Published: Sat, October 28, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Rolex Daytona once owned by Paul Newman just fetched $17.8 million

Rolex Daytona once owned by Paul Newman just fetched $17.8 million

James responded that he didn't know the time and didn't own a watch.

The Cosmograph Daytona was given to Newman by his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, in 1968 while the two were working on the vehicle racing film "Winning" with Robert Wagner.

The actor and racing legend got it from his wife in 1968, with the caseback engraved with the words "Drive Carefully Me". So when Paul Newman's own "Paul Newman" hit the auction block at Phillips on Thursday, hopes were high that it would put its "in excess of $1 million" estimate to shame.

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The "one and only" Rolex Cosmograph Daytona wristwatch, also known as Paul Newman's Paul Newman, sold for a record $17.8 million at Phillips Auction House in NY on Thursday, the auction house said in a news release.

The watch came to Phillips earlier this year through James Cox, who used to date Newman's daughter, Nell.

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, a watch auction house, set a new world record for any wristwatch at auction on October 26. After the actor made the watch famous, demand reportedly skyrocketed, making the model one of the most sought-after right up to the present day.

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Cox didn't know how valuable it was until a Japanese man excitedly recognized it as a "Paul Newman watch" at a trade show in 1993. "If you wind it, it tells pretty good time". After years of keeping the watch in a safe box, Cox chose to put it up for auction this year, with proceeds going to the Nell Newman Foundation.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Rolex will go to a charitable foundation founded by her called the Nell Newman Foundation. According to Bloomberg, there was a bidding war between two bidders in the last five minutes of the 12 minute-long auction to push the price from $15 million to $17.8.

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