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Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona Watch Fetches $17.8M At Auction

Paul Newman, seen here during filming of the 1969 movie “Winning,” raced cars for 35 years.
Paul Newman, seen here during filming of the 1969 movie “Winning,” raced cars for 35 years. Photo Credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
A bidder agreed to pay $17.8 million for a Rolex Daytona that once belonged to actor Paul Newman, setting a new world record for a wristwatch sold at auction, according to New York auction house Phillips.
A bidder agreed to pay $17.8 million for a Rolex Daytona that once belonged to actor Paul Newman, setting a new world record for a wristwatch sold at auction, according to New York auction house Phillips. Photo Credit: Phillips auction house

WESTPORT, Conn. — A Rolex Daytona watch once owned by Westport actor Paul Newman — who also known for car racing exploits — sold at auction for record price.

The watch, which retailed for about $300 when his wife, Joanne Woodward, gave it to him in the 1960s, went for a whopping $17.8 million last week, a world record for a wristwatch sold at auction, according to New York auction house Phillips.

He got the watch during the filming of the 1969 film "Winning," which is where Newman also formed his love of racing. Engraved on the caseback is the message, "DRIVE CAREFULLY ME."

“Demand skyrocketed for all models of Daytona, making it perhaps the most widely sought after collectors’ watch up to the present day,” Phillips said.

The actor wore the watch regularly until 1984, when the auction house said it "seemingly disappeared." In fact, Newman, gave the watch that year to James Cox — a former boyfriend of Newman’s daughter, Nell. Cox made the decision to put the original up for auction.

The auction house Phillips did not identify the buyer.

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