One Of The Rarest Rolex Models Was Found In A Thrift Shop Sofa

An unsuspecting Canadian shopper ended up with one of the world's most collectible pieces.

"Buy one three-piece sofa on finance at 6000% APR, and receive a complimentary Rolex Daytona 'Paul Newman'": the marketing campaign that, sadly, never was at your local pleatherescent showroom. But it was the unintentional gimmick from a thrift store in Canada, where one unsuspecting customer became the owner of an old couch and with it, a Rolex model worth $250,000.

Speaking to Business Insider, the founder and CEO of luxury re-sale site Bob's Watches Paul Altieri recounted the frankly absurd tale of how a woman came to own a Rolex Daytona 'Paul Newman': a model considered one of the world's most sought-after Swiss watches.

Paul Newman inadvertently lent his name to this particular Rolex Daytona model after being frequently pictured wearing his own (Los Angeles, 1981)
Photo by Ron Galella.

The story of a phone slipping down a sofa and returning with £2 is one of the more common miracles that reasons the existence of God. But for the woman who contacted Altieri, a deep rummage resulted in a Rolex Daytona 6241. Her 92-year-old father knew it wasn't his. And upon contacting the store in question, the sale was made so long ago that a paper trail of previous owners had all but disappeared.


"She quickly understood how valuable it was and reached out to us at Bob's Watches so that she could sell it and put the money to good use," says Altieri. "One of our vintage Rolex experts hopped on a plane to visit our new Canadian client. And the watch was indeed a genuine vintage Rolex Daytona 6241 Paul Newman, worth north of $250,000."

Such a grand sum is par for the course in terms of the Paul Newman line. Characterized by its 'exotic dial', the manually wound reference fetched around $15.5m at auction in 2017, sealing it as one of the most expensive watches ever sold. Any model remotely similar has seen a quick appreciation in both value and market demand.

So what does one do with this information? Sure, you can add it to kickstart your burgeoning watch collection. Or, in the case of this lucky winner (who preferred to remain anonymous), you put it on sale, and "buy a house and get a boob job." Not bad for a sofa that costs $25.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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