Tick, tick, tick: the “Paul Newman”
Good morning everyone!
Who, better than I, with over twenty years of passion and devotion for mechanical wrist timekeepers, could take this interesting space?
Here I am, to talk to you about an object which, year after year, has become a jewel, a status symbol, a must have… and important complement of our way of being: a wristwatch.
Over the last decades, this object, which basically helps us measure the passing of time, has triggered in many of us a “craze” which often ended up in a collection.
It happened to me too, and led me to fall in love with some brands, but especially one: I’m talking about maison Rolex, in particular models of the past, from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
I was passionate and excited since the very first moment: touching them, contemplate them, owning them, wearing them! A dream come true! But in Rolex’s catalogue, the most famous, sought after, beloved, copied and falsified chronograph is undoubtedly the Daytona “Paul Newman”.
This name was actually given by collectors: it offers a sporty dial with contrasted two-color graphics, its taste is close to that of car races.
Apparently, the famous actor wore it in the movie “Winning” and in other occasions on car tracks, both in the classic version and with the two-color dial. It was a time when Rolex was the official time-keeper of the tracks of Daytona, Florida, and Le Mans, France.
This specific dial was included by Rolex on the Daytona chronograph model after 1964 and was afterwards defined by collectors as “exotic” and “tropical”.
It also present three-dimensional features in the counters and in the seconds’ perimeter, with contrasted colors and rich details: a fully-fledged sporty dial, even though at the time, the market received it with little enthusiasm, going rather for more low-key, elegant, automatic and thin watches.
It was used in the majority of models with manual charge, starting from 6239 and 6240, then in 6241, 6262/64 and finally in 6263/65, where the stopwatch buttons are replaced by Rolex with waterproof screw-down pushers.
In the second half of the 1980s, collectors rediscover Rolex and its crown jewel: the Daytona model, very much sought after and demanded. The world teaches us that when something is imitated and falsified, it means it’s a great success!
It is considered today a very refined piece, with top-level quotations, which will still increase, considering the collectors’ market has crossed the borders of Europe and of the USA.
Of course, it is most valuable only when wholly original and complete, which is why I should warn you to be very careful if you intend to purchase a Daytona “Paul Newman” and ask, in such case, for the support of a trusted expert.