The Legendary Paul Newman Daytona – Everything You Need to Know
Watch & Bullion23 October 2015 | 3 min read
The Holy Grail for any Rolex collector is the Paul Newman Daytona. It represents a solid investment and is arguably the most sought-after chronograph in the world.
It has established itself as an instantly recognisable icon in the watch industry. It is truly in a league of its own for its aesthetic appeal and the historical prices achieved at auction in the last 30 years.
When most people think of “The Paul Newman Daytona”, they think of the exotic dial version.
The reason this particular dial was given that name was due to the rarity of its production. To give you an idea, just one was exotic for every 20 standard dials. Many people, including myself, think this is the best-looking Rolex Daytona ever made.
Limited production of this dial was due to the lack of popularity. The Daytona models, in general, were considered a commercial failure at the time, considering that the 1960s saw the introduction of automatic chronographs coming out on the market, and everyone wanted one. So this watch with a reliable but manually wound chronograph could have been more appealing.
However, Rolex’s genius marketing efforts, coupled with the fact that Paul Newman made it as iconic as he was, catapulted the already rare exotic dialled Daytona into the cult collectable it has become today.
The 6241’s beautiful dial features an art deco-style font for the numerals and square shapes inside the three chronograph sub-dials. It features a third colour (red), adding some character.
It offers a mix of black and white with the red “Daytona” printed along the contour of the hours subdial.
The rarity and historical background of this Daytona makes it a watch that could be worn at anytime.
Modern investors ask themselves what the next collector’s piece will be, a tricky question, but if you look at the past, you might get a clue about the future. When this watch and its kin came out, they were mostly sales failures; this is a lesson in trends and life.
Paul Newman ended up being more closely associated with the Rolex Daytona than any other man on earth. This is likely because, in many ways, Paul Newman was the living embodiment of the Rolex Daytona, or maybe it was the other way around.
Arnold Schwarzenegger perfectly described the legend with the following quote:
“Paul Newman was the ultimate cool guy who men wanted to be like and women adored. He was an American icon, a brilliant actor, a Renaissance man and a generous but modest philanthropist. He entertained millions in some of Hollywood’s most memorable roles ever, and he brightened the lives of many more, especially seriously ill children, through his charitable works. Paul was one of a kind. The beloved film star will be missed by a world of fans and admirers.”
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