ROLEX. A VERY RARE AND ATTRACTIVE STAINLESS STEEL CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH BLACK DIAL AND BRACELET
SIGNED ROLEX, COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA, PAUL NEWMAN MODEL, REF. 6239, CASE NO. 1’695’129, MANUFACTURED IN 1967
Cal. 722 mechanical movement, 17 jewels, black dial, applied square black numerals with luminous accents, luminous hands, outer red ffths of a second divisions on white chapter ring, three engine-turned white subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours registers, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, blank bezel calibrated for 300 units, screw back, screw down crown, two round chronograph buttons in the band, stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet, case, dial and movement signed.
1967: The other Rolex chronograph available for purchase – ref. 6238, the so-called pre-Daytona – is discontinued. Throughout the following two years the Cosmograph undergoes intense research to make it more attractive to the public. A result of this research is an alternative dial, undoubtedly one of the most iconic and renowned in the history of horology: the “Paul Newman”.
Nicknamed after one of its most illustrious wearers, the Paul Newman is far from the essential style of normal Daytona dials. Constructively, it displays a tridimensional depth that is not easy to achieve; the subsidiary registers and the chronographic seconds track are both slightly indented. Aesthetically, it is impossible not to appreciate the impressive chromatic impact given by the black dial, the contrasting subsidiary dials, the white graphics, the cherry Daytona logo, and chronographic seconds track.
Many details of this dial illustrate how, during its design and engineering phase, some manufacturing processes refect the typical style of the ‘50s. An example is the strong grene effect of the white background, much grainier than the typical 60s style.
The present watch is a perfect example of the 6239 Daytona with the Paul Newman dial. Original in all its parts, not only has the case never been polished and maintains its original shape but it is also historically important. It belongs to the first batch of 6239 on which Rolex mounted the Paul Newman dial. The case noticeably lacks the bubble at 3 o’clock, found on all later productions, introduced to facilitate the grip on the winding crown. Also, the dial, in perfect condition, is recognised by scholars as “first batch” due to some typical elements, such as the unmistakable so-called sing-a-song (shorter letters at the ends, taller in the center) “T SWISS T” designation.
Courtesy of Christie's