DALLAS – A rare 14K gold “Paul Newman” Rolex is headed to auction for the first time ever in Heritage Auctions’ Watches & Fine Timepieces Auction Wednesday, Oct. 24, in New York. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
The “John Player Special” Cosmograph Dayton with “Paul Newman” dial, circa 1969, is one of the most desirable Daytona models among vintage Rolex collectors. With its distinctive Art Deco-inspired dial, it is named after the Rolex Daytona’s most famous owner, actor and racing driver Paul Newman.
This model was nicknamed “John Player Special” after the Formula One car of the Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna, which is regarded as one of the most beautiful racing vehicles of all time. His Team Lotus car sported the John Player Special livery made of black with contrasting gilt details and trimmings. The “John Player Special” Ref 6241 Daytona with Paul Newman dial is among the rarest watches Rolex has made, with those in 14K gold, like the one offered by Heritage Auctions.
“Vintage Rolexes continue to be enormously popular among collectors, and this watch represents the pinnacle for collectors,” Heritage Auctions Watches & Fine Timepieces Director Jim Wolf said. “This example, being offered for sale in public for the very first time, and in unmatched condition, represents a rare opportunity for collectors of this most iconic of watches”
Of only about 3,000 reference 6241 Rolex Daytonas made between 1966 and 1969, fewer than 400 were made in 14K gold, and of those, only a handful with the black “Paul Newman” dial have ever made it to auction in the last 10 years. The watch offered in the Oct. 24 watch sale has never before been seen at auction and has been in the possession of the current owner since he purchased it from a friend in 1971.