Paul Newman’s Long-Missing Rolex Has Been Found — Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal

Most important vintage watch ever?

June 1, 2017 9:00 am

As we’ve mentioned before, people covet vintage Rolexes

But there’s one Rolex so valuable and rare there’s no telling what a serious watch collector might do to get their mitts on it. A watch worn by one of our country’s most iconic actors. A singular ticker that may have spawned the entire vintage Rolex marketplace in the first place.

Long missing, it’s about to be up for grabs.

Some background: The good folks at Hodinkee wrote a story a few years back on the twelve greatest missing watches — involving classic timepieces worn by Pablo Picasso, Marlon Brando and Buzz Aldrin — that also featured a mention of Paul Newman’s personal Rolex Daytona.

“[The Daytona] is arguably the watch that set the modern vintage Rolex collecting world into the stratosphere,” the story notes. Why? According to the vintage Rolex shop Bob’s Watches, Newman’s name became synonymous with the Daytona model shortly after his wife Joanne Woodward gave him one when he took up racing in 1972. 

So the Rolex Daytona 6239, worn by the legendary actor himself, has not only been found, it’ll be up for sale at Phillips’ first New York watch auction this fall.

This timepiece belongs to James Cox, who dated Newman’s daughter Nell Potts. In the summer of 1984, the actor gave his ticker to a watch-less Cox, noting, “Here, here’s a watch. If you wind it, it tells pretty good time.”

If you’re not a watch fanatic, there’s a good explanation on the value of the 6239 and what makes it a “Paul Newman” watch here.

(Main image: Keystone/Getty Images. Inline: Bob’s Watches)

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