That's where Bonhams will be auctioning off this timepiece, awarded to one Michael Lauer for winning the 24 Hours of Daytona over a dozen years ago. Lauer and his teammates Scott Pruett, Brian Simo, and Paul Gentilozzi (all Americans and experienced Trans-Am racers) drove their Jaguar XKR to a GTS class win at the race in 2002, coming in fifth overall behind four Daytona prototype racers but a solid ten laps ahead of the nearest competitor in class. That won each of them a shiny new Rolex.
Aside from its trophy status among racing drivers, the Cosmograph Daytona is considered the very icon of the racing chronograph – and one of the rarest, most coveted of Rolex watches out there. It was popularized by the late, great Paul Newman, who is said to have acquired one in 1972 and wore it every day until his passing in 2008. In fact the timepiece was so intertwined with Newman's legend that the most valuable examples are the ones with the same dial design as the famous actor-turned-racer – to whom Lauer, suitably enough, was once a teammate.
Bonhams expects this particular example to sell for between $41,000 and $71,000 when the gavel drops on December 3 in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. If you think that's a lot to spend on a watch, it is – but consider that some Daytonas are selling for as much as a million dollars.
FINE WATCHES AND WRISTWATCHES
3 Dec 2015
Hong Kong, Admiralty
ROLEX. A RARE AND UNUSUAL STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH BRACELET WATCH PRESENTED TO THE DAYTONA 24 HOUR WINNER MICHAEL LAUER WITH BOX AND PATCH
Daytona, Ref:2100, Serial No.P61****, Movement No.C00*****, Circa 2002
A Rolex wristwatch, awarded to Daytona 24-hour winner, Michael Lauer, will be offered at Bonhams Fine Watch Sale, taking place in Hong Kong on 3 December 2015.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona is a 24-hour sports car endurance race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Following each race, a 'Daytona' Rolex is awarded to the winner, with this particular example awarded to Lauer for his 2002 victory. It's now offered at an estimate of $320,000-550,000 HKD ($41,000-71,000 USD).
The Daytona 24-hour is the first race in the United States' annual motor racing calendar. Unlike its French counterpart, the Le Mans 24-Hour, the race takes place in a dramatic speedway arena on a closed course, surrounded by a cheering crowd of fans.
For the 2002 race, Lauer � once the race partner of actor and racing driver, Paul Newman � shared driving duties with three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi, 2000 Trans-Am titlist Brian Simo, and two-time Trans-Am champion Scott Pruett.
Before taking to the track, Pruett commented: "Everything I've heard about Michael has been very positive and I look forward to driving with him at Daytona." The team subsequently drove the Rocketsports Racing No.3 Johnson Controls Jaguar XKP to a 10-lap victory.