Paul Newman's Rolex watch sold for $17.8 million at auction

Posted October 28, 2017

Has the watch world gone a bit bonkers?

The timepiece, which went under the hammer yesterday at Phillips New York sale, sold for a whopping US$15.5 million.

The caseback carries the inscription "Drive Carefully Me", which was engraved by Newman's wife Joanne Woodward, when she bought him the watch as a gift.

The early Rolex Daytonas are the Ferrari 250 GTOs of that bubble (without the fun a vintage Ferrari race vehicle can offer), and if you add the icon that is Paul Newman to the picture, their no sum stopping the most addicted Rolex fanatics.

Cox didn't know how valuable it was until a Japanese man excitedly recognized it as a "Paul Newman watch" at a trade show in 1993.

The late actor, Paul Newman was an avid racing enthusiast.

That is until he stopped wearing it in 1984.

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Funnily enough, the Paul Newmans were never popular and languished on store shelves until the Italians started creating a buzz around these timepieces.

Cox dated Nell Newman, Paul's daughter, when the two were in college, and one afternoon during the summer of 1984, while he was helping fix the Newman family treehouse, the actor asked him for the time. "The true "Adam and Eve" of the watch-collecting world", another said. You should give it a read.

When asked about what the namesake would think of all this, Cox had a sweet answer.

The previous record for an auctioned Rolex was $5 million for a Ref. 6062 - nicknamed the "Bao Dai" because it was owned by the last emperor of Vietnam.

A new world record has been set for the sale [VIDEO] of a wristwatch on Thursday after Phillips Auction House in NY fetched a tasty nearly $17.8 million for a #Rolex Daytona watch, given to the late actor #Paul Newman by his wife, actress #Joanne Woodward.

So, is the watch world a bit bonkers?