A Rolex Daytona (Ref: 6239) given as gift by his loving wife, Joanne Woodward, who on its reverse inscribed the words “Drive Safely, Me”, to car racing mad film star, Paul Newman made history on 26th October 2017.
Why? Because in a Phillips sale room at 450 Park Avenue, New York City at the Winning Icons Auction, the watch was sold by, James Cox, a former boyfriend of the Newman’s daughter, Nell, who had received it as a gift from the late film star in 1984 – as he allegedly didn’t have a watch to tell the time to get to appointments for his tree felling clients – for a staggering $17.75m (including buyers premium) making it simply the most expensive wrist watch ever!
Purchased by Ms Woodward for $300 in 1975, the watch was thought to have been lost. It was, in fact, secreted in a bank vault after its owner caught wind of how much it may have been worth. The sale far exceeded the expectations set at circa $5-$10m.
Here Mr Newman is seen wearing his iconic watch during a 1982 interview for the BBC’s “Film 82” program.
It is understood that a substantial portion of the proceeds are destined for charitable causes as operated by Ms Newman which would have met with the Rolex former owner’s approval. Mr Newman’s “Newman’s Own” range of salad dressings has contributed $495m since its founding in 1982 to August 2017 to his chosen charities.
Another important milestone that was achieved at the sale was the record highest price of $579,000 paid for my favourite model in Rolex’ range – the Submariner (Ref 6200). My own homily in praise of this beautiful watch can be seen here – Rolex Submariner
Photo credit courtesy of Douglas Kirkland, Philips Auctions and Bob’s Watches
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