The most expensive wristwatch ever sold when it achieved US$17.52m at Phillips, the Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona once owned by the actor was a high watermark in vintage Rolex collecting when it sold in 2017. And now Phillips has sold another vintage Daytona owned by the late actor – a ref. 6263 “Big Red” – for US$5.48m including fees.
Gifted by Newman to his daughter Clea in 2008, the ref. 6263 was originally given to Newman by his wife, engraved with a dedication on the back, just like the Daytona sold in 2017. Though selling for less than the 2017 example, the ref. 6263 becomes the third most valuable Rolex sold at auction, after the first Paul Newman Daytona and the ref. 6062 “Bao Dai” once owned by the last Emperor of Vietnam.
The bidding for the Daytona opened at a little under US$1.00m, but dramatically jumped to US$2.00m with a bid by Paul Boutros of Phillips’ New York office. It progressed swiftly, with numerous bidders contesting the lot. But the winner was the bidder represented by Livia Russo of Phillips in Geneva, who clinched it with a US$4.50m bid, which totals US$5.48m with fees.
Intriguingly, auctioneer Aurel Bacs commented during the bidding that if Ms Russo’s client won the watch, it would disappear into a private collection like the record-setting Daytona sold in 2017 – though he did not say it was the same client that that bought both watches.
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