A $17.8 million watch once owned by actor Paul Newman, above, is connected to College of the Atlantic.A $17.8 million watch once owned by actor Paul Newman, above, is connected to College of the Atlantic.In late October, a watch once owned by actor Paul Newman sold at the Phillips Auction House in New York City for a whopping $17.8 million. The watch, a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, was given to Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward.

One chapter in the story of how the watch got to auction was set in Bar Harbor.

Newman’s daughter Nell, going by Nell Potts at the time, was enrolled at College of the Atlantic (COA). There, she met James Cox, who graduated from the school in 1987, according to COA officials. The two dated for a time. Almost 30 years later, some old friends from Bar Harbor recalled that they “were deeply in love.”

Millard Dority, the director of campus planning at COA, remembered teaching Cox jazz guitar. Dority said that he spent a lot of time with Nell Newman and Cox.

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