For Joanne Woodward, the phrase “Drive Very Slowly Joanne” was meant to hug Paul Newman’s wrist, and trigger a reminder to keep his hands at 10 & 2 while navigating life in the fast lane - both figuratively and literally. Woodward is known for her loving inscriptions and her fear of Newman’s need for speed every time he would step onto the racetrack. The present fresh-to-the-auction-market reference 116519 is one of three watches, specifically Daytonas, given to Paul from Joanne to have an inscription directly related to driving. It also comes as no surprise that these inscriptions were on the caseback of a chronograph to time his laps at the racetrack. This white gold variant is confirmed to be the one and only precious metal Daytona ever owned by Newman.
In 1995, Paul Newman participated in the 24 Hours of Daytona Race, where his team won first place in their GT-1 class. At the age of 70 years old, this made Newman the oldest man to win the race. Newman was gifted an incredibly special reference 16520 ‘Zenith’ Daytona to commemorate when he won the Man of the Year award presented at the 24 Hours of Daytona Race. The watch bears the inscription ‘Rolex at Daytona 24 Paul Newman Rolex Motorsports Man of the Year 1995', a title that Newman held proudly.
These two iconic watches will be offered as a part of Sotheby’s Important Watches auction on 9 June at Sotheby’s New York as a part of Luxury Week.