My Car Quest

May 27, 2024

Paul Newman’s Own Daytona Rolex Watch Sets A Record

by Mike –

How many people get a watch named after them? And how many people have their former personal version of that watch sell at auction for $17.8 Million? (a world record for any watch).

Paul Newman’s Daytona Rolex

Amazing considering it is made of stainless steel and was an everyday watch but not so amazing when it is Paul Newman’s own Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, reference #6239, made in 1968 — a gift from his wife, actress Joanne Woodward.

Paul Newman’s Daytona Rolex

The inscription by Joanne Woodward reads, “Drive carefully, Me”.

This watch became famous because it was seen on Newman’s wrist while he was racing cars. He used this watch to time laps of his competitors which is what this Rolex was designed for. His stature as a Hollywood movie star made the Rolex Daytona world famous too.

Paul Newman at the Riverside Raceway in 1981, wearing the Rolex Daytona that is up for auction. Credit Ron Galella:WireImage

Paul Newman at the Riverside Raceway in 1981, wearing the Rolex Daytona. Credit Ron Galella:WireImage

Paul Newman’s Daytona Rolex

Newman gave this watch to James Cox in the 1980s who was the boyfriend of Nell Newman, one of Newman’s daughters.

Firm friends, James Cox and Nell Newman (Image courtesy of Nell Newman and James Cox)

Firm friends, James Cox and Nell Newman (Image courtesy of Nell Newman and James Cox)

Phillips, the auction company wrote,

Together, James and Nell, who remain close friends, have jointly decided to sell the watch, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Nell Newman Foundation. The charitable foundation supports her father’s philanthropic values, while serving Nell’s commitment to organic foods and sustainable agriculture. A portion of the sale proceeds will also go to benefit Newman’s Own Foundation.

I hope we will see the Newman Daytona back on the track soon keeping track of someone’s lap times. Probably not though.

If you can’t afford the price of the one and only Newman Rolex Daytona maybe one of the Rolex Sky Dweller watches would suit you?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



Read more at Revolution.

Paul Newman and the Rolex Daytona Watch

Paul Newman’s Own Daytona Rolex Watch Sets A Record
Article Name
Paul Newman’s Own Daytona Rolex Watch Sets A Record
This Rolex Daytona watch became famous because it was seen on Paul Newman’s wrist while he was racing cars and now it has sold for $17.8 million - a world record for a watch.


  1. Glenn Krasner says

    It is nice that even after his death, he is still raising money for charitable causes. Besides being a great actor, and handsome man, he was a nice guy and incredibly humble. We should all aspire to be good human beings like Mr. Newman.

  2. The watch was bought by Rolex. Perhaps we will see it on display at future races.

    • Derby Preston says

      Hey Rob , What was the source for stating Rolex was the buyer ? It makes sense as they make that much a day :::: as a Non -Profit organization never the less ! I was heavily in the Watch industry for he last 25 yrs and even my biggest player in NY can’t verify this

  3. wallace wyss says

    The zeal to own something that was owned by a famous person or in a famous race always amazes me. I think the best example is when a guy rolls into a parking spot at a cars ‘n coffee in say, an Iso Grifo A3C Corsa or some other car with a racing pedigree and someone who thinks it’s a newly created kit car says jeeringly “I see ya got racing numbers. Where the hell did that ever race?” If the “race car” owner can walk off and mutter something like “Lemans, ’65 9th overall,” that’s the ultimate squelch.

  4. Imagine how many cars one could buy for $17.8 Million.

  5. Derby Preston says

    Rolex :::::: if you only knew ! I didn’t see this as Im semi – retired from being the first to bring watches to sell during racing events primarily at Laguna Seca . I became the racing watch dealer for both Tag Heuer and Omega ! My first event was the 50 Yahre of Porsche ! I managed somehow to get the only five Monacos Tag had first made their re edition of …… Selling more that weekend than I did that whole year in my store in Danville! I will never forget waiting in line to take a Shower at the tracks camping facility and counting 20 Daytonas on the race fans in that shower line ! My days ended some five years later when Rolex basically bought the Historics from Steve Earl and we shared one year until they kicked me out ….. Sportsmanship Poor

  6. Ken Phillips says

    I had a conversation with Paul about this watch.
    He had come over to see the Bizzarrini at the top of this page . Paul saw the Omega NASSA Moon watch I had on and I saw the Rolex Daytona he had. We had a short fun discussion about the relative quality. Neither of us expected or wanted the other to conceed but he liked the Bizzarrini.

    • Derby Preston says

      I was one of Omegas Larger dealers ……. Your watch technically is Superior to Paul’s early model Daytona

  7. Derby Preston says

    Unfortunately I didn’t have the luck the Appolo 13 astronauts had with their speed master !!!! I had a numbered piece that came in a Wooden Box with and off NASA patch ….. The watch went missing when I closed my last store and I got nervous at one of my Cart a Series events doing a Charity Auction at Laguna Seca …. Bobby Rahals friend got the bid on an Omega I didn’t have the better box for so I gave him the NASA Box !!!!!

  8. Ken Phillips says

    You are correct about the Omega NASA watch.
    NASA was worried that electric watches or normal watches could not be relied upon in the decreased gravity or possable magnetism conditions.
    After a serious study NASA chose the Omega as the best. It did come in a wood box with the normal steel band but included in the box for the astronauts is another nylon watch strap , very long, to fit OVER their space suit cuff and the astronaut to still be able to see his time.
    One of the watches was needed to accurately determine the ” reentry burn time” on one of the returns when the Houston timing and transmission was not functioning.

    The rest of the story about Paul and his first seeing the Bizzarrini is: I got out and offered Paul to drive it. He got in and took off with my Bizzarrini and beautiful stewardess that was still in it.
    Fortunatly for me Paul did not need the Bizzarrini or another beautiful stewardess and he brought both back .
    The Bizzarrini was fine but not sure the stewardess got over it.

    • Derby Preston says

      What a great memory to have of a legendary Guy ….. It’s amazing how the fellowship that us car guys gain with each other almost instantaneously seems to allow interaction and many times a friendship with famous people that were it not for the Automobile most likely would not occur !

  9. Mike – I agree! Just Imagine……For starters I’d take Wallace’s example of an Iso Grifo A3 C Corsa” ! The Irony is that, like most purposely-built race cars, there is no speedometer. However, while at the track driving this Beautiful Beast- like the now famous Rolex- it would ‘keep great time’! However, “ The Euphoria Factor’ would make lap Times -and Time itself- the Last thing on MY mind! ??

Speak Your Mind