Paul Newman’s Badass ‘Daytona’ Rolex Just Became the Most Valuable Watch of All Time

Paul Newman Daytona watch
Max B. Miller/Fotos International/Getty Images

Thanks to classics like Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, The Hustler, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman was unquestionably one of Hollywood’s most badass actors.

With Newman’s reputation, it’s not a surprise that one of his watches became one of the most highly sought-after accessories in the world after it was announced in June that his “Daytona” Rolex would be auctioned off.

But even the most devoted Newman fans might have to collect their jaws off the floor over this watch’s record-setting price.

The watch, a “Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239” model colloquially known as “the Paul Newman,” was sold for a record $15.5 million as part of the “Winning Icons—Legendary Watches of the 20th Century” lot auction at Phillips auction house, according to Bloomberg. Factor in the additional “buyer’s premium,” and the watch’s final price tag went for a whopping $17.8 million.

Here’s a look at the watch:


The auction lasted just 12 minutes, and started with a price of $1 million before jumping to $10 million. Eventually, a final showdown between two bidders pushed the price to an astronomical $15.5 million.

The price for Newman’s watch shattered the previous record, a stainless steel Patek Philippe that sold for $11.1 million at Phillips in November 2016.

Unlike many celebrity-associated watches, Newman actually wore and owned this watch himself. Originally a gift from his wife Joanne Woodward, Newman frequently wore the watch while appearing on television, in magazines, tabloid photographs, and films during his heyday as a movie star in the 1970s and 1980s.

Newman later gifted the watch in 1984 to James Cox, who was dating Newman’s daughter Nell at the time. After years of keeping the watch in a safe box, Cox decided to put it up for auction this year, with proceeds going to the Nell Newman Foundation.

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