Rolex Launches New Special "Paul Newman" Cosmograph Daytona Celebrating 100 Years Of The 24 Hours Le Mans Race
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Rolex Launches New Special "Paul Newman" Cosmograph Daytona Celebrating 100 Years Of The 24 Hours Le Mans Race

Rolex Launches New Special "Paul Newman" Cosmograph Daytona Celebrating 100 Years Of The 24 Hours Le Mans Race


  • Paying tribute to the 100th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, hot news from Rolex Towers as they drop a spanking new Cosmograph Daytona.
  • With a sparkling white gold dial, a new reverse panda dial chronograph watch is unveiled with a nod to the enduring legend himself Paul Newman.
  • This almost impossible to buy or find watch comes off the back of the 60th anniversary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona launch at Watches and Wonders 2023 with subtle exotic dial elements. 
  • 100 Years of Speed is commemorated with modern upgrades like the new 18k white gold case and bracelet. Meanwhile, vintage nerds can enjoy their horological fix via the instantly recognisable oar shaped counters located on the sub-dials.


Rolex And The 24 Hours Of Le Mans Race


June the 10th and 11th signalled the 100 year anniversary of arguably the most famous endurance race globally - the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 



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Witnessed by 250,000 plus spectators, involving 62 race cars around 13,626 of the gruelling track, teams pit their wits to see who achieves the biggest distance in, you guessed it…just 24 hours. Taking place annually at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Rolex has been a part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for many years. 

Not only have they acted as official timekeeper for more than two decades, stretching back to 2001, they have given the official timepiece to winners of this most prestigious of races. And to mark being 100 not out, the winning team would be provided with…that’s right, the brand new Cosmograph Daytona. We think it deserves a grandiose introduction. Gentlemen, it’s time to start your engines as we present the 2023 Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref. 126529LN


Rolex and Motor Sport


History, legacy, enduring spirit and heritage. These are all horological buzzwords we associate Rolex with when it comes to motor sport. And the legacy proves true my dear time peeps. Dating back to the 1930’s when Sir Malcolm Campbell drove Bluebird while breaking the World Land Speed Record by surpassing 300mph, the Swiss giant has been a firm timekeeping fixture. 


Paul Newman at Le Mans 1979, Source: Connecticut Post

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From the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the Rolex 24 at DAYTONA and becoming the official F1 timekeeper in 2013, it has dipped their horological toe into a range of classic car events brimming with elegance such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and the Goodwood Revival. 

Did you know Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Race in 1979 and was the oldest driver as part of a winning team in 1995? At the tender age of 70, Newman represented Rolex 24 and another folklore tale was set. Naturally, he sported a Daytona watch just for the occasion.


Time is ticking though watch fans until the big reveal so stick around if you feel the need for speed!


Paul Newman And The Horological Importance Of The Cosmograph Daytona

The legendary reference 6263, Source: Sotheby’s

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Now we could go on all day (and night) about the importance of the Rolex Daytona and its importance with Paul Newman. A one-watch man, Paul Newman loved his Daytonas. While we could compose a Cosmograph Daytona encyclopaedia on the man, the myth and these specific timepieces, we will answer some of the most popular Rolex Daytona questions below; 


- What Is The Most Expensive Watch Paul Newman Ever Sold?


Worn by Paul Newman on a daily basis for 15 years, an extremely rare Rolex Daytona was sold at auction in 2017 for a grand total of £13.5 million, ensuring this became one of the most expensive ever watches auctioned off behind the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication (£19.04 million) and the notorious Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010 (£24.7 million) Small change for a piece of horological history if you ask us.


- What Is The Rarest Paul Newman Watch?

Paul Newman Daytona ref 6239 Musketeer Dial, Source: Sotheby’s 

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Even rarer than a unicorn watch like the Cartier Cheich, the three coloured “Musketeers” Daytona version is as rare as they get. Adored by the Hollywood actor, you can only find this in a handful of references including references 6239, 6262 and 6264. A must have for collectors with phenomenal investment power, it was only present in the Rolex catalogue for three years between 1969-1972. 

To the untrained eye, this is just a normal Daytona. But this is Chrono Hunter and we know our horological beans. The differences can be detected in the counters and the concentric circles. The latter doesn’t give 100% full coverage on a Musketeers dial.


- Why Was Paul Newman's Watch So Expensive?


