Turns out Paul Newman’s other Rolex watch is also worth millions
This weekend, watches owned by Sylvester Stallone, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman each sold for exorbitant prices. The Phillips Racing Pulse auction featured even more celebrity watches, but these particular players and their associations with watches make for an exceptionally notable horological event.
Even in a vacuum, without an iconic brand name or the fame of their former owners, these would still be cool watches. None, however, would be a multi-million dollar watch by any stretch of the imagination. More than movie star status, it’s the deeper stories of each watch and how it fits into the watch collecting culture that is six or seven figure special.
Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona “Big Red”: $5,475,000
Actor and race car driver Paul Newman owned several Rolex Daytona chronograph watches. One of them sold at auction for around $18 million in 2017, making it the most expensive watch ever sold for a short time (until it was overtaken by this Patek Philippe) . While the most famous and expensive “Paul Newman Daytona” (reference 6239) had an “exotic” white dial with black sub-dials, this “Big Red” (reference 6263) has the opposite color scheme (between other differences). Both were actor-owned Rolex Daytonas, so why the huge delta?
The $18 million Paul Newman Daytona featured in a peculiar and iconic photograph and single-handedly created nothing less than a stage among Rolex collectors. At around $6.5 million, the Big Red’s hammer price seems almost (but not quite) cheap by comparison, but the buzz around “the” Paul Newman Daytona (the another) certainly boosted its value. Similar to the charming engraving on the back of the $18 million Daytona’s “Drive Carefully Me” case, this one reads “Drive Slowly” and is signed by his wife, Joanne.
Heuer Monaco by Steve McQueen: $2,208,000
Just like Newman and his Daytonas, actor and racing car enthusiast Steve McQueen had several copies of the watch he made famous. He was similarly featured in an iconic photograph and appeared throughout the film. Le Mans. It was the Heuer Monaco Chronograph, one of the first watches to feature an automatic chronograph movement and an undeniably distinctive looking watch. The particular version auctioned here was given by the actor to his personal mechanic after filming the film and includes a personalized message on the back of the case.
Panerai by Sylvester Stallone: $214,200
Considering that the legend of Sylvester Stallone largely “rediscovered” Panerai and was essentially responsible for the resurrection of the brand, one would have expected this watch to sell even more. This is the exact watch the action hero first wore while filming the 1996 movie Day light. A known watch collector, Sly has also auctioned several of his own Richard Mille watches, but the Panerai reference 5218-201/A holds unique significance for the watch industry and the collecting community.
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