Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Sting, Cool Hand Luke Hand, and The Colour of Money…just a few of the great movies that starred Hollywood icon, Paul Newman.

Considered an actor of true genius and man of great decency, he died in 2008 aged 83 after a glittering career that spanned more than 50 years.

Even after his death, Newman made the headlines – in 2017 a watch that he owned sold for a staggering US$17.5 million at auction, in New York.  With 700 people crammed into the auction room and more than 40 joining by telephone from overseas, it took just twelve minutes of bidding to reach this figure – still the highest price ever paid for a pre-owned timepiece.

The watch, a stainless steel Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, was given to him by his wife Joanna Woodward, in 1968. She bought it from the famous Tiffany & Co store in New York and had it engraved with the wording “Drive Carefully, Me” …. she was making reference to his motor racing career, which was spawned out of a movie he starred in and saw him compete as a professional driver right into his 80s. And make no bones about it, Newman was pretty good – he won some major races, including a class of The 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995, when he was 70!

As the story goes Newman wore the watch every day for 35 years straight before he gave it to his daughter’s then-boyfriend, who didn’t own one, saying simply, “it keeps good time”.  He really was the epitome of cool!

On sale between 1963 and 1970 the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, probably the single most sought-after timepiece in the world, became known as the “Paul Newman watch”.

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