Due to limited production, overwhelming links with Paul Newman and distinctive dial features, the Cosmograph Daytona is one of the most collectible watches on the planet…still to this very day regularly achieving well over retail price.


- How Many Rolexes Did Paul Newman Have?


5 altogether. As loyal to his cars as he was to his watches, Paul Newman was a Daytona man through and through. The most coveted was his first Daytona watch with the iconic reference 6263 (which is what the new 2023 Le Mans 100 Year Anniversary Edition is based on) given to him as a cherished present by his other half, Joanne Woodward.

Following on, the next three Daytona watches boasted a white and black dial Daytona, both housing a Zenith movement, and a white gold Daytona with a black dial and a  Daytona version in white gold.


How Many Paul Newman Rolex Watches Were Made?


There were 3000 Rolex Daytona reference 6241 watches produced altogether. This comprises 2,300 watches made from stainless steel and just 700 decked out in gold. Less than 25,000 Daytona watches were made with references 6263 or reference 6265 which despite being highly coveted are rarer finds than dodos.  


Personality Of The 2023 Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref. 126529LN


Time to delve into the nuts and bolts of the 2023 Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref. 126529LN. First, let’s get the press release out of the way. This is what the Swiss giant had to announce on the new Daytona launch;

 Source: Rolex

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Rolex is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race with an original version of its legendary chronograph. Crafted in 18 ct white gold, this new watch sports a Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic; on the tachymetric scale, the number ‘100’ in red ceramic evokes the race’s centenary. Standing out against the bright black dial are intense white counters whose graphic design is inspired by a traditional Rolex dial. The Oyster case is fitted with a transparent back and an Oyster bracelet. This original timepiece is equipped with an exclusive movement, calibre 4132…Like all Rolex watches, this special version of the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.”

Did you get that? Oh and let’s not forget the hours chronograph function that can be counted over one entire day (A nod to the Le Mans race) and other aspects like the “Chronergy escapement, Paraflex shock absorbers, and bridges decorated with Rolex Côtes de Genève.” My they have packed it all in, haven’t they? But it’s left us feeling a bit meh. Why didn’t they incorporate this into a new release at Watches and Wonders 2023

After all, it’s only been a few months since a batch of new Rolex watches was introduced in Geneva. An update to reference 126500LN, there are a few nice updates on this particular Rolex watch. Yes, we see they are aiming to think a tad outside the timekeeping box with the new Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref. 126529LN. But for some enthusiasts and collectors, this does look a bit samey…despite the Paul Newman inspired “exotic dial.”


Source: Rolex

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However, we’ll give them some benefit of the doubt. Steel Rolex Daytonas are still some of the most highly collectible and popular sports watches around. In fact, a steel Daytona sold through Chrono Hunter is fetching up to £27,000 at the time of writing. But it’s the added lustre here and sleekness emanating from the new white gold dial which enhances the devilish Daytona appeal. 

Measuring 40mm in keeping with slimmer wrist wearing trends in 2023, these watches come complete with an Oyster style bracelet. Based on the current lineup, watch out for the special reverse panda dial chronograph face and 18k white gold. Just 12.2mm tall, there is a brand new bezel design with an insert made from black ceramic. 

As for the platinum tachymeter scale, you will notice the digits “100” emblazoned in red ceramic adorning the bezel. This is of course another classic nod to the 100 Years of Speed paying homage to the centenary of the 24 hours of Le Mans race. So what other vintage elements can enthusiasts go giddy over? 


 Source: Rolex

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How about the screw-down Triplock crown and sapphire crystal for starters. Then there’s the transparent sapphire caseback which is identical to the Daytona platinum version where you can gawp inside at the new Calibre 4132 movement, especially new for this edition. A direct tribute to the notorious Paul Newman reference 6263, we like the reverse panda dial chronograph and understated sunray-brushed effects that contrast nicely against the brilliant white counters. 

The white gold markers and hands are both applied with lume while the dial screams vintage Paul Newman thanks to as previously mentioned, the oar shaped markers located on the sub-counters. The 24 hour chronograph counter is situated at 9 o’clock which again is an ode to Rolex's involvement in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race since 2001. This means the counter can run seamlessly all day. 


But there’s no time to waste. Let’s get straight to the movement. 


Calibre 4132 Movement


Rewind back 3 months (time flies!) to Watches and Wonders 2023 and you’ll find these new Rolex Daytona watches were home to the new 4131 movement. But time moves on as they say. 

