Here comes a very special story. While I was attending this year’s Baselworld fair, one of the evenings, a group of independent watchmakers including David Brailsford, Andreas Strehler and Paul Gerber, journalists including Michael Clerizo, and a whole bunch of people met for dinner in Germany near the Swiss border.
During dinner, Michael Clerizo who was sitting next time, turned to the group asking “what would happen if Paul Newman’s Paul Newman ever came to market”? Well, think about it? Our reaction was absolute disbelief, nobody thought this could be possible and we all felt it was the impossible impossibility of all impossibilities. None of us considered it even remotely possible. And that conversation ended as fast as it came up during dinner.
Let me turn back a bit. Michael told me that he learned of Paul Newman’s Paul Newman coming to the auction of Phillips in February, actually on February 28th. He was contacted by Paul Boutros who told him about it. However, Michael was not allowed to speak about this at dinner which was the reason why he asked us but did not reveal anything to us.
Scroll forward a few months, and now we know that the impossible event is actually happening.
This is most likely the most amazing event for any Rolex collector that could ever happen.
People will ask why and how is it possible that the original watch from Paul Newman turned up and will be auctioned off?
Well, this chronograph is offered for sale by a gentleman who was was gifted the watch by Paul Newman himself. His name is James Cox. The proceeds will be going to a charitable foundation. Cox once dated Paul Newman’s daughter Nell, and the foundation he is supporting was founded by Paul Newman’s daughter Nell Pott (she carried this last name not because she was married to a Mr. Pott, but because she wanted to cover up her identity and that she was the daughter of Paul Newman). Circle closed. All I can say, this is amazing, and we can only watch how much this watch will fetch in October 2017? My guess is as good as yours, but I would expect that the Bao Dai Rolex will look cheap in comparison…
I just finished my phone conversation with Michael Clerizo. He revealed more about this watch to me which I find interesting. There are a lot of myths which are just that, a myth and do not hold up to the truth. This includes for example at Paul Newman supposedly wore the Paul Newman Daytona which is not auctioned off in the film “Winning”. That is untrue. he also never displayed the watch in an Italian fashion magazine, and if you think there is one showing it, let me know.
In the meantime, here is Michael’s publication containing the whole story. A must read.
Btw, the watch is a reference 6239 with pump pushers and the three colored Paul Newman style dial. The epitome of a Rolex Daytona Paul Newman.
Thank you to Michael Clerizo for the information.
And last but not least, Michael Clerizo in action, presenting “THE” Paul Newman Daytona of Paul Newman himself on his wrist, the picture was shot by Paul Boutros while they met in a big vault in Geneva. And despite what this watch means, they met without having any bodyguards with them. Well, at that time nobody knew. It would be different now most likely.
On a sidenote, Michael Clerizo is an American watchjournalist who calls his home in England. He writes among others for the Wallstreet Journal.
While talking with Michael about this watch, we came also to the topic of what price this watch may fetch. Michael Clerizo told me that he also spoke to two people who said flat out, they would pay 5 Million USD without hesitation. Now, this is what happened on the first day of his publication in the Wallstreet Journal. Now give this until november and try to imagine what price the watch may truly fetch? Where do you think will be the limit? Will it break the record for most expensive wristwatch which is held by the steel Patek Philippe perpetual calendar at over 11 Million USD? Or may it even become the most expensive watch ever beyond the Henry Graves Complication which ran up to 24 or 25 Million USD? My guess is as good as yours, but I believe the sky is the limit for this watch as this watch represents everything vintage Rolex and vintage watches are about. Let’s wait and see.
This whole article was written with the direct support of Michael Clerizo and is also courtesy of the Wallstreet Journal and the picture is courtesy of Paul Boutros of Phillips. Thank you for all your help.
For those wondering why I am not posting any more pictures of Paul Newman, or this watch, the reason is that I am not the originator of those pictures and I prefer to either post my own pictures, or pictures where I have explicit permission to post.
Update on August 12, 2017:
Update on August 31, 2017, New York Times:
Update on October 3rd, 2017:
- Live pictures at SJX watchblog “watchesbysjx”.
- Phillipp’s auction with the watch offered for auction.
Next update after the auction, most likely in a new blogpost. Thanks.