It can be said that the Rolex Daytona has undoubtedly become the most iconic wristwatch in the world of vintage collecting, despite a rather slow commercial start. In an effort to boost sales for their then struggling chronograph, Rolex began offering a selection of more colourful and racetrack-oriented dials, advertised as ‘exotic’. The interest for the Daytona sparked when legendary actor Paul Newman was notoriously seen wearing his personal Daytona ref. 6239 with an exotic dial. Such dials have ever since been affectionately nicknamed ‘Paul Newman’ and add tremendous value to the pieces they are fitted on.
It is today acknowledged that a mere 2700 stainless steel examples have been produced with a fraction of these bearing the Paul Newman Dial. The 6241 combines a 6239 case with pump-pushers and a screw-down back, together with a black tachymeter bezel insert. The reference was available in 18k and 14k gold in addition to stainless steel.
The present example was manufactured in 1967 and stands in stunning condition. Its tricolour Paul Newman dial is correct for this reference and bears the collectible red minute outer-track. The lume plots are thick and perfectly react under UV light, in complete tune with the luminous hands. The case features the convex curve at 3 o’clock, a feature introduced in 1966, and is adorned with the original and highly sought-after Mark I bezel insert. Furthermore, the present piece is fitted with an early calibre 722-1 which was introduced the same year and brought some minor updates to the Valjoux 72 based calibre. Finally, the present watch is offered with its period-correct 7835 folded Oyster bracelet and 271 endlinks, making this 6241 Paul Newman Daytona a complete piece.