 Calibre 4132, Source: Rolex

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Hot on the heels of these watches is the spanking new 2023 Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref. 126529LN, complete with the 4132 movements. Whether this is a new form, new interpretation or new impression of the 4131 movement, there is one prominent difference to this one, oh devoted timelords. 

The chronograph counter. This time around, say goodbye to the former 12 hour chronograph measure hailing from the 4131 movement and hello to the 24 hour measure lying within the 4132 movement. Speed freaks will really dig this if they want to buy a Rolex with an enduring timekeeping spirit.


Source: Rolex

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Suitable for Le Mans race petrolheads, the 4132 movement has evolved ever so slightly from the 4130 movement which was unveiled back in 2000. When we all thought time was up which was largely in part down to the so-called Millenium bug. Composed of seven additional components, the 4132 certainly packs a punch to rival Tyson Fury. 

And it’s a knockout hit from us. We love its patented Chronergy escapement full of anti-magnetic properties, blue Parachrom hairspring, Paraflex shock absorbers, column wheel and revamped rotor made from yellow gold. But wait, there are more watch fiends. With 47 jewels and beating at 28,800Vph, this brand new automatic wound movement benefits from a Rolex Superlative Chronometer and a 72 hour power reserve. 

That’s enough time to strut your stuff in Switzerland for the weekend or travel overseas for that important business meeting. Pair it with a smart navy pinstripe suit or adorn your wrist by wearing a camel polo or linen shirt for that laid back beach vibe. It also has 100 metres of water resistance for good measure. 


How Much Does A 2023 Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref. 126529LN Cost?


Available from July 1st, enthusiasts and would-be collectors can buy a Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref. 126529LN for the RRP of £43,000…if you can get your hands on it. 

Alternatively, why not contact Chrono Hunter if you are in the market for a Rolex watch from a steel Daytona to a Datejust, Hulk, Submariner and even a Rolex Batman. Compare multiple offers from our trusted array of luxury watch retailers and accept the offer that’s right for you.


More about Rolex on Chrono Hunter;


What’s Our View?


Here’s our take on the new Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref. 126529LN. Paul Newman addicts will no doubt be in their element. Very much akin to the “Big Red” model which sold in 2020 for a stonking £4.3 million, the font lies heavily on this worn out version.

Oh yes and wait for the exotic dial watches claxon. Exotic fanatics as well are catered for with the reverse panda dial chronograph. Harking back to the grail like inspirational 6263 references, there's plenty for vintage watch enthusiasts and newcomers to the Rolex collecting game. While the new Daytona might not have enough horological flex for some, there is lots going on under the timekeeping bonnet due to the new white gold dial, unique bezel accent, 24 hour chronograph counter and upgraded movement. 




Speed and endurance are at the heart of what makes Rolex tick. This is especially true for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. And the 100th running of this remarkable event shows no signs of this timekeeping powerhorse bolting. 

The minor adjustments Rolex has accomplished have turned a mundane Daytona into something quite desirable. Be it the new white gold material, vintage influenced counters or 24 hour chronograph counter that’s a firm nod to the everlasting spirit and cultural influence Rolex has made on Le Mans. 

But Paul Newman is of course and remains the horological star of the show. Take a bow son. And well he should. Two of his Daytona watches, the “Zenith Daytona" and white gold Daytona sold recently for whopping amounts in June 2023 at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. $1.143 million and $1.08 million, respectively. Wowzers.

But does it work well as a standalone commemorative model? Let’s just say this one is likely to break the speedometer in double quick time. Nearly 50 years on, Paul Newman pulling power is unrivalled and is still the horological King of watches, bar none.

Looking to buy a Rolex Daytona a la Paul Newman or a Daytona Platinum edition? Want to mix it with the horological big boys? Contact ChronoHunter here. Benefit from multiple offers from our established selection of luxury watch retailers and accept which one is right for you. Save money the smart way by downloading our dedicated app today or simply entering the details of the watch or watches you want to buy or sell via our online form.

Enjoy the best possible sale and purchase prices on numerous Rolex watches including the Submariner, Datejust, GMT-Master II, Day-Date, Oyster Perpetual, Yacht-Master, Sea-Dweller and more. We are your go-to source when you decide to buy a watch or sell a watch.


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Further Reading: 

11 Special Occasion Watches For Men


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