Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona Sets Auction Record at $17.8 Million

The record-setting Paul Newman Daytona wristwatch fetched $17,752,500 at Philips.
The record-setting Paul Newman Daytona wristwatch fetched $17,752,500 at Philips.

A rare Rolex watch that was owned by the late movie star Paul Newman has sold for nearly $17.8 million, making it the most expensive watch ever auctioned. A telephone bidder secured the watch at a Phillips sale on Thursday.

Oscar-winning Newman, who died in 2008 at age 83, wore the watch every day for 15 years. His wife, Joanne Woodward, gave it to him in 1968. She had it inscribed at Tiffany & Co. with the words “Drive carefully."

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, made of stainless steel, was produced between 1963 and 1970. It became known as the “Paul Newman watch.”

Newman's daughter and her ex-boyfriend consigned the watch.

Hodinkee described the auction floor as dense with "the Rat Pack of the watch industry," while the piece ultimately went into an "epic" phone bidder battle that leaves its new ownership currently unknown.

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