There is no single holy grail of watches. Collectors’ tastes are too varied, and, to be honest, there’s just too much good stuff out there to condense the whole wide world of high horology down to one quintessentially desirable timepiece. That said, if you twisted my arm and said I had to name a watch that comes pretty damn close—in value, in rarity, in sheer beauty—I’d shout “Rolex Daytona” without any hesitation.
It is, after all, the watch that Paul Newman wore. The one that shattered records when Newman’s own watch went for $17.8 million in 2017, becoming the most expensive watch ever sold at auction (of course, this being the watch world, that record has since been broken). The one that still remains a very hot commodity, whether new or vintage. And now, there’s not one but two of the iconic chronograph up for auction via the secondhand Rolex specialists at Bob’s Watches.
The first is a ref. 6263, circa 1971, in stainless steel with a reverse panda dial. The 6263 was first introduced in 1969, and was the last generation of manually wound Daytonas. Its screw-down pushers meant greater water resistance, earning the the reference the “Oyster” designation on the dial. This one includes the original box and papers, a pretty rare thing for a watch from the period. And while it shows signs of wear, it remains in impressive unpolished condition.
The second is also a ref. 6263, this time circa 1978. It’s made of 14K yellow gold, with a champagne dial. Because gold Daytona models were considered premium items within the Rolex catalog of watches, they received chronometer-certified movements starting in the early ’70s. This one features the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” text on its dial, and while the case has been lightly polished, it retains its sharp edges and original MK2 pushers.
There’s a lot more to know on both models, and you can see all the necessary info at the auction itself. But be warned: You don’t have much time to do it. Both auctions end today. If you’ve got a (rather hefty) chunk of change burning a hole in your pocket and you’re in the market for a grail-level Rolex, it’s time to get moving.