Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona ‘Big Red’ Sold for a Record Price at Phillips New York


Phillips ‘Racing Pulse’ sale in New York has set another record with the sale of the Paul Newman’s ‘Big Red’ Daytona. This Rolex Reference 6263 fetched nearly £4,106,113 at the New York auction after almost a month-and-a-half of anticipation.

Interestingly, the Reference 6263 is the second Daytona to sell at Phillips that the famous actor and racer Paul Newman owned. The first Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona Reference 6239 sold for nearly £13.27 million on October 26, 2017. Indeed, it did not come close to the selling price of the Reference 6239.

But considering the current situation, this second Newman’s Daytona yet fetched considerable hammer price. Well, Rolex watches symbolise ultimate luxury and precision. Rolex crafts all its watches using premium quality materials, precious metals and gems, enabling them to retain higher resale value.

And celebrity association with a particular watch always plays a significant role in boosting its resale price. Thus, Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona is expected to command such a staggering sum at auction.

However, this Rolex Daytona ‘Big Red’ of Paul Newman was estimated to sell for over £0.75 million, but it finally sold for £4,106,113 that is four-time more above the estimate.

Paul Newman’s ‘Big Red’ Rolex Daytona

A Rolex ‘Big Red’ Daytona that Paul Newman owned sold for a hammering price at ‘Racing Pulse’ New York auction on December 12, 2020, that Phillips conducted in association with Bacs & Russo.

However, you will be interested to know that Newman’s wife, Joanne Woodward, gifted this watch to him. The timepiece has the texts ‘Drive Slowly, Joanne’ engraved on the case-back. After years of wearing it regularly, Newman gave the timepiece to his daughter Clea.

So she decided to sell her father’s timepiece, and a part of the proceeds will go to Paul Newman charities. However, you might be wondering why this Reference 6263 is nicknamed the ‘Big Red’?

The fact is that the watch features a big red logo of Daytona at 6 o’clock.

Paul Newman had been spotted in many images wearing the Daytona “Big Red” Reference 6263. The watch flaunts a black dial and screw-down pushers. It is said that Newman wore this watch the longest and thus, most of his photographs exhibit wearing it.

In 2008, he gifted the timepiece to his daughter before his passing. However, the exquisitely engraved case-back with the words ‘Drive slowly, Joanne’ manifest Woodward’s fear for her husband’s safety. Engraving this phrase, she wanted to ensure that Newman always remembers to take care of himself when on the race track.

A Spectacular Watch Sold by Phillips Auction House

The Rolex Daytona ‘Big Red’ Reference 6263 features a stainless steel case of 37mm diameter and a matching stainless steel bracelet. Rolex produced the model in around 1980.

Interestingly, the photographs of Paul Newman reveal that he wore this watch unscrewing the chronograph pushers. This enabled him to start timing events quickly during a race or his daily activities.

Moreover, Paul Newman was known to be confident and proud of his Daytona watches’ accuracy. It is said that he used to place bets with his friends that his timepiece was more precise compared to others.

Well, from the presale estimate of over £0.75 million, it is apparent that people had high expectations and hopes for this Paul Newman’s Daytona 6263.

Another world record made by Heuer at Phillips Auction

Phillips’s ‘Racing Pulse’ auction also sold a Heuer Monaco Reference 1133 for £1,656,276, making a world record for any Heuer. Interestingly, the owner of the watches was Steve McQueen. He wore the watch in the popular flick of 1970s ‘Le Mans’.

However, McQueen presented it to his loyal mechanic, Haig Alltounian, after completing the shooting. The appeal lies in the watch’s case-back that feature the McQueen’s message inscribed ‘Thank you for keeping me alive all these months’.

Phillips head and senior vice-president of the New York, Paul Boutros came to known about this timepiece in 2018. He continued to meet Alltounian many times with the motive of bringing the Heuer watch to the auction.

He believes that people treasure watches that tell a story. They prefer to be a proud owner of the timepieces that their heroes owned and wore.

However, the Phillips ‘Racing Pulse’ sale also featured many other celebrity-owned keepsakes, grossing a total of £27.6 million. Furthermore, there were relics owned by John Lennon, Sylvester Stallone, HRH Prince Albert of Monaco and many others.

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Paul Newman’s Rolex ‘Big Red’ Daytona sold for more than nearly four times above its presale estimate at Phillips ‘Racing Pulse’ sale in New York.


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