Modern Rolex watches are popular, vintage Rolex watches are highly collectible, and Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona is among the best. Simply put, a Rolex Daytona with a Paul Newman dial is a collectible watch. but why? What makes the Paul Newman Daytona different from the standard dial Daytona and, more importantly, more expensive?
Rolex released the Comosgraph chronograph in 1963, but didn’t immediately use the Daytona name. Rolex’s racing-inspired chronograph was originally called the Cosmograph LeMans. However, with the company’s focus on the American market, Rolex soon settled on the Daytona name – taken from the heart of American racing.
Rolex still makes the very popular Daytona watches today. However, the rarest and most popular Daytona watches are the early four-digit hand-wound watches produced from 1963 to 1988. Rolex offers standard and exotic dials for these Daytona watches, or what we now call Paul Newman dials.
The case, bracelet and movement of a traditional vintage Daytona watch are identical to the “Paul Newman” Daytona. So, do you know what makes the Paul Newman Daytona different from other classic Daytona models?
The simple answer is the watch face. The only Daytona watches that originally featured Paul Newman dials were the numbers 6239, 6241, 6262, 6263, 6264 and 6265. Paul Newman’s sub-dials may also have block markers instead of lines, and a cross in the middle of each sub-dial.
As mentioned earlier, the exotic Paul Newman dial was not popular when it was originally released. Rolex customers prefer the more traditional look of the standard Daytona dial. Due to lack of demand, Rolex simply did not produce many Paul Newman dials, which speaks to their rarity. This rarity, combined with Paul Newman’s history and interest in vintage Rolex watches, has paved the way for these vintage beauties to command astronomical prices today.
Given that the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona is indistinguishable from a regular daytona of the same era except for the dial, the Paul Newman Daytona may be difficult to collect. Sadly, some people have taken advantage of the situation well, putting fake Paul Newman dials on regular Daytona watches and pretending they are genuine Paul Newman watches.
Sadly, some people take advantage of the situation and put replica Paul Newman dials on regular Daytona watches and try to disguise it as a real Paul Newman watch. Therefore, it is recommended that you always buy a Rolex watch, especially a Paul Newman Daytona, from a certified and reputable dealer.