On Saturday, a Rolex Daytona owned by Paul Newman sold for $5,475,000 (€4.5 million) at a New York Racing Pulse watch auction by Phillips, in Association with Bacs & Russo. The watch was a gift from Mr Newman’s wife, Joanne Woodward, and is inscribed with “Drive slowly, Joanne,” on the caseback.

Mr Newman had given the watch, something he wore daily for decades, to his daughter, Clea. In turn, she has sold it with a portion of the proceeds going to Paul Newman charities. 

The sale also included a Heuer Monaco ref. 1133, owned by Steve McQueen, which sold for $2,208,000, more than 10 times its estimate and a world record for a Heuer watch. 

Mr McQueen, who wore the watch in the film Le Mans, gifted the piece to his trusted mechanic, Haig Alltounian, after filming ended. It is inscribed to him on the caseback along with the message “Thank you for keeping me alive all these months.”

Several other celebrity-owned trophies were also auctioned, which totalled $27.6 million (€22.7 million).

The auction included pieces previously owned by Sylvester Stallone, John Lennon, Andy Warhol, HRH Prince Albert of Monaco, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, Bono and Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque de Soliel. 

Mr Stallone sold five watches in the auction, with a combined sale of €3.1 million (€2.5 million), more than three times their estimate. 

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