Prepare for a rare and remarkable opportunity as two iconic Rolex Daytonas, once owned by the legendary Paul Newman himself, are set to grace the auction stage. These timepieces, carrying the prestigious legacy of one of Hollywood’s most beloved icon, is about to ignite a bidding frenzy among collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Both watches were given to the actor as gifts; These exceptional watches are projected to fetch prices surpassing the milestone of $1 million each. The connection between Paul Newman and Rolex Daytona watches is so strong that there is even a song dedicated to the pair.
Among the most valuable watches ever auctioned are the iconic “Paul Newman” Daytona, a rare Rolex model from the ‘60s and early ‘70s that the actor popularized. In 2017, this extraordinary watch fetched an astounding $17.75 million. Now the spotlight shifts to the other Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona, which is poised to enter the auction scene.
Sotheby’s a renowned auction house, has revealed plans to auction two Rolex Daytona watches that were once owned by Paul Newman. These watches will be presented at the Important Watches sale in New York City on June 9. Interestingly, this auction aligns with a broader series of events organized by Sotheby’s, paying tribute to the late actor and actress Joanne Woodward, his widow.
The event will encompass more than 300 individual items that the esteemed couple collected and cherished over their 50-year marriage. These items will be offered through dedicated live and online auctions throughout June. It is a remarkable opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to acquire the piece of Newman-Woodward legacy.
The uniqueness of two Newman’s Rolex Daytonas
Available for bidding is a remarkable watch, the 1993 Rolex reference 16520 “Zenith” Daytona. This particular watch holds special significance as it was presented to Paul Newman, then 70 years old, following his victorious achievement in the GTS-1 class at the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona, a demanding endurance car race.
Notably, Newman made history as the oldest driver to secure victory in this prestigious event. The case back of the watch proudly bears an inscription commemorating the moment: “Rolex at Daytona 24 Paul Newman Rolex Motorsports Man of the Year 1995.”
A 2006 Rolex reference 116519 Daytona, the second watch bears a heartfelt inscription: “Drive Very Slowly Joanne.” This watch was a gift from Paul Newman’s wife, Joanne, just like the previous iconic Rolex Daytonas.
The watch that fetched an astounding $17.75 million in 2017 had the inscription “Drive Carefully Me,” while the model auctioned in 2020 for $5.5 million bore the inscription “Drive Slowly Joanne”. It appears that over time Joanne became increasingly concerned about Newman’s enduring passion for car racing as reflected in the evolving messages engraved on these special watches.
Both watches are estimated to sell at impressive prices
Despite their varying ownership backgrounds, reference numbers, and production years, both watches are anticipated to fetch impressive prices, estimated to fall within the range of $500,000 and $1 million. To provide context, it is worth noting that Paul Newman himself sold the “Zenith” Daytona at a charity auction in 1999 for $39,000, which stood out as the highest-priced sale of the evening.
According to Leigh Safar, head of sale for Important Watches at Sotheby’s Americas, “As Rolex commemorates the 60th anniversary of Daytona this year, we take pride in being part of that milestone by showcasing two models that were worn and cherished by the iconic Hollywood legend. These watches not only symbolize the enduring love between Paul Newman and his wife Joanne but also encapsulates his profound passion for the world of racing.”
With these watches bearing the legacy of Paul Newman and his wife, it is anticipated that the event is going to be one of a kind in the auction hall.