Rolex. Daytona. Paul Newman. On their own, any of these tags would be sure to attract a staggering price at auction. Put them together and add the extremely rare ‘Tropical Dial’, and this is one strike of the auctioneers hammer we don’t want to miss!
Faded to Perfection
The highly coveted ‘Tropical Dial’ of the Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona watch is caused by the natural fading of the chronograph dials from their original black to a deep brown colour. This phenomenon occurs rarely and only on certain models of the famous Rolex chronograph, making it a desirable collector’s item for watch aficionados. The striking effect created by the fading of the dials led to the nickname being thought of by enthusiasts.
One particular ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona with a Tropical Dial is being offered for auction by Sotheby’s at the Spring Sale of Important Watches, due to take place in Geneva in just a few weeks on May 13th. The reference 6239 chronograph is expected to sell for between CHF 200,000 and 400,000.
A Special Gift
The ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona with Tropical Dial was purchased in 1975 as a 25th anniversary gift from a loving wife for her husband. Bought for £134 and packed in a presentation case along with a receipt and certificate, the beautiful watch and the original paperwork along with the £1 note received as change from the sale was retained by the original owner for over 40 years.
The value of the vintage watch was realized almost by accident during a visit to a jeweler who explained the appeal and uniqueness of the Tropical Dial.
This watch follows in the footsteps of another ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona with a Tropical Dial, which sold at auction by Sotheby’s in 2010 for a price that was 5 times the pre-sale estimate, drawing a price of CHF 464,500.
We will be watching closely to see how this gift of love does when the hammer finally comes down!