Sunday, November 19, 2023

Paul Newman Daytona Refernces...

...Rolex Ultra-Super Coolness...

Paul Newman

Rolex Daytona Video

Captain Danny and I were recently talking about this recent super-cool Rolex video seen below titled "The Triumph of Endurance" which features Paul Newman.

Rolex profoundly quipped: Watch or legend? Launched in 1963, the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona has long since transcended its status in the world of watchmaking to become an icon. Its name, inextricably linked to the famous racetrack, as well as its graphic face, have made it a legend. Since its launch, the Cosmograph Daytona has been the watch of choice for motor sport enthusiasts. Like the legendary actor, experienced racing driver and pioneering social entrepreneur Paul Newman, many have adopted the timepiece in their everyday lives beyond the racetrack. It symbolizes the determination and conviction of those with the courage to follow their own path according to their own rules.

Paul Newman


Paul Newman was the living personification of the Rolex Daytona in many senses. Newman famously owned two different early vintage Rolex Daytona models which were arguably antithetical in the sense one featured a white dial [Reference 6239] seen below, and the other featured a black dial [Reference 6263]:

Paul Newman


Back in May I discovered this vintage Rolex Magazine cover from Japan which features a great photo of Paul Newman rocking his famous black dial Reference 6263 on a bund strap. Having worn both black and white base dial stainless steel Daytona models represents a kind of Yin and Yang that remains popular today as Rolex still offers both of these models.

There is also a bizarre red dial Daytona model on the cover which looks kind of cool, but unfortunately it’s a Fugazi. Back in 2008, I showcased several red dial Daytona models that appeared in the wild, which look super cool, but the best scholarship suggests they were real Rolex Daytona models with modified dials, or perhaps prototype dials. Even though Rolex NEVER made a red dial Daytona, I thought they looked so cool, I created a dream red dial Daytona design reference for one back in 2008.

Later in his life, Paul Newman owned and wore many more stainless steel Rolex Daytona models, but the two pictured above remain the most iconic and sought after...

One More Thang

Current Daytona Models

Rolex currently offers the Daytona models below in stainless steel, which have evolved into some true beauties.

Rolex perfectly described the attributes of the Le Mans Daytona:

    "Rolex is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race with an original version of its legendary chronograph. Crafted in 18 kt white gold, this new watch sports a Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic; on the tachymetric scale, the number ‘100’ in red ceramic evokes the race’s centenary."

    "Standing out against the bright black dial are intense white counters whose graphic design is inspired by a traditional Rolex dial. The Oyster case is fitted with a transparent back and an Oyster bracelet. This original timepiece is equipped with an exclusive movement, calibre 4132, which allows the hours of the chronograph function to be counted over twenty-four hours – another nod to the race – instead of the model’s usual twelve. 

    "This movement incorporates the Chronergy escapement, Paraflex shock absorbers, and bridges decorated with Rolex Côtes de Genève. The cut-out oscillating weight in 18 kt yellow gold is fitted with an optimized ball bearing. Like all Rolex watches, this special version of the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist."

The 1964 Rolex Le Mans 

It's fascinating to note that Rolex initially planed to call the Rolex Daytona model, the Rolex Le Mans as we witness in this 1964 Rolex ad—which ironically kind of looks like the 100th Anniversary Rolex Daytona Le Mans Editon.