Rolex Daytona Paul Newman: Vintage and Valuable
The Rolex Paul Newman Daytona is one of the most highly coveted vintage watches ever. The prestigious name and high demand are driving the value of many models upward. These Rolex watches thus make for attractive investment pieces.
"Exotic Dial" with an Art Deco Aesthetic
The Rolex Paul Newman Daytona is one of the most sought-after watches in the world. Defining features of vintage Paul Newman Daytona chronographs include their multicolored "exotic" dials and Art-Deco-style numerals. Back in the 1960s and 70s, this look was not nearly as well-received as it is today, resulting in very low production numbers. This rarity – combined with the fact that famous actor and race car driver Paul Newman wore his watch every day – has only fanned the flames of the Daytona legend. In turn, this chronograph is now one of the most expensive vintage watches on the market.
If you'd like to own the same model Paul Newman wore, you should look at the ref. 6239. Its sister model, the ref. 6241, comes with an acrylic bezel. The rarest version is the 6262. Other references include the 6263, 6264, and 6265.
Be sure to keep your eyes out for an "exotic dial." Many watches bear one of the aforementioned reference numbers, but feature a standard Daytona dial. You should always do your research before making a purchase, as some watches will come with an "exotic dial" that is not original to that timepiece. The original papers and an easy-to-understand service history are good places to look for this information.
The Daytona Paul Newman has recorded excellent financial performance in recent years. Depending on the exact edition and reference, the average level of appreciation is around the 50% mark. In June 2022, the most expensive model was the extremely rare ref. 6264 crafted from 18-karat gold at around 915,000 USD.
5 Reasons to Buy a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona
- Legendary chronograph with vintage charm
- Popular reference numbers: 6239, 6241, 6263
- Prices starting at 190,000 USD
- Highly likely to appreciate in value
- Racing watch with a tachymeter scale
Prices: Paul Newman Daytona
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Features, dial color, caliber|
|Paul Newman's Daytona 6239||17.75 million USD||The world's most expensive Rolex watch, sold at auction on October 26, 2017|
|6264||915,000 USD||Acrylic bezel, lemon dial, Valjoux 727|
|6263||610,000 USD||Screw-down push pieces, white dial, Valjoux 727|
|6241||560,000 USD||Acrylic bezel, white dial, Valjoux 722|
|6262||510,000 USD||Steel bezel, white dial, Valjoux 727|
|6265||410,000 USD||Screw-down push pieces, steel bezel, white dial, Valjoux 727|
|6264||410,000 USD||Acrylic bezel, black dial, Valjoux 727|
|6239||350,000 USD||Steel bezel, white dial, Valjoux 722|
|6262||275,000 USD||Steel bezel, black dial, Valjoux 727|
|6241||260,000 USD||Acrylic bezel, black dial, Valjoux 722|
|6239||250,000 USD||Steel bezel, black dial, Valjoux 727|
How much does a Paul Newman Daytona cost?
In June 2022, prices for the Daytona Paul Newman started at around 250,000 USD. This amount will get you the ref. 6239 with a steel bezel and black dial. If you prefer the white dial version, you will need to invest roughly 350,000 USD in this reference. Paul Newman himself wore this edition, and his personal timepiece became the most expensive Rolex of all time when it sold at a Phillips auction for 17.75 million USD in October 2017.
The Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6262 with an acrylic bezel and white dial demands over half a million dollars. The ref. 6264 is made of 18-karat gold and is an extremely rare find. However, listings for this popular timepiece do crop up on Chrono24 every now and again. In June 2022, there was one listing selling for 950,000 USD, making this edition by far the most expensive Daytona.
About the refs. 6241, 6262, & 6264
The ref. 6241 is almost indistinguishable from the ref. 6239 and also features an "exotic dial." The only difference is its black acrylic bezel as opposed to the ref. 6239's stainless steel bezel. Rolex produced fewer 6241 watches than 6239s. Therefore, the Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6241 with its acrylic bezel is even rarer and more expensive. Both get their power from the manual Valjoux chronograph caliber 722. Plan to spend over 260,000 USD for a Daytona ref. 6241 with a black exotic dial in very good condition. If you want the white dial edition, however, expect prices far north of 500,000 USD. Prices for the "standard" edition without a Paul Newman dial start at around 120,000 USD.
Another interesting Rolex Paul Newman Daytona model bears the reference number 6262. This chronograph looks just like the Daytona 6239 but has a different caliber. Rolex outfitted the ref. 6262 with the Valjoux 727, an improved version of the Valjoux 722. While the Valjoux 722 ticks at 18,000 vibrations per hour (vph), the Valjoux 727 has a frequency of 21,600 vph. Today, the Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6262 is incredibly difficult to find, since the manufacturer ceased production after only one year. Depending on the watch's condition, one of these models will set you back around 500,000 USD.
The Daytona ref. 6264 is an equally rare sight. This timepiece also uses the Valjoux 727. Unlike the ref. 6262, the ref. 6264 has a black acrylic bezel. The ref. 6264 often sells for over 400,000 USD. Versions without the Paul Newman dial are decidedly less expensive.
The Paul Newman Daytona With an Oyster Case
Models with the reference numbers 6265 and 6263 are also available in the Paul Newman look. However, the manufacturer gave these timepieces some new features, including a somewhat thicker Oyster case and screw-down push-pieces at 2 and 4 o'clock. Furthermore, in addition to the multicolored dial, these watches are also available with a two-tone black and white dial in the classic "panda" or "reverse panda" style. Either "Rolex Oyster Cosmograph" or "Rolex Cosmograph Oyster" is inscribed beneath the Rolex logo at 12 o'clock. The latter version is especially rare. Rolex had previously used the inscription "Rolex Cosmograph" on the dials. The Valjoux caliber 727 powers both references. Rolex outfitted the ref. 6265 with a steel bezel, while the ref. 6263 has a black acrylic bezel.
Be sure to set aside at least 400,000 USD for a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6265 with the "Rolex Cosmograph Oyster" inscription. A standard ref. 6265 without the special dial is significantly less expensive due to lower demand. These models go for as little as 55,500 USD in mint condition.
The ref. 6263 with a panda dial is one of the most highly coveted and expensive versions of the Rolex Daytona Paul Newman. One such timepiece sold for 1.1 million USD at a Christie's auction in 2013. Depending on its condition, this watch requires an investment of around 600,000 USD. The standard edition of this Daytona (i.e., without an exotic dial) costs between 61,000 USD and 100,000 USD.
A Statement-Making Multicolored Dial
You can recognize a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona by its dial. It may be hard to believe, but the dial is all that separates the Paul Newman from other Daytona models. Daytonas with a black or white Paul Newman dial stand out with their contrasting subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock and matching minute track. The indices around the outside of the dial are often red. Connoisseurs call this multicolored design an "exotic dial." The term "panda dial" refers to the two-tone version. Panda dials tend to be white with black subdials. Those with a black dial and white subdials are referred to as "reverse panda dials."
If you examine the Rolex Daytona Paul Newman subdials more closely, you'll find additional differences to standard Rolex chronographs. Paul Newmans have numerals in an Art Deco style and a small square at the end of each index. The numbers 15, 30, 45, and 60 are visible on the small seconds dial at 9 o'clock. Conventional Daytonas only feature 20, 40, and 60 on the small seconds subdial. Furthermore, there's a small gap between the outer minute track and the subdials on the Paul Newman.
From a technological standpoint, standard Cosmograph Daytona models from the 1960s and 70s are identical to the Rolex Paul Newman. The only difference is the dial. Since versions with exotic dials didn't sell well at the time, Rolex only produced them in very limited numbers. This is why Paul Newman Daytonas are so rare today, which has sent both the demand and prices soaring.
What to Note When Buying This Timepiece
Every Rolex Paul Newman Daytona, regardless of its reference number, is incredibly rare. You should pay attention to the original condition of the Paul Newman Daytona when purchasing one. There are many, many watches with fake Paul Newman dials; replicas are also on the market. You'll often find standard Daytona models that were later fitted with a panda or exotic dial. They look like a Paul Newman Daytona, but aren't. Get as much information from the seller as possible before you make a purchase, and review all details carefully.