Published: October 27, 2017
NEW YORK CITY — Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, a watch auction house, set a new world record for any wristwatch at auction on October 26. Following a 12-minute bidding war, Paul Newman’s Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona sold to a bidder on the phone for $17,752,500, including premium. Watch enthusiasts from around the world followed this historic moment online, over the phone and in a packed saleroom of more than 700 people. The atmosphere was electric, according to the auction house.
With 40 phone bidders, bidding started at $1 million and immediately jumped to 10 million before competing among phones. That bidding lasted more than 10 minutes before settling at a hammer price of $15.5 million. “It is history now, $15,500,000,” said the auctioneer as he slammed down the gavel. “Watch collecting can be so beautiful.”
Phillips’ inaugural New York auction, titled Winning Icons – Legendary Watches of the Twentieth Century, made history with the monumental sale of the unique Rolex “Paul Newman” Cosmograph Daytona owned and worn by actor Paul Newman. With unrivalled provenance, it is the watch that inspired the nickname for the most prestigious versions of Rolex’s Daytona.
Aurel Bacs, senior consultant, and Paul Boutros, head of watches, Americas, said: “It was an absolute privilege for Phillips to offer Paul Newman’s own ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona – arguably the most iconic collector’s wristwatch of the Twentieth Century. This result is a testament to the historic importance and continued legacy of this Rolex, which is responsible for creating an entirely new market and inspiring a new generation of collectors.”
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