Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

You Don’t Want To Know How Much Money Paul Newman’s Rolex Just Sold For

What is a 1968 Cosmograph Daytona – Reference Number 6239? A car model? A declassified CIA file? The working title for a 2045 Bond film that will star the little boy from “Room”? In some sense, a 1968 Cosmograph Daytona – Reference Number 6239 is anything we want it to be. In another more accurate sense, it’s a kind of Rolex watch owned by Paul Newman that sold for $17,752,000 at an auction on Thursday, according to Pret-A-Reporter.

That’s seventeen million, seven-hundred and fifty-two thousand dollars for a watch.

Paul Newman, international film sensation or charitable off-brand Oreo salesman, depending when you were born, was reportedly partial to this Rolex. The watch was bought for him by his wife Joanne Woodward in 1968 at Tiffany & Co. and engraved with the words “Drive Carefully Me” to honor his nascent racing interests. Newman and Woodward’s daughter Nell Newman was dating James Cox in 1984 when the actor decided to gift him the watch. Both Newman and Cox were at the packed Phillips auction house on Park Avenue for the auction, and both attended with their current partners, planning to split the watch’s earnings. Newman will divert some of the funds to her philanthropic foundation. “Whoever bought [the watch], I hope they understand that it comes with a moral responsibility to be philanthropic,” she said, with impressive equanimity for a person watching her ex-boyfriend receive almost nine million dollars.

With bidding started at one million dollars for 800 bidders, the drama immediately escalated with an anonymous caller on the phone offering $10 million. Within twelve minutes the caller had prevailed, with a $15.5 million price plus the over two-million dollar buyer’s fee. The price sets a new record for any Rolex watch though the record for all watches is still $24 million for a Patek Phillips Supercomplication pocket watch sold in 2014.

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.