The Rolex "Paul Newman" Daytona
To most vintage watch enthusiasts, the Paul Newman Daytona needs no introduction. Over the past 10 years, these Rolex chronographs have become one of the pillars of vintage watch collecting and the “grail” of many collectors. Even at only a few millimeters in size, their iconic white and black dials and stylized font make them hard to miss from 10 feet away. Over the years, many have aged poorly or had those gorgeous dials swapped out, which made for declining supply while demand has continued to grow.
What makes a “Paul Newman” Daytona different from a regular Daytona?
To clear something up; all Paul Newman’s are Daytonas, but not all Daytonas are Paul Newman Daytonas. What makes a Paul Newman Daytona is the dial. There are a number of references of the Daytona, as Rolex updated the model and made changes, they changed the reference number. Each of the vintage, four digit references (6239, 6241, 6265, 6263, etc.) have been offered with Paul Newman dials and without. In the begining, these dials were often referred to as “Exotic Dials.” These exotic dials featured a contrasting outer minute track and more stylized font on the numerals in the subdials and small squares on the end of the hash marks. Some, like the 6239 featured here, came in “Tri-color,” with red as the third color. The photo below compares the two styles.
In the beginning, these exotic dials were difficult for Rolex to sell. It is estimated that for every 20 standard dial Daytonas sold, an exotic dial Daytona was sold. It wasn’t until people learned this watch was the choice chronograph of Paul Newman that demand began to build. There are stories of Paul Newman wearing his Daytona on a shoot for the cover of an Italian magazine, but that magazine has yet to resurface. There is not doubt, however, that Paul Newman was photographed wearing the watch a few times and collectors took notice.
Our Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona, ref. 6239
The watch Newman wore in many of his photos and arguably began this craze, a white, exotic dial 6239, was recently sold at auction for nearly $18 million dollars. We are currently offering the exact variation, a white tri-color 6239. Of course, this watch does not come with the provenance or historical significance, however it is a stunning example. While many of these white dials become discolored or blemished, this dial is nearly flawless. The original lume plots are in excellent condition. The case is full and sharp and the black lettering in the bezel is fully in tact. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about this Paul Newman Daytona or any other watches on our site.