Rolex once owned by Paul Newman fetches $17.8M at auction

Even for a Rolex, this is a pretty steep price.

A Rolex Daytona watch that used to belong to actor Paul Newman brought a winning bid of $17.8 million, CNN reported.

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The winning bid, which includes the buyer’s premium, set a world record for a wristwatch sold at auction, according to New York auction house Phillips.

The Rolex was originally given to Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward around the time he was filming the auto racing movie "Winning" in the late 1960s, CNN reported. His use of it sparked a craze among watch fans, who lent his name to that particular style of Rolex dial.

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"Demand skyrocketed for all models of Daytona, making it perhaps the most widely sought after collectors' watch up to the present day," Phillips said.

James Cox -- a former boyfriend of Newman's daughter, Nell -- put the original 1968 "Paul Newman" Daytona up for auction, CNN reported. Cox said the actor gave him the watch in 1984.

Phillips declined to identify the buyer, saying they placed the winning bid by telephone. It beats the previous record auction price for a wristwatch of just over $11 million for a stainless steel Patek Philippe, CNN reported. Before Thursday, the most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction was the Bao Dai -- a yellow gold, automatic style -- that fetched $5 million at Phillips in May.

A pocket watch made by Patek Philippe in 1933 for banker Henry Graves sold for $24.4 million -- including the buyer’s premium -- at Sotheby's in 2015.

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