Sotheby’s recently announced The World of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, a series of sales featuring the Hollywood couple’s personal collections. Among the items up for auction are two of Paul Newman’s personal Rolex Daytona watches, which are expected to be the highlight of the upcoming Important Watches auction. Vintage watch enthusiasts know the Paul Newman Daytona models are highly coveted, but it’s rare to see the Hollywood legend’s pre-owned Daytonas being auctioned. The two headliners are the reference 16520 Zenith Daytona and the reference 116519, both with incredible historical and sentimental value.
The reference 16520 Zenith Daytona was presented to Newman upon his victory at the 1995 Champ Car World Series Grand Premio Tecate. It has a stainless steel build, a white dial, and a special inscription on its caseback that reads “Rolex at Daytona 24 Paul Newman Rolex Motorsports Man of the Year 1995”. It is estimated to sell for $500,000 to $1 million USD.
The reference 116519 is said to be the last-ever Daytona gifted to Newman by his wife, Joanne Woodward. This black-dialed, white gold watch is also the only precious metal iteration of the model in Newman’s collection. It has a message on its engraved caseback that reads “Drive Very Slowly Joanne.” Sotheby’s New York’s Head of Sale for Important Watches, Leigh Safar, states that “There is a bit of Hollywood magic that stirs in our minds when we picture a movie star-turned-race car driver, speeding around a track with a love letter hidden from plain sight tucked behind his wristwatch.”
The watches are estimated to fetch between $500,000 and $1 million USD each at the Important Watches auction on June 9 at 10 a.m. EDT. For more information, visit Sotheby’s dedicated page for the sale.
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