Holy grail of watches: Paul Newman’s actual Paul Newman Daytona could set timepiece record

Two watches never fail to fascinate collectors. The first is the 1941 stainless-steel Patek Philippe — only 281 were made and only four in stainless steel. The second is the Daytona Rolex produced from 1966 until the mid-1970s. Paul Newman made the watch famous, earning it the nickname the “Paul Newman” Daytona.

But there are holy grails and then there are holy grails, because not only is a Daytona going up for auction, but this one was actually owned by the watch’s namesake.

That’s right,  Paul Newman’s actual Paul Newman Daytona will go up for auction at Phillips  in New York on October 26.

“You ask 100 collectors over dinners what’s on their shopping list – the Paul Newman Daytona Rolex,” Aurel Bacs, a senior consultant for watches at Phillips, tells Bloomberg.

In the past, “Paul Newman” Daytonas have fetched up to $3.7 million. But this auction will be different. Phillips estimates that Newman’s stainless-steel Daytona Rolex wristwatch will fetch more than $1 million. But they are being coy. Vintage watch enthusiasts are talking numbers as high as $10 million.


“It’s worth all the hoopla surrounding it,” Jason Singer, a vintage watch collector in Phoenix who believes Newman’s Daytona could set an auction record for a wristwatch, adds. 

We’ll just have to wait and see.