A beloved watch owned by Paul Newman was purchased by an unknown person for a whopping $17.8 million on Thursday which set the world record for a wristwatch. It was given to Paul by his spouse, Joanne Woodward, while the couple worked on the set of the classic movie, “Winning.”
The legendary actor wore the stainless steel accessory on many occasions. The Auction house, Phillips, stated that an unknown person bought it over telephone amid twelve minutes of bidding from potential buyers from over forty countries.
The piece which takes the number one spot for a pocket watch, not a wristwatch, was created for a banker named Henry Graves, and it sold for $24 million in Sotheby’s in 2015.
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Joanne gave Paul the $17.8 million piece to Paul with the words, “Drive Carefully Me” engraved on the back, alluding to her anxiety regarding his reckless driving which caused his 1965 motorcycle accident.
During the filming of “Winning,” Newman developed a profound enthusiasm and appreciation for auto racing.
He used it to time races and bet on them with friends, often to prove the piece was more accurate than theirs. However, in 1984, it disappeared from Newman’s wrist when Woodward bought him another one: a black Cosmograph Daytona.
That same summer, he gave the Rolex to his daughter’s boyfriend, James Cox, who dated Nell for almost ten years after they met in college. Newman allegedly gave James the accessory when he found out that he didn’t own one himself. In a letter which went along with the sale, it read that “Pop” gave it to James and told him it told “pretty good time” if he remembered to wind it every day.