RM Sotheby’s – Rolex | Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “John Player Special” – Sold $1,584,000

The Rolex reference 6264 is considered as the ultimate evolution of the pump pushers Daytona.

Only produced in few numbers between the end of the 1960’s until the beginning of the 1970’s, it is the transitional link between the two main periods of the history of the manual winding Daytona. Its case with the pump pushers is faithful to the original design of the celebrated Rolex chronograph. The watch is fitted with the calibre 727 that also equipped later screw-down pusher models, references 6263 and 6265.


RM Sotheby’s – Rolex | Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “John Player Special” – Sold $1,584,000


CIRCA 1969

Dial: black Paul Newman John Player RB Sotheby’s Special

Calibre: cal. 727 manual winding, 17 jewels

Case: 18k yellow gold, screw-down back

Case number: 2’357’405

Closure: 18k yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp

Dimensions: 37 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 180 mm

Signed: case, dial and movement

Accessories: Rolex presentation case

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Condition Report

Catalogue Note

While most of the 6264 were produced in stainless steel, a few pieces were made in yellow gold. An 18k yellow gold 6264 is a true rarity, of which only ten examples are known, and the appearance of such a specimen on the international market is an important and exciting event by the connoisseurs’ community. Indeed, these pieces are usually the treasure and the cornerstone of a few of the most distinguished private collections. They represent the ultimate achievement in the quest of the vintage Rolex Daytona watches.

Among these pieces, a fraction of them are fitted with the celebrated Paul Newman dial. In addition to the elusive Lemon version, this dial was available either in champagne or in black, like the present piece. While both are incredibly sought after, the black version is ever more in demand. It was affectionately nicknamed “John Player Special” in reference to the livery of the Lotus formula 1 painted in black with the gold JPS logo. Nowadays, the car is still seen as one the chicest cars of the glamour era of motor racing. So is the case in the horological world with the yellow gold Rolex Paul Newman Daytona JPS. The contrast created by the gold of the case, the subsidiary dials and outer track and the black dial’s base and bezel is beautifully eye-catching. The created effect is simply unparalleled in the watch history. While terms such as “iconic”, “ultimate” or “holy grail” are today hackneyed, they are euphemisms for such an important and attractive piece.

The dial of the present example is vibrant with clear engine turned subsidiary dials. The T Swiss T signature has the typical “sign a song” shape. The luminescent plots are all present. The case remains strong with clearly defined hallmarks and 18k engraving under the lugs. The serial and reference numbers are very well preserved and easy to read. It is further fitted on the riveted 7205 bracelet with matching 71 end links.

Sotheby’s is extremely pleased to present this extraordinary piece on behalf of an important international private collector.

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