Most Expensive Rolex Wrist Watch: Paul Newman’s Daytona Has Set a New Record

On October 26, a vintage Rolex wrist watch that belonged to the Hollywood icon Paul Newman set a new world record. This historically important stainless steel Daytona was sold at the Phillips New York “Winning Icons – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century” Sale for a staggering $17.8 million, which makes it the world’s most expensive wrist watch ever sold at auction.

Original Paul Newman's Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6239

After a 12-minute bidding war, the legendary timepiece once given to Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward was finally sold to an anonymous bidder on the phone, who had offered a record-breaking $17,752,500 for a single Rolex wrist watch. Thus, the very first Daytona “Paul Newman” has beaten the previous record for the most expensive wrist watch, set by the famous Patek Philippe stainless steel watch (Ref. 1518) that was sold by Phillips Geneva in 2016 for $11 million, and it was actually very close to the Henry Graves Patek Philippe Supercomplication sold for $24 million in 2014.

Among other important Rolex luxury watches sold by Phillips New York, we can mention the following:

1. Rolex Ref. 8171 “Padellone,” 1950

A triple calendar Rolex wrist watch known as “Padellone” is one of the world’s most sought-after luxury watches today. It is no wonder that this large for the time stainless steel timepiece with a graine dial, powered by an automatic mechanical movement, was sold for $603,000.

Rolex Ref. 8171 “Padellone” Triple Calendar, 1950

2. Rolex Submariner Ref. 6200 “Big Crown,” 1954

Designed for professional divers, the Rolex Ref. 6200 was the only one among three models released in 1954 to feature water resistance to a depth of 200 meters. This important and extremely rare stainless steel automatic Rolex with a black glossy Explorer dial went under the hammer for $579,000.

Rolex Submariner Ref. 6200 “Big Crown” with Explorer Dial, 1954

3. Rolex Ref. 6284, 1950

Manufactured in 1950, this highly attractive 14k yellow gold Rolex wrist watch powered by an automatic movement is distinguished by its unique cloisonne enamel dial depicting North and South America, which makes it one of the most desirable luxury watches in the world. It was sold by Phillips for $567,000.

Rolex Ref. 6284 with Cloisonne Enamel Dial, 1950

4. Rolex Ref. 6062 “Stelline,” 1953

Featuring a rare star dial and an in-house automatic movement, this 18k yellow gold triple calendar model known as “Stelline” is one more perfect example of collectible and important Rolex watches auctioned by Phillips New York. It went under the hammer for $495,000.

Rolex Ref. 6062 “Stelline” Triple Calendar Moon Phase, 1953

Finally, here are several more auction results from the “Winning Icons – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century” Sale:

- 18k rose gold Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 (1951) – sold for $975,000
- Yellow gold Audemars Piguet Ref. 5516 (1957) – sold for $675,000
- 18k rose gold Vacheron Constantin Ref. 4764 “Cioccolatone” (1958) – sold for $387,000
- Platinum Cartier Grand Tank Cintree (1927) – sold for $350,000
- Stainless steel Panerai Marina Militare Ref. 6152-1 (1947) – sold for $106,250

Needless to say that the Phillips New York “Winning Icons” Sale was a truly exciting event that is guaranteed to be remembered for years to come!