Monday, June 18

Paul Newman’s Rolex fetches record price

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Newman, who died of lung cancer in 2008 at 83, was not only an acclaimed actor but also an entrepreneur, activist and philanthropist.

A Rolex wristwatch owned by the late Hollywood legend Paul Newman, and inscribed with a message from his wife, was sold by Phillips in New York for $17.8million (over R250m) on October 26 – the highest price paid for a wristwatch on auction.

The white-dial Rolex Cosmograph Daytona timepiece – one of only 4000 made – was bought for $300 as a gift for Newman by his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, in 1969. It is engraved on the back with the message “Drive Carefully – Me”, a reminder to take care during the motor racing that had become a passion in Newman’s life.

The watch travelled the world with Newman, appearing on his wrist in promotional materials, magazines and documentaries. In 1984 he passed it on to James Cox, a college student who dated Newman’s daughter, Nell.

Newman’s Rolex that fetched nearly $18m. Picture: Reuters

Newman, who died of lung cancer in 2008 at 83, was not only an acclaimed actor but also an entrepreneur, activist and philanthropist and his daughter established The Nell Newman Foundation to carry on her father’s legacy of charitable giving. Cox, now 52, decided to put the watch on auction to raise money for her foundation.

Hollywood’s legendary Butch Cassidy was co-founder of Newman’s Own, a food company that donated all profits to charity: these donations now total about $500m. He was co-founder of Safe Water Network, a body that develops sustainable drinking water solutions; and, in 1988, with Woodward, co-founded the Serious Fun Children’s Network, a global family of summer camps for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Sunday Tribune Auctions

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