Paul Newman’s legendary Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona was sold for $17,752,500, a world record for a wristwatch at an auction held by Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo in New York recently. The timepiece sold to an anonymous bidder on the phone after 12 minutes of spirited bidding.
One of the world’s most legendary and sought-after of all mechanical wristwatches, this timepiece is the only “exotic”-dialled Daytona that Newman owned, inspiring the legendary nickname for the most prestigious versions of Rolex’s Daytona.
The Phillips international team of Watch specialists brought together a world-class group of collectors’ wristwatches of the highest quality in terms of condition, rarity and provenance. In addition to the Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona, it saw strong results across all brands, with timepieces by Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet selling especially well.
There was spirited bidding for the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph reference 1518 in pink gold, which sold for $975,000. The world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph produced in series, only 281 examples were made – the vast majority in yellow gold, rarely ever seen in pink gold, and only four known in stainless steel.
Philippe Dufour’s Duality, crafted in 1996, soared past its estimate of $200,000 – 400,000 to $915,000. This iconic watch is the world’s first wristwatch incorporating a double escapement. Only nine were made including the present watch with the extraordinary number ‘00’ – the very first Duality made by the master himself.