Rolex Daytona 6239 “Paul Newman” Ultimate Buying Guide

The “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona – no other watch in the brand’s archives garners as much attention or excitement. To call it a vintage classic does not do the watch justice – that’s like calling Superman a strong guy. But what is it about this collection of watches that gets Rolex enthusiasts in such a […] The post Rolex Daytona 6239 “Paul Newman” Ultimate Buying Guide appeared first on Bob's Watches.

Rolex Daytona 6239 “Paul Newman” Ultimate Buying Guide

The “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona – no other watch in the brand’s archives garners as much attention or excitement. To call it a vintage classic does not do the watch justice – that’s like calling Superman a strong guy. But what is it about this collection of watches that gets Rolex enthusiasts in such a frenzy? Can it really be boiled down to the man who made it famous? Does a cool celebrity endorsement really have that much staying power? Or is it that when it was first released, it was basically ignored, collecting dust on the shelves, only to become very much in demand later? Or, perhaps, it has to do with the stupendous growth of the resale prices over the last few decades, which have reached absolutely astronomical levels in recent years.

While the Paul Newman Daytona is out of reach for most collectors’ budgets, it’s still an exciting watch to examine and learn more about. This guide aims to offer a bit more clarity on what many consider the greatest vintage Rolex watch on the planet. What, exactly, makes a Daytona ref. 6239 a Paul Newman Rolex? What are its features? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona reference 6239.

Rolex Daytona Reference 6239 – “Paul Newman”

Paul Newman Daytona 6239 Key Features:

– Reference Number: 6239

– Production Years: 1963 – 1969 (Approx.)

– Case Size: 36mm

– Materials: Stainless Steel; 14k Yellow Gold: 18k Yellow Gold

– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, 12-Hour Chronograph

– Dial: “Exotic” Dial (White; Black; Champagne) w/ Art Deco Numerals and Luminous Hour Markers

– Bezel: Fixed, Stainless Steel or Yellow Gold w/ Tachymeter Scale

– Pushers: Pump-Style (Not Screw-Down)

– Crystal: Acrylic

– Movement: Valjoux 72; Valjoux 722

– Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet; Jubilee Bracelet; Leather Strap

– Price: (Minimum) $100,000+ to $17.8 Million

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Daytona.

Rolex 6239 Daytona Paul Newman Ultimate Guide

What Is A Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman”?

Starting in the 1960s, Rolex began offering a unique dial variation for Daytona chronographs. Officially dubbed the “exotic dial” by Rolex catalogs, it was quite an aesthetic departure from the regular Daytona dials and featured a stepped minute track and an Art Deco style font for the chronograph registers. Today, these exotic dials are collectively known as “Paul Newman” dials, and the Rolex chronographs that contain them are known as Paul Newman Daytona watches, but we will get to the origin of the “Paul Newman” nickname a bit later.

During this era, these exotic dials were not a popular choice. Instead, Daytona buyers mostly opted for the regular dial designs. Consequently, Rolex produced fewer of these exotic dials and some exotic-dial Daytona went so far as to have their dials replaced with standard dials during routine servicing. As a result, these exotic dials are significantly more difficult to find today and are now worth a small fortune to vintage Rolex collectors.

Between their small numbers and their very high present-day demand, sourcing an authentic vintage Rolex Daytona with an exotic dial in good condition is not an easy task. However, it is also important to note that, while the price disparity between a traditional vintage Rolex Daytona and an exotic dial Daytona is vast, the only difference between them is purely cosmetic.

Rolex 6239 Paul Newman Daytona Comparison Guide

Exotic Dial Rolex Daytona Watches

Specifically, the Rolex exotic dials have the following features:

– The numerals on the trio of registers are in an Art Deco style font

– The indexes on the trio of registers include a square tip

– The trio of registers have crosshairs

– The register at 9 o’clock has a numeral configuration of 15/30/45/60 rather than 20/40/60

– The outer minute track sits on a contrasting color to the main dial

– It features either a black dial with contrasting light sub-dials or a light dial with contrasting black subdials

Exotic dials can be found on the following six vintage Rolex Daytona chronographs:

