A rare Rolex Daytona owned by Le Mans legend Carroll Smith is expected to fetch $200,000 at Christie’s online auction

A 1973 Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Reference’ 6265′ owned by famous American racecar driver Carroll Smith will be up for sale at Christie’s Watches Online: Discovering Time auction (1-13 October). All the motor racing fans will remember Carroll Smith as one of the most successful professional race car drivers, engineers, and writers. The American’s storied racing career also includes the famous stint with Carroll Shelby and the crucial role on the GT40 Le Mans Project. He was directly responsible for overseeing preparations of the winning cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 1966 and 1967. The Rolex was gifted to Carroll Smith by the Cuddy Racing team for the 1973 SCCA L&M F5000 Championship Series, and he frequently wore the watch to race tracks. “This watch was constantly around cars, and it was used during races. It hasn’t spent its life in a sock drawer,” said Christie’s watch specialist Mike Fossner.

A vintage Rolex Daytona is considered one of the favorites amongst watch collectors, and these watches often end up making new sale records. Touted as the pinnacle of vintage Rolex sport watches, the storied Swiss watch brand made many different combinations of references, dials, pushers, and bezels for the Daytona. What makes the ‘Reference 6265’ unique is that it was the last reference with hand-wound movement along with the 6263. It is also distinguished by its screw-down pushers and the polished steel bezel. With a combination of a silver dial and three black sub-dials, the watch has a very understated look. The Sigma symbols at the bottom of the dial marked by the “T Swiss T” inscription makes the watch even more special. The symbols indicate that the indexes and hands were in gold – white gold in this case. The Rolex was inherited by Carroll’s son Chris who is also the consignor of the timepiece. The watch will be accompanied by two books written by Carroll Smith: “Prepare to Win,” from 1975 and “Drive to Win” from 1996. The auction house estimates it to sell for anywhere between $150,000 to $200,000, interested collectors can bid on the lot here. The auction ends on October 15th.

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