In recent memory, the first time the Rolex Daytona broke the million-dollar ceiling, was on 11 November 2013, when Christie’s made history by hammering down a staggering price of $1,089,186 for a 1969 black-dial, three-color, RCO or “Oyster Sotto” Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6263.
Phillips then went on to nearly double that record with the sale of yet another 1969 black-dial, three-color, RCO or “Oyster Sotto” Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6263 just shy of the 2-million-dollar mark at the Start-Stop-Reset sale on the 14th of May 2016.
And again, it was Phillips who broke their own record, early in 2017, with a 18k gold Oyster Cosmograph “Paul Newman”, also known as “The Legend”, which sold for $3,717,906.
Today, the 26th of October, Phillips will now go down in the history books as the guys who, under the enigmatic gavel wielding Aurel Bacs, has now sold the ref. 6239 Rolex “exotic dial” Daytona, formerly the property of American actor, film director, producer, race car driver, IndyCar owner, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist, Paul Newman.
The watch that started it all and turned the “exotic dial” Daytona into the “Paul Newman” Daytona, has sold for an astounding $17,752,500, beating even the most expensive Patek Philippe in the record books. Therefore becoming the most expensive watch ever sold.
Someone had left a 1 million dollar opening bid on the watch and then just as Aurel opened up the watch to the floor, he had to check with his colleague Specialist, Tiffany To to make sure he was hearing her right: “10? 10? 10? Tiffany?”
Off went the bids with a 10 million dollar bid from a client of Phillips Watches’ in Hong Kong. 14.5 million and there was a bit of a wait in the room with witty remarks from Aurel sending the room into laughter. And then Business Development Director, Dr. Nathalie Monbaron takes over with a 15.5-million-dollar lead over the phone.
Some hesitation from Tiffany To, but eventually, Aurel slams his gavel and announces: “It is history now.”