Saturday, March 02, 2019

Another Paul Newman DAYTONA!!!!

The original article from 2017 that showcased my discovery can be seen below:



Paul Newman


 Paul Newman's Rolex
Black-Dial Daytona Reference 6263

On a Day-Date 'President' Bracelet

Just when you thought everything had been discovered and documented regarding Paul Newman and his Daytona watches, there is more. It's hard to believe, but I discovered another Paul Newman Daytona!!!! By now everybody knows Paul Newman's trademark Rolex Daytona he wore with an exotic white dial was just auctioned for close to $18 million. To date, I have documented Paul Newman wearing and owning six different Rolex Daytona models, and today we can add another one to the list, with a twist.

In the photo above and below we see Paul Newman as he appeared on the cover of Esquire Magazine in October of 1989, and we see him wearing what appears to be a stainless-steel Rolex Daytona. But wait a minute, something is unusual about this Daytona! Paul Newman is wearing—get this—his stainless-steel Rolex Daytona Reference 6263, on platinum or white-gold Rolex Day-Date "President" bracelet!?!!

What's so profound about this? Rolex NEVER made such a watch. My best guess is Paul Newman decided to have it customized this way. In other words, he took a Rolex Day-Date President bracelet and somehow had it fit to his Reference 6263 stainless-steel Rolex Daytona. 

My best guess is when he gave his exotic white dial Daytona Reference 6239 to his daughter Nell's boyfriend, James Cox, Paul probably kept his black crocodile fatstrap, and put his black dial Rolex Daytona Reference 6263 on it. So far as I can tell, Paul wore his first two Daytona models exclusively on his now trademark black crocodile fatstrap, from the early 1970s to around 1987 or 1988. My best guess is when his fatstrap wore out, he put the Day-Date bracelet on it as seen above and below. Therein lies the twist. 

In the photo below we get a crystal-clear shot of his Rolex President bracelet, and if you look closely you can see the trademark Rolex crown logo clasp.

Once again, for clarity sake, Rolex never made a stainless-steel production Rolex Day-Date. I am aware Rolex has made pre-prototype stainless-steel Rolex Day-Date models, which were never available for purchase. Rolex did this to not waste gold or platinum on a watch that would not be sold. The photo below from John Goldberger's book, "100 Superlative Rolex Watches," shows a stainless-steel Rolex Day-Date pre-production prototype which lacks a Rolex Reference number.

It is interesting to note this Paul Newman Daytona combination was hiding in clear sight. If you closely examine the photo below of Paul Newman wearing his Daytona Reference 6263 in 1988, after careful analysis, it appears he is wearing it on the Rolex President bracelet. I always assumed he was wearing it on a standard stainless-steel Rolex Oyster bracelet. The telltale sign of a President bracelet is the polished center links, which did exist on the Rolex Daytona Reference 6263. Granted, the current Daytona has polished center links and has ever since the midlife of production of the Zenith Daytona.

Paul Newman Rolex Day-Date!?!?!?

Why was I shocked? Paul Newman is renowned for wearing at least five different Rolex Daytona models, as well as having worn a stainless steel Rolex Datejust, which I documented in detail in "The Complete History Of The Paul Newman Daytona". This new photograph shows him rockin' what appears to be a Rolex Day-Date, which is very cool...

Little did I realize, on the opposite side of the photo above, he was likely NOT wearing a Day-Date, but a Daytona!!!

A not so obvious question may be, "Is it possible that Paul Newman was wearing a prototype Rolex?" Anything is possible. Look no further than the early 1970s White Gold Rolex Submariner prototype (pictured below) which set a world record for a Submariner when it sold earlier this year at Christie's Auction for more than $600,000

The thing the prototype Submariner pictured below has in common with Paul Newman's Daytona, is that neither one of them was ever made available to the public with a President bracelet, which has always been exclusive to the Day-Date. Do I think it is possible Paul Newman is wearing a prototype Daytona? Yes. Do I think it is probable? Probably not, although maybe Rolex custom-made it for Paul Newman. Either way, it is interesting to see a previously undocumented piece of Paul Newman Daytona history.