– Rolex Daytona ref. 6239

– Rolex Daytona ref. 6241

– Rolex Daytona ref. 6262

– Rolex Daytona ref. 6263

– Rolex Daytona ref. 6264

– Rolex Daytona ref. 6265

Rolex 6239 Paul Newman Daytona Watch Collectors Guide

The Paul Newman Connection

While early models of the Daytona furnished with the exotic dial were not popular with Rolex clients, this quickly changed after they became associated with famed actor and race car driver Paul Newman. As the story goes, in a genius marketing move, Italian auction houses hyped up the fact that Paul Newman himself wore a Daytona with an exotic dial and began referring to these particular models as the “Paul Newman” Daytona watches. Also fueling the hype was the now-famous picture of Paul Newman himself with a clear view of the white dial Daytona ref. 6239 on his wrist.

Newman was gifted his Rolex Daytona 6239 by his wife, Joanne Woodward. In addition to boasting some serious acting chops, Paul Newman was also an accomplished racecar driver. To reflect that, Woodward had the back of his Daytona engraved with “Drive Carefully Me.” This charming nod towards Newman’s love for motorsport only further adds to the watch’s fame in many collecting communities.

The Paul Newman Daytona Dial

Introduced in 1963, the Rolex ref. 6239 is the first iteration of the Rolex Daytona and also the first Paul Newman Daytona, in addition to being the actual reference that Paul Newman himself wore (although he did own a number of other Rolex Daytona watches later in life). While Paul Newman’s own Rolex ref. 6239 sported a “Tri-color” white dial with contrasting black chronograph registers and red accents, the model was also produced with a black exotic dial with white registers and a red minute track surrounding the dial’s perimeter.

Furthermore, the red color was also used for the DAYTONA logo above 6 o’clock on both dial variants, while the stationary metal bezel is engraved with the tachymeter scale. Additionally, the case of the ref. 6239 has pump pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock rather than the screw-down pushers that will later furnish the Daytona line. It is estimated that Rolex only produced about 2,000 to 3,000 exotic Daytona dials and only a fraction of those have managed to survive to this day, adding even further to its cult status and insane price premium on the secondary market.

Rolex Daytona 6239 Paul Newman Ultimate Buying Guide

The Rolex 6239 Movement

Driving the Rolex Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6239 is either the Valjoux 72 or Valjoux 722 manual-wind mechanical movement with 17 jewels. Of course, in future Daytona models, the manually-wound movements would eventually be replaced by automatic ones; however, this change would not occur until 1988 and the first in-house Rolex Daytona movements would not make their appearance until 2000.

While the manual movement requires some effort on the wearer’s part each, there’s something quite satisfying about that ritual. Additionally, it is these hand-wind models from the first generation of the Rolex Daytona that are by far the most valuable and collectible, with even the least auspicious examples worth (at an absolute minimum) tens of thousands of dollars.

Other Paul Newman Daytona References

The sibling reference of the 6239 is the Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6241, which is exactly the same except for the fact that it has a black acrylic bezel rather than a metal one. The ref. 6239 was eventually phased out to make room for the ref. 6262, which made its debut in 1970.

The main difference between the ref. 6239 and the ref. 6262 is the updated Valjoux 727 movement with a higher frequency of 21,600bph. Aside from technical differences, the ref. 6239 and the ref. 6262 are aesthetically identical, although the later Daytona 6262 was only produced for about a single year between 1969 and 1970.

The $17.8 Million Rolex Watch

The very same Paul Newman Daytona that Paul Newman himself wore religiously for years went up for auction in 2017, fetching a cool $15.5 million – which works out to $17.8 million after the buyer’s premium is taken into consideration. At the time of the sale, the actor’s Daytona was the most expensive watch ever sold at auction.

Legend has it, Newman’s personal Daytona had eluded collectors since the 1980s when he gifted the watch to James Cox, his daughter Nell Newman’s former boyfriend. It remained in his possession until he sold it at Phillips Auction House in 2017, with a portion of the sale donated to the Nell Newman Foundation.

Rolex 6239 Paul Newman Daytona Movement Guide

How to Buy the Rolex Daytona 6239

It is very difficult to find early model vintage Rolex Daytona watches. In fact, you can probably plan on spending many months on your search if you are a purist about original parts. Be sure to only deal with a reputable dealer so that you can focus on finding the right watch for your collection, rather than worrying about whether or not the seller is trying to scam you out of what can only be described as a significant amount of money.

