The 17-million dollar Rolex: Paul Newman Daytona
This watch is so expensive that I might as well cut to the quick and just say it. It is a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Ref. 6239, once owned by Paul Newman, and it was sold at auction for $17.75m in New York. The Philips (in association with) Bacs & Russo auction took place in October 2017 and the man "with the hammer" is called (no, not JC) Aurel Bacs, a watch expert and collector.
The Ref. 6239 was the first ever reference Daytona, I guess if it were a car we'd call it a first "generation", made from 1963 until 1969. It is a stainless steel, mechanical chronograph with the iconic "panda" dial. They call it a panda because the three sub-dials, sitting at 3, 6, 9 hours respectively, are black whereas the dial is white, thus resembling the face of a panda.
The Paul Newman Daytona is a bit special because, well it cost more than a penthouse in New York, but also because of some unique features. The Newman Daytona comes with a slightly different dial, the subdials are a bit more elaborate with markers instead of plain lines, only about 2,000 units were built with this particular dial. The dial is original and installed by Rolex Geneva. It also features a unique alligator bund-style strap.
The Daytona is the go-to watch for collectors. Ask any watch expert or collector about what's hot and about good investments and they'll all invariably mention a couple of names and then "...and any Daytona". The crazy thing is, the Daytona wasn't expensive when it first came out, it retailed at around 200 dollars plus tax which, in today's money, is about 1,500-2,000 dollars. These days, you can't buy a brand-new Daytona (there's usually a waiting list which stretches for years) and if you want to buy a pre-owned one, you won't find it under 10,000-15,000.
Now 17 million dollars is obviously too much but then again, I'm sure the new owner probably has a multi-billion dollar net worth so it really doesn't matter to him/her/them.
The good news is, a good watch made by a respectable manufacturer doesn't need much servicing, it doesn't require a lot of space, it's not complicated and you can use it. And if you by smart, it is not, ever, money down the drain.
The great news is, it doesn't have to be expensive, because Casio, Seiko and Timex, random examples, are all respectable manufacturers.