Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona Is the Most Expensive Watch Ever Sold at Auction

Think $17.8 million.
IMAGE Optimist Consulting

When news broke that Paul Newman's own Paul Newman Rolex Daytona was going up for auction with Phillips Auction House, whispers immediately started circulating around the watch world. Despite a (very) conservative estimate that the timepiece would fetch upwards of $1 million at auction, some folks had a feeling it would get more than that. A whole lot more.

Is this the most expensive Rolex Daytona?

In fact, the general feeling seemed to be that this watch was poised to set a new world record. In this instance, that feeling was bang on the money—to the tune of $17,752,500 (that is 919,668,262.50 in Philippine pesos). Following a 12-minute bidding war, the reference 6239 Daytona—with its black-and-creme exotic dial, which became known among collectors as the Paul Newman Daytona—just became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction. It sold to a buyer on the phone. I bet at least a few folks want to know the identity of that buyer. And I bet it'll be a while (if ever) before they do. 


Just a few weeks ago, the same Rolex model (though not the one the actor wore) broke Philippine records at The Well-Appointed Life auction. It sold for P22.2 million.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Jonathan Evans
Jonathan Evans is the style director of Esquire, covering all things fashion, grooming, accessories, and, of course, sneakers. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. You can follow him at @MrJonathanEvans on Twitter and Instagram.
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