Whatever you’re thinking, it still might not be enough

Paul Newman may be best known for his status as Hollywood royalty, but here in our circles, we like to remember the man for his exploits as a race car driver. Newman took that part of his career seriously, even finishing second overall at the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans on the back of winning his class race. Naturally, any memorabilia or keepsake associated with Newman will fetch a pretty price these days. But none of them could probably come close to drawing as much attention – and furious bidding – as his Rolex Chronograph Daytona watch. And in case anyone’s wondering, it’s going to be auctioned off later this year.

First of all, it’s a Rolex, which automatically means that it’s going to be worth a lot of money. Second, it’s one of the most iconic racing watches in history, making it sought-after by collectors. Third and most importantly, it was owned by Newman himself, who received it from his wife Joanne Woodward sometime around the filming of his 1969 movie Winning. Those who know Newman’s life history will tell you that Winning is the same movie that lit the racing fire in the actor and led him to have the racing career that he had. Now it’s in the possession of Phillips Watches, which will put the watch up for auction in New York this coming October. It has an “estimate” price of $1 million, but you better believe that it’s going to cost a lot more than that once bidding commences, all because it once set up residence on the wrist of no less than Cool Hand Luke himself.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Legacy timepiece has eight-figure bids written all over it

How Much Would You Pay To Own Paul Newman's Own Rolex Chronograph Daytona?
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How Much Would You Pay To Own Paul Newman's Own Rolex Chronograph Daytona?
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This particular Rolex Cosmograph Daytona developed an iconic status of its own independent from the man who once owned it

In a lot of ways, this particular Rolex Cosmograph Daytona developed an iconic status of its own independent from the man who once owned it. But the fact that Paul Newman once owned it gives it the kind of provenance that very Rolexes have. We can immediately tell of the watch’s classic design so there’s no surprise why watch collectors are so smitten over any example of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.

The Newman-owned example isn’t just an “ordinary” Cosmograph Daytona either. When she reportedly bought it at Tiffany & Co., Joanne Woodward even the watch engraved with the message “Drive Carefully, Me” for her husband. And to his credit, Newman proudly wore the watch during his racing career, thus creating the legacy that a lot of people today still hold in high regard. It’s unclear if Newman wore the watch during his successful run at Le Mans, but if he did, you can be sure that it would add another layer of provenance to a watch that clearly already has enough.

How Much Would You Pay To Own Paul Newman's Own Rolex Chronograph Daytona?
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Newman actually gave up ownership of the watch back in 1984, when he gave it to his daughter’s boyfriend

As the story goes too, Newman actually gave up ownership of the watch back in 1984, when he gave it to his daughter’s boyfriend, James Cox (lucky guy!). Cox still actually owns it and he’s the one who’s having it auctioned with the help of Phillips Watches and Bacs & Russo. He did get the blessing of Newman’s family on the condition that part of the proceeds will go towards the actor’s charitable initiatives.

So how much can we expect this watch to fetch? Phillips estimates its cost at $1 million, but like I said, that sounds like a super conservative estimate. That’s especially true when considering that just last month, the same company sold a Cosmography Daytona for $3.7 million. It was an 18-karat variant, sure, but it didn’t have Newman’s name attached to it. As far as this watch is concerned, don’t be surprised if breaks $3 million itself. I certainly wouldn’t.

Source: Phillips Watches

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