The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “Oyster Sotto” is, without any doubt, a dream watch for collectors around the world except for special orders and unique pieces. Of all the different variants, styles, and configurations of Rolex’s iconic Daytona model, the Oyster Sotto is the pinnacle, positioned at the very top of the hierarchical tree in terms of prestige and desirability, but also rarity.Formerly a highlight of one of the world’s most important private collections, this reference 6263 offered here is one of only two such known Tropical “Oyster Sotto”, having aged to a gorgeous and uniform shade of chocolate brown. With this unique and absolutely stunning dial, the present lot therefore can be considered one of, if not, the world’s most important Rolex Paul Newman Daytona ever offered for auction.The charming Italian nickname of “Oyster Sotto” for the dial translates literally to “Oyster Underneath”, and was bestowed this name by collectors due to the placement of the “Oyster” designation beneath the word “Cosmograph” at 12 o’clock. These are the very first Paul Newman-style dials made for Oyster-cased Daytonas, whose screw-down pushers permitted greater water resistance compared with the pump pushers of earlier generation models. Recognizable by the art-deco style Arabic numerals and squared markers found in the subsidiary dials, only very few examples of this rare Oyster Sotto configuration of the Paul Newman-type dial are known to exist. All of those that have appeared on reference 6263 models bear low serial numbers in the 2 million range – the earliest examples of the reference. It’s fitted with the correct “millerighe”, meaning a thousand lines, Mark 1.5 screw-down pushers.The dial’s lovely shade of dark brown provides superb contrast with the white outer rim which itself emphasizes the coveted red minute track along the outer circumference of the dial. The bold red “Daytona” logo above the chronograph’s hour-counter at 6 o’clock complements the red outer track perfectly, matching perfectly the “T SWISS T” designation at the dial’s very bottom edge. Manufactured in 1969, the case shows few signs of wear, illustrating how well it was taken care of over the course of its nearly 50 year life.This watch with its extreme rarity, spectacular dial, and outstanding overall condition is worthy of “crowning” the next collection it enters as the ultimate trophy for enthusiasts of vintage Rolex Daytonas.
An extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with ‘tropical’ Paul Newman dial, tachometer bezel, outer red 1/5 seconds division track and bracelet.
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
Case/Bracelet: The case is in very good condition, with normal signs of having been worn. There is a good balance between the degree of wear and polishing, as one would expect from a 2-owners-since-new sports-watch of such age; The “Mark I” pushers are original and in very good condition. The bezel’s acrylic insert has a crack at the 112 UPH position and at 3 o’clock. The folded Oyster bracelet is original and in very good condition. Dial: The dial is stunning, in near mint condition. All luminous plots are present with partial loss visible to some of the hour markers. The center portion of the dial has aged to an absolutely uniform shade of chocolate brown. The outer minute track is in near mint condition, with one minor scratch visible upon magnification at the 11.5-minute mark. The sub dials are excellent with partial loss to the ink on the 3 of 30 in the 3 o’clock register, visible upon magnification. Movement:The movement is in excellent condition, with traces of prior servicing. The watch is currently running and all chronograph functions are operating properly.
This watch is illustrated in Pucci Papaleo’s Ultimate Rolex Daytona, pg. 606. For a similar example see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, John Goldberger, pg. 260-261, or Pucci Papaleo’s I Cronografi Rolex - La Leggenda, pg. 310, 311.