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Type IIa D IF 4.07-carat Marquise Diamond

Fortuna Ends the Year Strong with Important Estate Diamonds

Fortuna’s most-anticipated sale of the year, the December Jewels & Watches auction, came to an exciting close on Thursday, December 10, 2020 after nearly a full day of live bidding activity. December’s curated collection offered a wealth of iconic estate jewels, important gemstones, and rare vintage timepieces—giving holiday shoppers the perfect opportunity to surprise their loved ones with one-of-a-kind treasures. In total sales revenue, the December auction sold nearly $1.9 million in jewelry and watches, showing promising signs of the return of consumer confidence in luxury accessories. For full sale results, click here.

Rolex Daytona Ref. 6241 in 14K Gold (Lot 1047, December Jewels & Watches)

Only a year after setting global auction records for a 1991 limited edition Cartier Crash watch, Fortuna has returned bringing yet another vintage watch rarity to market. Despite being one of the later consigned items of Fortuna’s over 400-lot catalog, the impressive Rolex Daytona Ref. 6241 in 14K Gold got the bidding attention it deserved. Amassing one of the world’s largest followings in vintage sports watches, the Rolex Daytona is a tour de force of mechanical timepieces. Debuting in 1966, the Ref. 6241 is especially rare for its 14K gold case—only seeing about 3000 examples made in all metals. Opening at auction with a starting bid of $70,000, the price quickly climbed between multiple phone bidders. After a tense final exchange between two phone bidders, the classic timepiece eventually went for a hammer price of $135,000 and a final achieved price of $168,750. 

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Special Rolex Daytona Dials

Rolex was the official timekeeper of the car races in Daytona, Florida for the first time in 1962. One year later, the company launched its Cosmograph Reference 6239, a chronograph watch that evolved into the Daytona we all know and love today.

Many celebrities and watch collectors, including actor and racer Paul Newman, have been big fans of the Daytona. These watches were created specifically for car racers and have undergone many different styles in their 55-year history. And in the time before Rolex was completely vertically integrated in their production, vintage Daytonas are chockfull of design inconsistencies that have set the vintage watch world abuzz. We’ve put together a small list of some of our favorite Daytona dial variations that have grown significantly in value over the years.

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Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239 in Steel | April 2020 Important Watches

Paul Newman wearing his own Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239

Paul Newman wearing his own Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239 (Photo by Douglas Kirkland/Corbis via Getty Images).

Fortuna is happy to give you a closer look at a prized highlight from our upcoming Important Watches sale, the Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239 in Steel.

The “Paul Newman” is one of the most desirable and valuable of vintage sport watches. Rolex unveiled the first Daytona watch in the early 1960s and named it after the famous raceway. A subset of these watches, with the distinctive “exotic” dial, came to be associated with the American icon, Paul Newman, who is known and revered for his many pursuits, from his acting to his philanthropy, and most importantly his career as a professional race car driver. Paul’s wife gifted him the watch and he became quite fond of it, seen wearing it often—on and off the racetrack.

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Cartier Crash 1991 Limited Edition - Fortuna December 2019 Important Watches

Record Breaking Cartier Crash Leads Fortuna’s December Sales

NEW YORK, December 16, 2019—Fortuna, the NYC-based auction house specializing in fine jewelry and watches, concluded its final auctions for the year, Important Jewels and Important Watches, achieving over $1.8 million in revenue and setting a world record for the iconic Cartier Crash, one of the most unusual and intriguing watches on the market.

Created in 1967, legend has it that the Cartier Crash, which resembles the melting clocks in Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” was inspired by a timepiece recovered from a scorching car wreck. Reissued in 1991 in a limited edition of only 400 pieces, the rare timepiece is quickly achieving cult-status and has been spotted on the wrists of high profile celebrities, such as a style icon and avid watch collector, Kanye West. Yet, veteran collectors were shocked when the Crash flew by its high estimate of $50,000, achieving $81,250 at the boutique NYC auction house.

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paul newman

Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman”: What It Is and Why It’s So Valuable

Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona is something of a legend in the watch community. Newman’s iconic wristwatch singlehandedly saved an entire series of Daytona watches, before setting records itself when it sold. In a high-profile auction, the 1968 Oyster Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman wore over the decades sold for $17.5 million, setting the record for the highest price ever recorded for a wristwatch to date.

Not only is the original watch Newman wore highly valuable, but it has also raised the value of similar models of Daytona watches. As an example, a watch of the same reference number as Newman’s Daytona recently sold for $275,000 at auction.

 

Who Is Paul Newman & Why Is the “Paul Newman” Daytona So Valuable?

Paul Newman, the famous American actor and philanthropist, starred in classic films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Color of Money, The Sting and Cool Hand Luke. Many people know him for his movies, but he also put his stamp on history as a professional race car driver and getting a collection of Rolexes to carry his namesake.

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