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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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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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Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239 | Important Watches Sale

The Important Watches collection is led by an exceedingly rare and fresh-to-market Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239, known amongst watch enthusiasts as the most desirable and valuable vintage sport watches. It will be offered for an estimate of $150,000–$250,000 at auction. Famously worn by the actor and race car enthusiast, the watch has become just as legendary as the man who it is associated with.

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Cartier 6.69ct Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring - Fortuna Exchange: February Sale

Fortuna Exchange: February Sale Highlights

NEW YORK, NY— Fortuna Exchange: February Sale was a strong start to a new monthly auction series that Fortuna introduced in 2019, offering collectors a broad range of fine jewelry and watches from celebrated makers across all eras. The Fortuna Exchange was created to provide our sellers greater opportunities per year to sell their assets on a global platform, without the constraints or limitations of consigning their pieces to seasonal sales that are few and far between.

With the addition of regular monthly auctions, alongside our larger signature sales that occur biannually, we are excited to offer our clients a year that is overflowing with rare and exciting fine jewelry and watch offerings.

Estate and Signed Jewelry Lead the Sale

In fine jewelry highlights, signed jewelry performed very strongly—achieving a total sell-through rate by value of 85.4%. In particular, the cover lot, a very fine Cartier 6.69ct Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring, prompted a roar of competitive bidding. The property of a New York lady, the finely crafted ring achieved a final price of $65,625, exceeding a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$50,000. All in all, jewelry by Cartier and Tiffany & Co. drew the attention of bidders across the globe, achieving sell-through rates by value of 81.5% and 84.6% respectively.

A Cartier Unheated Burmese 6.69ct Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Achieved $65,625 at auction, against a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$50,000.

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Fancy Intense Blue Diamond Ring- Fortuna Fine Jewelry and Watch Auction NYC December 2018 Magnificent Jewels

FORTUNA Breaks Major Ground with Biggest Sale Yet

NEW YORK, NY—Fortuna’s highly anticipated three-part winter auction series took place on December 6-7, 2018, achieving a total sale revenue of around $4 million USD. The auctions offered an exemplary collection of jewelry and watches from the most prestigious makers in their craft, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Rolex, and Omega.

Highlighting Fortuna’s first sale of the season, Session One: Magnificent Jewels, was an exquisite 3.05ct Fancy Intense Blue diamond ring. Naturally occurring blue diamonds are found in less than 0.02% of all diamonds mined and are one of the rarest gemstones in the world. This particular blue diamond ring was consigned by an important Asian collector and exhibited a gorgeous and vibrant blue hue that is rarely seen, even among blue diamonds. After a round of tense bidding that had the auction floor buzzing with excitement, the ring achieved $1,395,000, selling to a phone bidder.

In addition to colored diamonds, Magnificent Jewels also featured an exquisite assortment of rare estate jewels and signed pieces spanning many historical style periods. Of the many jewelry highlights, a stunning Art Deco Cartier sapphire and diamond bracelet truly evoked the classic glamour that is characteristic of the Roaring Twenties era. The piece achieved $76,800 USD against a pre-sale estimate of $60,000-$90,000.

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Rolex Paul Newman Daytona - Fortuna NYC Fine Jewelry & Watch Auction

Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona Fetches $275,000 at FORTUNA

The NYC auction house cements its presence in the world of high-end watch collecting, selling 95% of lots.

On September 27 Fortuna held its second Important Watches auction in New York City, in which the sell-through rate exceeded 95% with a total sale value of $889,729. More than 600 registered bidders from 43 countries competed for 66 lots. The sale was lead by a Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona reference 6239 that sold for $275,000 including premium. Fortuna has taken yet another strong step forward in establishing itself as a serious player in the high-end watch space.

“There was a lot of fierce bidding and excitement in the auction room. We sold 63 of the 66 lots offered, with many of the watches far exceeding their pre-sale estimates. Our consignors and buyers were very pleased with the results and the quality of watches offered, and we already have a flood of consignments coming in for our December sales.” said John Saxon, President & CEO of Fortuna.

A fresh-to-market Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” reference 6239 achieved $275,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $150,000-$250,000.

Rolex Watches Soars

The Swiss brand performed very well at auction, with all 24 Rolex watches selling. The Rolex lots in the sale brought a total of $584,164, surpassing the combined pre-sale high estimates of $510,300.

Among the top performing Rolex watches were a “Four-Line” Daytona reference 16520 which brought $43,750 against a pre-sale estimate of $18,000–$28,000, a “Double-Red” Sea-Dweller reference 1665 which brought $31,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $14,000–$20,000, and an Explorer II reference 1655 which brought $21,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $12,000–$18,000.

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