Auction house Phillips put the fabled Daytona on the block yesterday as the centerpiece of its inaugural New York Watch auction.
Cox dated Nell Newman, Paul's daughter, when the two were in college, and one afternoon during the summer of 1984, while he was helping fix the Newman family treehouse, the actor asked him for the time.
The watch that appears in many photos of Paul Newman is also known for its interesting history.More news: George Clooney: "You're Afraid Of Breaking Them"
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The largest amount paid for any type of watch is $24.4 million, according to CNN, for a Patek Philippe pocket watch sold in 2015.
In 1984 it seemingly disappeared from Newman´s wrist when his wife bought him a new watch, a black, non-exotic dial Cosmograph Daytona. This led to a craze among watch fans, with the particular style of the watch being dubbed the Rolex Daytona. Mr. Cox, who was at the long-time boyfriend of Newman's daughter, was working on a treehouse with the famous actor in the mid-1980's. Cox said at the time he knew Rolex was an excellent brand, but he didn't realize the significance behind the watch. Years later, when Cox (who is still friends with Nell) realized how valuable the watch could be, he chose to sell it and give what the Journal calls "a significant portion of the proceeds" to the charitable foundation Nell started after her father's death.
The bids then went back and forth between two telephone bidders and the timepiece was finally sold for $17.8 million - including buyer's premium. He said Newman appeared to be surprised and handed him the Rolex Daytona, telling him if he winds it, it will keep pretty good time.