure lapse rate on its special tachymetric bezel. The watch also saves space and is able to hold power for up to 72 hours, an extension from the normal 52 hours for similar watches. It enjoys the highest precision in time count and stands out as one of the best watches in history.
About The Auction
Even with such amazing features, there is no doubt that there are better watches. The fact that it can be used in motor racing cannot account for the high pricing. This specific Daytona, Ref 6239 was actually owned by actor Paul Newman. The Rolex Daytona later own came to be known as the Paul Newman’s Daytona.
According to The Guardian, the auctioning firm intended to sell the watch at $ 1 million. However, interest in this timepiece was so high that they had to reconsider. There were over 700 bidders live in the room with 43 other online from different countries. The watch was eventually sold at a cash price of $15.5 million. A buyers premium of 12.5% made the final price a record $17, 752, 500. This is the highest amount ever paid for a Rolex in an auction. Although Rolex watches have been sold for high prices previously, none has come close to this. In fact, the highest price recorded before this sale was just $5 million. A Rolex watch of the 20th century ( nicknamed Bao Dai) had previously been sold for $5 million, beating a $3.7 million record. In recent days, there has been an increase in the number of people looking to buy overpriced classic assets. If the current trend is anything to go by, the price of the Rolex Daytona will be well over $20 million in a years time.
About This Specific Rolex Daytona
This Paul Newman’s Daytona is actually the real piece worn by actor Paul Newman. Although the Daytona is the most sought after Rolex model, Paul Newman’s Rolex is the most valuable in that class. The Paul Newman Daytona is actually distinguishable from other Daytona in several ways. It has square lollipop ends on all the subdial markers. It also has distinguishable front art decor as compared to other Daytona watches. This timepiece boasts of contrasting colored seconds arm along the ends of the dial. Most importantly, the Daytona signature sits over the lower subdial rather than over the upper signature as it is with the other Daytonas.
The Paul Newman Daytona, officially known as the Rolex Oyster Dayton was produced over a period of 7 years. The first batch was produced in 1963 with the production continuing until late 1970. The Daytona that was auctioned was manufactured in 1963.
History Of The $17.8 Million Daytona
Paul Newman’s Daytona sold for $17.8 million was given to him by his wife as a gift. According to Forbes, Joanne Woodward bought the watch in 1968 from Tiffany& Co store in New York and had a special message engraved on it. Given that Paul Newman was enjoying a motor racing career at the time, this gift from his wife had a message “Drive Carefully”. The use of this watch in the racing events in Daytona Florida was the birth of its name Rolex Daytona.
In 1984 Newman passed the watch on as a gift to his daughter’s boyfriend, James Cox. Newman had observed that his daughter’s boyfriend lacked a watch and gave it to him so that it could help him keep time. Although James Cox and Newman’s Daughter eventually broke up, they remained in good terms over the years. They decided to put the watch up for auction together. They agreed that some of the money would go to charity— Nell Newman Foundation and the Newman’s Own Foundation. This being one of the most important watches in history, its auction was highly publicized. Phillips Auctioneers were put in charge of selling the watch and they did not disappoint. Although they were targeting to sell the watch at just $1 million, the offer quickly rose up leading to the price of $17.8 million. With more than 700 bidders for the watch, there is no doubt that Paul Newman left a mark in the hearts of many. This particular watch is also a beauty to behold and very durable. It is made of stainless steel and is among the oldest watches still in existence. Surprisingly, although there were more than 700 bidders in the room, the watch was sold to a phone bidder. The auction event attracted 43 live phone bidders.
About Paul Newman
Paul Newman is a celebrated racer and actor. He enjoyed racing and participated in various events during his time. He was also a renowned actor who featured in several high ranking films. He won an Oscar for his success as an actor in 1986 for the film The Color Of Money. He wore the Rolex Daytona for about 15 years on a daily basis. Paul passed on in 2008 at the age of 83.
The Rolex Daytona is one of the best timepieces of the 20th century. Having been worn by one of the most celebrated American personalities, it makes sense that the Daytona is worth above $17 million dollars. Given that Rolex Daytonas are rare, it is expected that this Rolex will increase in value in the next few years.