Paul Newman was part of a special group of guys, including Steve McQueen, James Garner and James Dean, celebrities and actors that were also racing drivers. In fact, Newman and McQueen, despite not ever getting along, were two men that considered themselves racing drivers first, actors second. But Paul Newman was the best of them, in terms of both driving and acting. He was an equal force on the track and on the silver screen and was beloved by the people who knew him and the public, alike. So it’s no wonder that when something of his goes up for auction, it commands big bucks. People want something that belonged to one of the coolest men in modern American history.
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As most car enthusiasts do, Paul Newman also loved watches. His most famous, and the one he wore the most, was his Reference 6239 Rolex Daytona, which was bought for him by his wife, Joanne Woodward. On the back of the watch, Nell had a little message engraved, saying “Drive Carefully Me”. That little detail, showing its history and unflappable intimacy of Newman and Woodward, is likely a large part of why the watch recently commanded its astronomical price tag.
Sold by Pauls’ daughter, Nell Newman, the “Panda” black, white and cream Rolex Daytona recently sold for $17.8 million, making it the most expensive watch ever sold. All of the proceeds go to the Nell Newman Foundation, setup with “the goal of carrying on her father’s legacy of charitable giving, coupled with her passion for the environment,” Paul Newman is famous for his charitable contributions, with his most famous being his Newman’s Own brand of products, all of which donate all proceeds to charity.
Paul Newman was easily one of the coolest men in modern American history. He was an incredible actor, racing driver and person, touching many lives throughout his own. He won Dayton at the age of 70. There aren’t a lot of cooler people that that. So it’s no wonder his watch was so highly desired.