18 October, 2018

Iconic Daytona in Auction

A 14k Gold Rolex Daytona is heading into auction but this is no ordinary Rolex Daytona, it's the John Player Special WITH a Paul Newman dial.

So, the Rolex Daytona is already iconic. It was first released in 1963 and soon became the racing man's watch after becoming associated with the Daytona International Speedway. With a chronograph complication, it enables the wearer to time an event multiple times which proved valuable for an activity like timing laps around a track.

With a reserve of $350,000, it's still unknown if this watch will sell but there are a lot of things going for it which could tip the scales. Let's take a closer look at this John Player Special Paul Newman Daytona.

Selling Points

The Rolex in question is said to be one of 3,000 made between 1966 and 1969 but around 400 of those were created with 14k gold. Finally, only a handful have ever been seen in an auction and this all culminated in its value just skyrocketing. 

Its rarity is one thing but its popularity is another. Firstly, you have the Paul Newman dial and then you have the John Player Special nickname but who or what are they?

Paul Newman

Rolex Daytona's most famous owner, Paul Newman, was an American actor also known for his love of racing.

He took the Daytona to another level of superstardom when he was gifted one by his wife. It contained an inscription of 'Drive Carefully Me' and the watch sold in auction for £13.5m ($17.75m). You can read more about it here: The Most Expensive Watches Sold in Auction - 2017.

When Newman gave Rolex permission to use his name, they created the famous dial with a distinct feature. A typical Daytona subdial (top left) will read 20, 40, 60 but the Newman dial has 15, 30, 45 and 60. In addition, the crosshairs and numerals are different too!  

John Player Special

So, John Player Special (JSP) is a cigarette brand owned by John Player & Sons. Their products came in an aesthetically pleasing black and gold box. They sponsored the Lotus Formula 1 team (whose livery was black and gold) during the 1970s when the British team won 3 Constructors' Championships and 1 Drivers' crown.

The combination of the Lotus F1 team's success in formula and the use of black and gold provoked the nickname which has become a mainstay among collectors.

It's not uncommon for Rolex watches to be given nicknames. You can read examples here: How Do Rolex Watches Get Nicknames? 

Final Words

This Daytona is one of the rarest of the whole Daytona family and represents a huge opportunity for a collector. 

The legacy of Paul Newman and the JSP nickname come together to form an impressive story that will adorn any Rolex collection. 

What do you like about this watch? Hit the share button and let us know!

If you want to explore the history of Rolex then read our spotlight here: Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Rolex.

Head to The Journal for more stories!

Rare John Player Special Daytona in Auction
Rare John Player Special Daytona in Auction
Rare John Player Special Daytona in Auction
Rare John Player Special Daytona in Auction
Rare John Player Special Daytona in Auction
Rare John Player Special Daytona in Auction