Paul Newman’s Rolex ‘Big Red’ Daytona Ref. 6263 Brings Home $5,475,000 At Phillips New York

After the record-breaking Ref. 6269, another of Paul Newman’s priced possessions shows up at Phillips.


The auction fever seems to be at an all-time high. Within this week itself, we have already talked about two popular watches that raised the heat at Philips recently. First, it was Slyvester Stallone’s Panerai that fetched a whopping $214,200, and then it was Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco that was at a record-breaking $2,208,000. And this time around it’s Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 that got sold for $5,475,000 at Phillips New York. 

Paul Newman Daytona’s are considered amongst some of the most collectible treasures in the world of horology and for those of you who are wondering why, here is a short story explaining the reason. Paul Newman was a prolific actor, director, entrepreneur, and racing enthusiast. While he won many accolades and awards for various roles played during his career in the film industry, his passion for the world of motorsports was second to none. Newman was a frequent competitor in the Sports Car Club of America and finished second in 24 hours of Lemans during 1979. A motor-car enthusiast deserved a racing-inspired chronograph. And It was in 1969 that the Newman and Daytona journey came to life when his wife gifted him a Rolex Daytona Reference 6239. Newman wore this watch in many races, making it one of the most desirable Rolex watches ever. And in 2017, this very watch was auctioned for an eye-popping $17.8 million. 

The Ref. 6263 was once again gifted to Newman by his wife, Joanne, in 1983 and even though it did not come close to the bidding value of the Ref. 6239, it surely is a handsome piece. The dial has a black base with white sub-registers which is almost the opposite of the dial on the Ref. 6239. The registers feature fine circular graining along with crisply printed markings in black and there is of course that sought-after red Daytona text above the register at 6. The hour markers have been applied and the baton-style hands look familiar and are in great condition. The oyster case is in pristine condition and features a black tachymeter scale and screw-down pushers and crown. And finally, just like the Ref. 6239 this watch also gets a personalized message on the case back. It says, “Drive Slowly Joanne”.