When mulling over a major purchase, it’s natural to wonder how the value of the thing will change over time. How much will my house go up? When should I swap my old Benz for a new one? Now, imagine you buy a watch for $345 in the ’70s only to discover (on TV) that it’s worth up to $700,000? Well, that’s what happened to an unwitting Air Force vet on this week’s Antiques Roadshow.
While that particular television program may lack staying power (my apologies to AR fanatics everywhere), this watch certainly does: the ‘Paul Newman’ Rolex Daytona Reference 6239 is one of the most coveted watches in horology history. In fact, Paul’s personal Daytona sold for a record $17.8 million at a New York auction in 2017.
So what makes this watch the ultimate grail? For starters, the steel chronograph has a cream “exotic” dial unique to the piece with square markers on the three subdials. Plus, the red “Daytona” inscription above the subdial at 6 o’clock is a special detail that makes the watch a singular classic. Also, Paul Newman.
So next time you’re at a sketchy antiques shop, a flea market, or just plain ordering a dusty Rolex to your military base camp, hold onto it for as long as you can – and think about getting it appraised. You never know what your wrist might be worth.