Paul Newman Paul Newman Ditonnas, a mythical presence in the world of watches.
The special and rare old-fashioned Diagonal with a special dial, named after the veteran actor Paul Newman who wore it, and the 6239 that he himself wore, sold for an astronomical sum at a 2017 auction by Foyez.
Today, Paul Newman has become synonymous with this particular type of dialed Daytona, and is sought after by players and speculators of great purchasing power.
However, there is another lesser known Rolex celebrity watch, the Jean-Claude Killy.
Who is Jean-Claude Killy?
For those who love skiing, the French alpine skier Jean-Claude Killy is probably no stranger to the sport, as he was an astonishing winner of various events in the 1960s.
He won the European Cup in 1965, the World Cup in 1967 and three gold medals in alpine skiing at the 1968 Winter Olympics (the second athlete to do so in Olympic history).
Not only that, but he went on to become a Rolex brand ambassador and board member.
Among the vintage Rolexes, there is also a watch named after Jean-Claude Killy.
Between 1947 and 1962, Rolex issued a new series of timepieces: the Dato-Compax full calendar chronograph.
The models 4767, 5036, 6036 and 6236 are rare as they were issued in limited numbers.
This is one of the most complex timepieces ever produced by Rolex.
It is now known as the Jean-Claude Killy, as Killy often wore a 6236.
One of the steel 6236 models, fitted with an Oyster studded strap, sold for HK$4,410,000 at a Foyez auction in November last year.
However, looking back, there are countless similar models from different brands using the same calibre (Valjoux 72) as the Killy Watch during the same period (1950s-60s).
By coincidence, I found a Seminan Le Cheminant full calendar moon phase chronograph.
The brand is so small that it is unheard of. After all,buy fake watches it was once dedicated to the Royal Navy’s chronometers and bridge clocks.
Although its Valjoux 88 calibre adds a moon phase function to the Type 72, it is the same calibre as the Jean-Claude Killy in terms of shape, face and movement.
*The Valjoux movement is famous in the world of timekeeping and has been used by pp for 40 years and Rolex for 20 years; the Valjoux 72 movement was also used by early Daytona and it was once hailed as the perfect movement in the history of timekeeping.
In the course of my research, I was surprised to find that this Cheminan was listed in the book, which happened to be the one I found (with the same number).
It was made around the 1950s and 1960s in the very same Jean-Claude Killy case model used in the Rolex Dato-Compax during the same period, and is very much an Oyster in its own right. The 37mm diameter is one of the few oversizes of the era.
The dial, with its teardrop hour-markers and toffee hands, has a neat, restrained functional layout, like a refined old gentleman. The moon phase face at six o’clock, however, is so innocent that it gives the dial a little more energy.
Opening the screw-down water-resistant caseback and admiring the structure and mechanism of the Valjoux 88, one cannot help but feel that the Valjoux manufacture is no more.
The movement is also protected against magnetism by a soft iron cap and against shocks by an Incabloc oscillating weight.
It is not often that a steel chronograph with a large calibre complication born in that era is in good condition to this day.
Of course, apart from its acknowledged good condition, what impresses me about this Le Cheminant is the teardrop-shaped hour markers.
After years of oxidation and luminous failure, they remind me of my grandmother’s old plum watch, like a peacock’s open tail.
The Rolex Jean-Claude Killy, on the other hand, is more expensive than its contemporaries, which can cost a million or more.
While the brand’s influence is huge, note that Rolex has built on the V72 movement, but has improved components such as shock absorbers, balance-springs and water-resistant crowns – in short, it has built its reputation on technical optimisation, which is also to its credit.
In this way, the interaction between core technology and the brand’s heritage has created enormous leverage to date.
But for the average person, a Rolex Killy Watch is not really affordable. The good news is that, at the same time, the Valjoux chronographs of other brands were still affordable and did not empty the wallet.
Take this example of the Seminan Le Cheminant, which, even in near-stock condition, is almost too expensive to show off in front of the aforementioned Rolex.
It’s a case of different brands,replica hublot watches different watch fortunes!
Apart from Valjoux, there are also vintage chronograph movements such as Minerva, Venus, Lemania and the former king Longines.
Although they have all quietly risen in price, they are still worth exploring for new watch enthusiasts.
Although five matchsticks are worth a lot of money, the world of watchmaking should be more interesting than that.