With that in mind, when it comes to the exact cost of a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6239, the price is almost impossible to predict. As one expert said, “Everyone who knows what these are already has one.” The Daytona reference 6239 is not the most popular of the various vintage Daytona models, but it is the original Paul Newman Daytona and is certainly among the most interesting to pursue and collect.

Rolex Daytona 6239 Price

When Paul Newman gifted his Daytona to James Cox in the 1980s, it retailed for around $200. While the $17.8 million sum it fetched in 2017 is certainly not typical, examples of the watch still command a hefty premium, with a minimum open-market price of around six figures. Although, as we already mentioned above, it is nearly impossible to say how much any particular Rolex 6239 will fetch on the pre-owned market, because factors such as dial color, condition, and the presence of the original box and paperwork can all have a significant influence on overall resale value.

The Paul Newman editions of the vintage Rolex Daytona have enjoyed an incredible history thus far, illustrating that a rocky start can indeed end in a victorious finish. And the Daytona ref. 6239 was the beginning of what is now the most in-demand vintage Rolex watch currently out there.

Rolex 6239 Paul Newman Daytona Buying Guide

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Rolex Golf Ambassadors and Their Watches

Today marks the first day of the three days of practice rounds prior to the start of The Masters on Thursday, April 7, in Augusta, Georgia. To celebrate the exciting countdown to the first Major of the season, we checked out Instagram to see what Rolex watches the brand's golf ambassadors choose to sport on their wrists. From Jason Day's Deepsea Sea-Dweller, to Phil Mickelson's Everose Yacht-Master 40, Arnold Palmer's Sky-Dweller, and Cheyenne Wood's Datejust, it's an awesome collection of luxury watches! Here are 16 of Rolex's golf ambassadors and the timepieces they wear. The post Rolex Golf Ambassadors and Their Watches appeared first on Bob's Watches.

Rolex Golf Ambassadors and Their Watches

Rolex’s support of golf dates back to 1967 during the era of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player – better known as The Big Three. Since then, Rolex watches have become a staple of the golf world and the Swiss watchmaking giant has expanded its commitment to golf by sponsoring tournaments, including major championships, and top-tier players.

The golf ambassador roster at Rolex is expansive and home to some of the best current and retired pro golfers in the entire sport. While most golfers do not wear watches while playing on the course, these ambassadors are rarely seen without a fantastic Rolex watch around their wrist when they don’t have a club in hand. Ever wonder what Rolex watches Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Lexi Thompson, and others wear? Keep reading to find out the favorite watches worn by Rolex golf ambassadors.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on Rolex watches.

Tiger Woods Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller

About  Tiger Woods’ Rolex Deepsea:

– Reference Number: 116660

– Case Size: 44mm

– Materials: Stainless Steel

– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, Helium Escape Valve

– Dial: Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers

– Bezel: Unidirectional, Black Cerachrom Insert w/ 60-Minute Scale

– Crystal: Sapphire (Domed)

– Movement: Rolex Caliber 3135

– Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

Is there a greater legend than Tiger Woods in the game of golf? We think not. The now-forty-something-year-old player, who turned pro in 1996, single-handedly transformed golf into a sport you wanted to play rather than one you might have mocked. The five-time Masters Champion, four-time PGA Championship winner, three-time U.S. Open champion, and three-time British Open champion brought style and athleticism to golf – and youngsters everywhere wanted to be the next Tiger Woods.

In the late-1990s, Tudor (Rolex’s sister company) signed Tiger Woods as an ambassador, and the brand even launched a range of Oysterdate chronographs bearing the player’s name. Following his partnership with Tudor, Tiger Woods then joined the TAG Heuer family in 2003, where he served as a spokesperson for eight years. Finally, in 2011, the Rolex group brought Tiger Woods back into the fold – and this time, as an ambassador for Rolex.

Since then, we’ve seen Tiger Woods wearing a Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller – the brand’s biggest and most capable dive watch. The thick and imposing 44mm Deepsea case is water-resistant to an incredible 12,800 feet (3,900 meters), complete with a helium escape valve, Cerachrom ceramic bezel, and a domed 5.5mm-thick scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. While Rolex does offer the Deepsea with a special D-Blue dial (released in honor of James Cameron’s historic solo dive back in 2012), Tiger Wood opts for the classic black dial version of the watch.

