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Press Release - October 16, 2018
Rare Rolex ‘John Player Special’ Paul Newman Daytona Offered in Heritage Auctions’ Watches & Fine Timepieces AuctionCoveted black and gold color scheme drew parallels to popular race car design
A Rolex, Very Fine and Rare 14k Gold Ref. 6241 "John Player Special" Cosmograph Dayton with "Paul Newman" dial, Circa 1969, with a reserve of $350,000, is one of the most rare and desirable Daytona models among vintage Rolex collectors. With its distinctive art deco-inspired dial, it is named after the Rolex Daytona’s most famous owner, iconic actor and racing driver Paul Newman, who lent his name to this model and is the namesake of the signature dial.
Nicknamed "John Player Special” after the Formula One car of the Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna and regarded as one of the most beautiful racing vehicles of all time, the car of Team Lotus sported the John Player Special livery made of black with contrasting gilt details and trimmings. The "John Player Special” Ref 6241 Daytona with Paul Newman dial is among the rarest watches Rolexes made, with those in 14K gold, like the one offered here, reserved exclusively for the North American market.
"Vintage Rolexes continue to be enormously popular among collectors, and this watches represents the pinnacle for collectors,” Heritage Auctions Watches & Fine Timepieces Director Jim Wolf said. "This example, being offered for sale in public for the very first time and in unmatched condition, represents are rare opportunity for collectors of this most iconic or watches”
Of only about 3,000 reference 6241 Rolex Daytona’s made between 1966 and 1969, fewer than 400 were made in 14K gold, and of those, only a handful with the black "Paul Newman” dial have ever made it to auction in the last 10 years. The watch offered in the Oct. 24 auction has never before been seen at auction, and has been in the possession of the current owner since he purchased it from a friend in 1971.
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