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Paul Newman, the Sound Barrier and Three Rolexes: Upcoming Sotheby's Auction is a 'Must-See' for Newman Fans

Paul Newman, the Sound Barrier and Three Rolexes: Upcoming Sotheby's Auction is a 'Must-See' for Newman Fans

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Aug. 11 2022, Published 1:58 p.m. ET

Paul Newman remains one of the world's most instantly recognizable names across multiple mediums: acting, racing, and of course luxury watches.

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Now, fans of the legend can get their hands on not just one but three watches straight from Newman; Rolexes, of course.

A Watch with Some History

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All three watches are connected to an attempt to break the land speed record, attempted by Hollywood stuntman and friend of Newman, Stan Barrett.

The New York Times reports, "Three Rolex wristwatches connected with a Hollywood stuntman’s 1979 attempt to break the sound barrier on land are scheduled to be auctioned on Dec. 9 at Sotheby’s New York.

But two of the watches, a GMT-Master and a Cosmograph Daytona, also have another claim to fame: Paul Newman gave them to the stuntman Stan Barrett. And since the record-breaking $17.8 million auction of the star’s Rolex Daytona in 2017, any Rolex with a Newman connection is considered ultravaluable."

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Newman and Barrett were close and worked together often, with Newman even being godfather to Barrett's two oldest sons.

Newman gave two of the watches to Barrett before he attempted to shatter the sound barrier in his reach for a new land speed record. Barrett strapped both watches to his wrist before unofficially breaking the land speed record. Unfortunately, faulty radar and lack of an audible sonic boom put his accomplishments into question, and it was never confirmed.

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Blockquote open

We were at his home in Connecticut, and he just went upstairs and came down with the Daytona. He was always very funny about me having the right watch to wear and was always extremely generous.

- Stan Barrett told The New York TimesBlockquote close

The watches include a steel GMT-Master (est. $50K-$100K), a gold GMT-Master (est.$100K) and a Cosmograph Daytona (est. $500K). But the Daytona is remarkable because it was Newman's own watch.

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Ever since the 2017 auction of Newman's Rolex Daytona went for a whopping $17.8M, any Newman Rolex on the block gets well-deserved buzz.

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Other Sotheby's Auctions Coming Soon

Of course, the Newman Rolexes aren't Sotheby's only exciting upcoming auctions. These items will be up for auction soon as well from the world-famous auction house:

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  • 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Werks Spyder: One of ten ever produced, this exciting car hits the auction house this month.
  • Hôtel Lambert: Unfortunately you can't own this gloriously restored piece of history in its entirety, but you can own pieces from the collection starting in Paris this October.
  • Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 jersey: This piece of history is up for auction starting September 6.
  • plus much more.

For more information on upcoming auctions, visit Sotheby's website.

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