Justin Thomas – Rolex Daytona

Rolex Golf Ambassadors Justin Thomas Daytona

About  Justin Thomas’s Rolex Daytona:

– Reference Number: 116509

– Case Size: 40mm

– Materials: 18k White Gold

– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, 12-Hour Chronograph

– Dial: Blue w/ Luminous Hour Markers

– Bezel: Fixed, 18k White Gold w/ Tachymeter Scale

– Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)

– Movement: Rolex Caliber 4130

– Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

Louisville native Justin Thomas turned pro in 2013 and less than five years later, he became the youngest player to shoot a sub-60 round at just 24 years old. He won the PGA Championship in 2017 and in March 2021, Justin Thomas shot a final-round four-under-par 68 to win the 2021 Players Championship.

Justin Thomas has been a part of the Rolex family for a few years now and we’ve spotted him wearing some fantastic watches including a “Pepsi” GMT-Master II, a Sea-Dweller diver, and a steel and platinum Yacht-Master 40, just to name a few. However, these days, we’ve noticed Justin Thomas wearing the incredible white gold Daytona 116509 with a bright blue dial and red accents – including the Daytona name in red.

There are only a few Daytona references left in the current Rolex catalog with a metal bezel (instead of a Cerachom ceramic one) and the white gold 116509, which made its debut in 2016 alongside the yellow gold model with the green dial, is one of them.

Jon Rahm – Rolex Sky-Dweller

Rolex Golf Ambassadors Jon Rahm Sky-Dweller 

About Jon Rahm’s Rolex Sky-Dweller:

– Reference Number: 326934

– Case Size: 42mm

– Materials: White Rolesor (Stainless Steel & 18k White Gold)

– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, Month Display, Annual Calendar, GMT Functionality

– Dial: Blue w/ Luminous Hour Markers

– Bezel: Ring Command, 18k White Gold, Fluted Style

– Crystal: Sapphire (Flat w/ Cyclops Lens)

– Movement: Rolex Caliber 9001

– Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

In June 2021, Jon Rahm became the first Spanish golfer to win the U.S. Open. That was his first major tournament win and thanks to his performance during the 2020–21 PGA Tour, Jon Rahm was awarded the PGA Player of the Year for that season, in addition to the Vardon Trophy and the Byron Nelson Award.

As a Rolex golf ambassador, Jon Rahm has worn a few different Rolex watches, including two-tone yellow gold and steel Daytona chronograph and an 18k white gold GMT-Master II with a meteorite dial and blue and red “Pepsi” bezel. However, the watch on his wrist when he held up the trophy after winning the 121st U.S. Open at Torrey Pines was a stainless steel Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 with a white gold fluted bezel and steel Oyster bracelet.

Jon Rahm’s Sky-Dweller is the blue-dial version, which is the most popular dial option within the Sky-Dweller lineup and only available on the White Rolesor model. The Sky-Dweller is one of Rolex’s most complicated watches, not only boasting a dial that indicates the date, month, and two time zones but also an annual calendar, meaning that the watch only requires manual adjustment once a year.

Brooks Koepka – Rolex Daytona

Rolex Golf Ambassadors Brooks Koepka Daytona

About Brooks Koepka’s Rolex Daytona:

– Reference Number: 116500LN

– Case Size: 40mm

– Materials: Stainless Steel

– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, 12-Hour Chronograph

– Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers

– Bezel: Fixed, Black Cerachrom w/ Tachymeter Scale

– Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)

– Movement: Rolex Caliber 4130

– Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

With two PGA Championship and two U.S. Open wins under his belt, Brooks Koepka won his four major championships in a two-year span from 2017 to 2019. He successfully defended the U.S. Open title in 2018 and went on to win his third career major later that year, paving the way for his PGA Tour Player of the Year award. In 2019, Brooks Koepka would capture his fourth major at the PGA Championship, thus becoming the first man to successfully defend two major titles.

