This is the auction debut of the rarest gold configuration of the legendary Paul Newman watch
July 17, 2020: Watch enthusiasts swear by the legendary Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ timepiece. A much sought after piece in the auction market, the late-1960s gold Rolex Daytona is especially coveted. At the top of this exclusive group is a true gem: the ‘John Player Special’, named after the legendary 1970s Formula 1 livery, because of its black and gold “Paul Newman” dial. Exceedingly rare and produced in very small quantity, Daytona JPS models seldom appear for sale.
This month, an ultra-rare Rolex Daytona JPS in 18-carat gold will make its auction debut at Sotheby’s, in a single-lot online auction open for bidding from 24 until 31 July. This watch, dating from 1969, is estimated at US$ 400,000-800,000.
While most of the Rolex Ref. 6264 were produced in stainless steel, a few pieces were made in 18- carat yellow gold. A fraction of these gold 6264s were fitted with the celebrated Paul Newman dial and produced in three different dial variations, simply referred to by collectors as “Lemon”, “Champagne” and “JPS”. The JPS combines a yellow gold case and bracelet with a black acrylic bezel and a black dial with gold sub-registers.
The initials JPS stand for ‘John Player Special’, the cigarette brand which is today synonymous with the legendary black and gold livery that adorned Lotus F1 cars from 1972 until 1986 and is associated with the names of great drivers, from Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson, to Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna.