James Cox -- a former boyfriend of Newman's daughter, Nell -- put the original 1968 "Paul Newman" Daytona up for auction, CNN reported. Cox said the actor gave him the watch in 1984.
Phillips declined to identify the buyer, saying they placed the winning bid by telephone. It beats the previous record auction price for a wristwatch of just over $11 million for a stainless steel Patek Philippe, CNN reported. Before Thursday, the most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction was the Bao Dai -- a yellow gold, automatic style -- that fetched $5 million at Phillips in May.
A pocket watch made by Patek Philippe in 1933 for banker Henry Graves sold for $24.4 million -- including the buyer's premium -- at Sotheby's in 2015.