Woman finds a $250,000 vintage Rolex Daytona wedged in her old sofa
What treasures lurk away in the abyss that is the area between your sofa’s structure and its cushions? Some spare change perhaps? Crumpled dry-cleaning receipts? How about one of the rarest watches in history...
Getting a Rolex around your wrist is tricky business these days, even if you have cash to burn to keep you warm at night, it can be near-impossible to buy the most popular models, modern and vintage alike. The granddaddy of all vintage Rolexes, and thus in many ways the granddaddy of all vintage sports watches period, is the 'Paul Newman' Daytona. Imagine then, stumbling on such a piece in your old sofa.
That’s exactly what happened to an unnamed lady from Canada according to Bob’s Watches’ CEO Paul Altieri in a Robb Report article. Altieri, no stranger to people asking him if they’re scratched up inherited ticker holds any value, got a call from the lady who said she had found an odd looking Rolex. Turns out this weird looking watch was the heavyweight champion of horology, worth over US $250,000.
Nestled away unsafely in the sofa, the Daytona 6241 ‘Paul Newman’ was waiting. A watch produced from 1966 to 1969, only around 3,000 Daytona 6241s were made, with an even smaller number being the 'Paul Newman' dial variant.
The actual name of the watch originally wasn’t the ‘Paul Newman’ of course, but just as Steve McQueen did with the Monaco, Newman is responsible for launching the popularity of the Daytona variant into the stratosphere.
Paul Newman was an actor, film director, producer and race car driver. He’s one of the most celebrated actors of all time, winning an Oscar, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild Award, an Emmy, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and many others.
Originally called ‘exotic dial variant’ of the Daytona at the time, it was an incredibly unpopular choice for any perspective Rolex owner due to the unusual colours and being overshadowed by flashier models on the market during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It was this inherent unpopularity, coupled with Newman’s personal love that fired into the record books.
It wasn’t until the 80s where retailers caught on that film star Newman loved the timepiece, and went forward marketing it as the ‘Paul Newman’ watch. Fast forward years, and this name association coupled with the low production have created the most expensive watches to have gone under the hammer.
2017 saw Newman’s very own Daytona sell, and sell it did. Shattering the record for the most expensive auctioned watch of all time, the piece coughed up US $17.8 million.
The lady’s watch may not be worth millions, but a quarter of a million isn’t too shabby considering she found it in a US $25 sofa. Various different references of ‘Paul Newmans’ exist, with this 6241 being a pricier version. Its crazy price is thanks to the sought-after details on the subdial and the font style. Altieri was so baffled to hear what watch she was describing, he sent his very own vintage Rolex expert to the lady to see if it could be true.
The lady could not trace the original owners of the thrifted sofa, nor the watch. So she has decided to sell the watch herself and buy a house.