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Cruising with the Daytona Paul Newman 6239

February 19, 2016

BY Paul Altieri



Daytona Paul Newman 6239

Daytona Paul Newman 6239 is a watch sure to keep collectors on their toes.

What’s the fuss all about?

The Rolex Daytona Paul Newman. No other watch in the brand’s archives garners so much attention and excitement. To call it a vintage classic does not do the watch justice – that’s like calling Superman a strong guy. What is it about this particular collection of watches that gets Rolex enthusiasts (and even some non-Rolex fans) in such frenzy? Can it really be boiled down to the man who made it famous – does a cool celeb endorsement really have that much staying power? Or is it the fact that when it was first released, it was basically ignored, collecting dust on the shelves, only becoming very much in demand later on? What about the stupendous growth of the resale prices over the last few decades – that graph is steeper than a double black diamond trail – that’s pretty darn exciting too. A vintage with beauty from top to bottom, in and out.


Daytona Paul Newman 6239 is a beauty and a beast.

Rolex Daytona 6239

Whatever the reasons are, take away all those factors, and the most important thing to consider, at least in my opinion, is that a vintage Daytona Paul Newman is a very fine looking watch. The only difference between a regular Cosmograph Daytona and the Paul Newman versions is aesthetics. Nothing more, nothing less. The Paul Newman timepieces are equipped with what is known as an “exotic dial” and it’s precisely these dials that make the watches so attractive. Don’t get me wrong; the standard Daytona chronos are sublime watches too, but the Rolex Daytona 6239 ones have a certain je ne sais quoi that lends them their distinct and unique appeal.

Daytona Paul Newman 6239 Crown

The Daytona Paul Newman 6239 is ready to make accurate time measurements.

Take for example this particular ref. 6239 from the mid-1960s, which coincidentally is the reference that Paul Newman himself wore (but the white dial version) that skyrocketed the collection to its notorious fame. The trio of colors – black, white, and red – contrast harmoniously together for an unforgettable look. The black matte dial is the perfect backdrop for the white subdials to pop while the red outer minute track brings a dynamic element to the overall style.

Vintage Daytona & Vintage Daytona Paul Newman

Left or Right? Vintage Daytona & Vintage Daytona Paul Newman

Details Count

A closer look at the subdials bears the telltale hallmarks of the Paul Newman series – the square tips at the end of the indexes, the crosshairs that traverse across each subdial to meet in the middle, and the presence of the 15, 30, 45, and 60 markers on the subdial at 9 o’clock. As with most things Rolex, it’s all in the fine details that make the ultimate difference.

Daytona Paul Newman 6239 Movement

Daytona Paul Newman 6239 Movement and the case back

Driving the Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6239 is the Valjoux 722 manual mechanical movement with 17 jewels. Some vintage pieces hark back to a time where not everything was automated and done in an instant. Yes, the manual movement requires some effort on the wearer’s part to get the gears revved up and the engine started, and there’s something quite satisfying about that ritual.

Daytona Paul Newman 6239 Bracelet

Daytona Paul Newman 6239 Bracelet has detais just like any other bracelet provided by Rolex.

There are some naysayers that claim the ravenous popularity of the Daytona Paul Newman is a self-inflated phenomenon whose bubble will soon burst. I disagree, for the sheer reason that the beauty of the watch will never go away, and I for one, am happily aboard the bandwagon.




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