Paul Newman Rolex sells for more than US$17 million

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"This record result is a testament to the historic importance and continued legacy of this Rolex", said Aurel Bacs, a watch specialist of the Phillips auction house in NY.

The story of this watch has been preserved in the carving on its case back, "DRIVE CAREFULLY ME" - this was a message from Newman's wife Joanne Woodward.

The famous Rolex "Paul Newman" Daytona watch owned by Paul Newman himself has sold for the highest amount ever recorded in an auction for a timepiece. Who probably also wish they were Paul Newman.

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Phillips auction house in NY, which has been marketing the story of the timepiece around the world all year, took just 12 minutes to bring the hammer down on a price of $15.5 million (£11.85m). For years he wasn't seen without the signature Rolex Daytona timepiece on his wrist, but in the '80s he mysteriously stopped wearing it. Pop handed James his Rolex and said, "if you can do not forget to wind this each day, it tells pretty good time, '" Nell recalls in a signed letter accompanying the watch. Cox replied saying sorry, he didn't know, as he didn't have a watch.

However, the seller was James Cox, who received it as a gift from Newman in 1984. Years later, when Cox (who is still friends with Nell) realized how valuable the watch could be, he made a decision to sell it and give what the Journal calls "a significant portion of the proceeds" to the charitable foundation Nell started after her father's death. But it ended up selling for 17 times that, Esquire reports. Cox said at the time he knew Rolex was an excellent brand, but he didn't realize the significance behind the watch. "Pop handed James his Rolex and said, 'if you can keep in mind to wind this each day, it tells pretty good time".