A key golf ambassador of the Rolex “New Guard,” Brooks Koepka has worn several enviable Rolex watches while holding his well-earned trophies. We’ve spotted Brooks Koepka wearing the 50th Anniversary Sea-Dweller 126600 and the Everose gold Sky-Dweller 326935 on a matching Everose gold Oyster bracelet.

However, the Rolex watch that he seems to favor and wear the most is the ultra-popular Daytona 116500LN chronograph with a black Cerachrom ceramic bezel and white “panda” dial. Released in 2016, the Daytona 116500LN remains one of Rolex’s most in-demand watches and virtually impossible to purchase at retail.

Lexi Thompson – Rolex Datejust 36

Rolex Golf Ambassadors Lexi Thompson Datejust 36

About Lexi Thompson’s Rolex Datejust 36:

– Reference Number: 116200

– Case Size: 36mm

– Materials: Stainless Steel

– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display

– Dial: Silver w/ Roman Numeral Markers

– Bezel: Fixed, Stainless Steel, Smooth Style

– Crystal: Sapphire (Flat w/ Cyclops Lens)

– Movement: Rolex Caliber 3135

– Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

In addition to its significant support of men’s professional golf, Rolex also has several women players on its golf roster and the company is the Official Timekeeper of the five Majors in women’s professional golf.

American player, Lexi Thompson, turned pro at 15 years old, and at age 16, she set a then-new record as the youngest-ever winner of an LPGA tournament at the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic. In 2014, Lexi Thompson won her first career major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship (now known as the Chevron Championship.)

In terms of watches, Rolex ambassador Lexi Thompson is a fan of the Datejust and has frequently been spotted wearing two very different versions of the classic timepiece. The first is an understated stainless steel Datejust ref. 116200 with a smooth bezel, silver dial with Roman numerals, and an Oyster bracelet. Her other Datejust is a much more lavish iteration that is also 36mm but features a two-tone Everose gold and steel case, diamond-set bezel, and two-tone Jubilee bracelet.

Golf Ambassadors Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Blue Dial Stainless Steel

Rolex Watches of Other Professional Golfers

In addition to the five incredible players we’ve outlined above, there are, of course, plenty of other Rolex golfers on the list. Here’s are some of the Rolex watches we’ve seen them wearing:

Men’s Rolex Golf Ambassadors:

– Rickie Fowler wears a white gold Yacht-Master ref. 226659 with a 42mm case, black ceramic bezel, and black Oysterflex bracelet.

– Jordan Speith wears a stainless steel Explorer II ref. 216570 with a 42mm case, Oyster bracelet, and white “Polar” dial.

–  Phil Mickelson wears an Everose gold Yacht-Master ref. 116655 with a 40mm case, black ceramic bezel, and black Oysterflex bracelet.

– Adam Scott wears a two-tone Everose gold and steel GMT-Master II ref. 126711CHNR with a 40mm case, Oyster bracelet, and black and brown “Root Beer” Cerachrom bezel.

– Hideki Matsuyama wears a yellow gold and stainless steel Submariner 116613LB “Bluesy” with blue Cerachrom bezel, sunburst blue dial, and two-tone Oyster bracelet.

Women’s Rolex Golf Ambassadors:

– Lydia Ko wears an Everose gold Yacht-Master ref. 268655 with a 37mm case, black Cerachrom bezel, and black Oysterflex bracelet.

– Brooke Henderson wears a stainless steel Datejust 36 with a silver dial, smooth bezel, and Oyster bracelet.

– Anna Nordqvist wears an Explorer 214270 with a 39mm steel case, steel Oyster bracelet, and black dial with oversized 3, 6, 9 Arabic numerals.

– Maria Fassi wears a steel Datejust 36 with a diamond-set bezel and diamond indexes on the silver dial.

– Annika Sörenstam wears a white gold Daytona “Beach” ref. 116519 with a pink mother-of-pearl dial and pink leather strap.

Like the brand they represent, Rolex golf ambassadors all share a drive for excellence and seek to continuously improve their game. From the late Arnold Palmer (the first Rolex golf ambassador) to living golf legends that still play today – to a new crop of young pro players set on forging their own sporting legacy, Rolex golf ambassadors are some of the greatest names in the history of the sport.

Golf Ambassadors Rolex Submariner 116610LN Black Dial Stainless Steel

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