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Paul Newman’s engraved watch up for auction

Followers of the Engravers Guild Journal will well be aware of our interest in a good auction.

Like other well esteemed news outlets around the world, we have fascination in some of the weird and wonderful items that wealthy collectors will pay enormous sums of money for, when they could buy an almost identical alternative for much much less.

The reason so often that they are prepared to spend great fortunes for pieces which cannot be valued on their material parts is that there is an engraving.

An engraving, no matter how short, tells a story all in itself. And, as humans, we understand stories. We value stories. Stories are what makes us.

So our ears pricked and our interest was piqued when we heard that a rather expensive watch that belonged to a rather famous person was going under the hammer.

Auction house Phillips in New York is selling a rare Rolex Cosmograph Dayton, which used to belong to the icon of the big screen, Paul Newman.

The watch was worn by the Oscar winning actor every day for 15 years. Made in stainless steel with a thick-stitched leather strap, the model was on general sale between 1963 and 1970 and even became known as the ‘Paul Newman Watch’.

Having been photographed on the wrist of the Hollywood star numerous times, the association of the between the man and the timepiece is clearly recorded.

However, it is the inscription on the reverse of the Rolex that makes the watch unmistakably his.

His wife, Joanne, had bought the watch as a present from Tiffany when her husband was starting a motor racing career. Intending it to be a good luck charm, she had three words engraved on the back:

DRIVE / CAREFULLY / ME

It was many years later in 1983 that Paul Newman gifted the custom watch to the boyfriend of his daughter.

Not owning a timepiece himself, the legendary actor handed the young suitor the timepiece, which he kept to this day. While the union with Paul Newman’s daughter did not last, they apparently remain good friends and will be sharing the proceeds of the auction.

With an expected sale of 1.3 million USD, the windfall gain could be generous. Watch this space to learn what the personalised gift goes for…