Rolex. An exceptionally rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' dial being sold by the original owner  'Paul Newman' Cosmograph Oyster, Ref: 6263/6239, 1969
Lot 138
Rolex. An exceptionally rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' dial being sold by the original owner
'Paul Newman' Cosmograph Oyster, Ref: 6263/6239, 1969
£ 300,000 - 400,000
US$ 400,000 - 530,000

Lot Details
Rolex. An exceptionally rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' dial being sold by the original owner  'Paul Newman' Cosmograph Oyster, Ref: 6263/6239, 1969 Rolex. An exceptionally rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' dial being sold by the original owner  'Paul Newman' Cosmograph Oyster, Ref: 6263/6239, 1969 Rolex. An exceptionally rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' dial being sold by the original owner  'Paul Newman' Cosmograph Oyster, Ref: 6263/6239, 1969 Rolex. An exceptionally rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' dial being sold by the original owner  'Paul Newman' Cosmograph Oyster, Ref: 6263/6239, 1969
Rolex. An exceptionally rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' dial being sold by the original owner
Model: 'Paul Newman' Cosmograph Oyster
Reference: 6263/6239
Date: 1969
Movement: 17-jewel Valjoux Cal.727 manual wind, column wheel chronograph
Dial: Tropical black signed Rolex Cosmograph Oyster under 12, red Daytona, applied black square and luminous dot hour markers to white surround, red 1/5th second divisions, white subsidiary dials at 3, 6 and 9 for subsidiary seconds, 30 minute and 12 hour recording, polished baton hands with luminous inserts, centre chronograph hand
Case: Brushed and polished tonneau form, screw down back stamped C.R.S and 6239 inside, fixed bezel with black calibrated insert, screw down crown flanked by twin screw down pushers, No.208****
Strap/Bracelet: Fitted brushed folded Oyster 7835 18 link
Buckle/Clasp: Signed folding clasp, stamped P9
Signed: Case, dial & movement
Size: 37.5mm

Footnotes

  • First appearing in the early 1960s, the 'exotic' dial was nicknamed the 'Paul Newman' by Italian collectors after the American actor wore the watch in promotional posters for the film 'Winning.' He also wore a version of the watch in his private life and was often photographed wearing one. The rarity of a Paul Newman is known throughout the watch collecting world and is the pinnacle of many esteemed collections. The Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' is one of the rarest of them all.

    'Oyster Sotto' can be directly translated as 'Oyster below' and references the dial configuration of having the word Oyster appear below that of Rolex and Cosmograph. This arrangement of the text is exceptionally rare and is also referred to as an RCO dial as opposed to the more commonly found ROC. It is understood that when the design of the pushers was changed to the screw-down pusher the title Oyster was added to the model and the dial. In the beginning there were no black dials so a few of the non-Oyster dials were sent back to Singer and the word Oyster was printed underneath Rolex Cosmograph.

    The holy grail for many collectors, the 'Oyster Sotto' has only come to auction a handful of times and it is believed that less than 20 examples are even known of. This is reflected in the short production period that can be found by studying the serial numbers. All of the earliest 'Oyster Sotto's feature a serial number beginning with 2'085'xxx and of the examples offered at auction recently the current lot falls right in the middle of two well know examples.

    As well as a very specific range of serial numbers, the early 'Oyster Sotto's also bear a double reference with 6239 engraved to the inside back of their Charles René Spillman (C.R.S) cases. The dial can be divided into two sub-categories - Mark I and Mark II. The current example features the Mark I dial typical of the earlier 'Oyster Sotto' and is recognisable by the more distinctive wider R of Rolex, the stylised G and the exaggerated asymmetric H of Cosmograph.

    Being offered by the original owner the current lot was a gift for his 18th birthday and has been a faithful companion over the last nearly 50 years. The dial has aged and is beginning to turn to a warm dark brown and having been serviced over the years by Rolex Geneva, the watch has been well looked after and loved by its original owner.

    For an example of an 'Oyster Sotto' with a serial number succeeding the current lot by just two see 100 Superlative Watches by John Goldberger, pg.260-261.
Activities
Auction information

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