Rolex Daytona 6239 'Paul Newman MK1'

Museum Piece

One of the earliest 'Paul Newmans' in existence, one of the nicest too.

The Daytona line was launched in 1963 but they were not exactly flying off the shelves. 2 Years later Rolex introduced an extra dial option with some art-deco design features and an overall different look, dubbed by Rolex 'Exotic dial'; but obviously better known for its unofficial nickname: "Paul Newman". Right at the introduction someone decided to go for it, resulting in this "Panda 6239" with 1.62m serial.

These early executions have specific graphics and besides the MK1 moniker it is often referred to as "T Swiss T Large" due to the spacing of the signing at the bottom of the dial; underneath the minute track. As most of the value can be found in the dial, it is very important to determine the absolute originality and subsequently the condition quality. After inspecting every inch of this "Panda dial", we have come to the conclusion this is a well-preserved example indeed. It has a beautiful off-white grené-finish and the surface of the contrasting sub-dials and minute track is flawless. The red accents still really pop; an important feature to look for in the "tricolor" editions. All tritium plots are still present and intact and developed a custard color over time, matching the inlay of the flared hands. Another differentiating aspect of these early ones is the thinner second hand in the 9 o'clock counter.

Considering the condition of the dial, one would expect matching case quality. You will not be disappointed when holding or wearing this strong stainless steel Oyster with thick lugs. The bezel is calibrated at 300UPH, again something one only finds on lower serial Daytonas. Talking about the serial, it is still very clearly readable and so is the reference number between the lugs. The '7205' riveted bracelet with original '71' end-links is ready to be worn for decades to come.

Finding rare gems like this is what collecting vintage Rolex is all about. All these little details that make for a magnificent example that you are unlikely to see anywhere or anytime soon. We are proud to offer this superlative and early example of the 6239.