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Rolex Daytona

The classic luxury watch par excellence. Rolex stands for prestige and success, but also for reliability and high-end watchmaking. Due to their simple and timeless style, their men's and women's watches are instantly recognized all over the world.

Rolex Daytona

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Rolex Daytona

Introduced in 1963 the Daytona took of like a rocket, after initial teething problems, to be the icon of the luxury watch industry and is now one of the most popular models of Rolex. Rolex has been producing significantly less Daytonas for years than they could have sold, which makes them extremely sought after by collectors. That's why even used Daytonas are traded above selling price, which makes them a very safe investment.

History of the Rolex Daytona

The Daytona is named after the city of Daytona Beach in Florida, where since 1903 car races take place. As early as 1930, Rolex produced a chronograph specifically designed to meet the demands of racing. However, this was not yet the name Daytona, but was provided with the inscription "Chronograph" on the dial. Since other manufacturers in this category had established much earlier, Rolex landed with the Pre-Daytona, as it is called today, once no great success. The former storekeepers, however, are very popular today. If they went for just 200$ at the time, they are today traded for around € 20,000 or even more.
In 1962, Rolex became the official timepiece for race events at the Daytona International Speedway. Over the years, the races were drawn more and more from beach stretches to partially asphalted roads and have been carried out since 1959 on the fully asphalted Daytona racing track. Already in 1963 Rolex brought out the first Rolex Daytona with the reference 6239. At first only the specimens intended for the American market had the red lettering "Daytona" on the dial until it later became common for all models.

Since the Daytona was designed specifically for use in racing, its bezel is wider and more legible than comparable models of competing manufacturers. It measures average speeds of up to 400 kilometers per hour and achieved prominence by famous wearers such as Paul Newman beyond racing.

The Rolex Daytona - a reliable timepiece

Focusing primarily on the demands of racing drivers in the development of the Daytona, their most striking feature is their tachymeter bezel. Its chronograph function is activated by two pushers on the right side, which are bolted just like the crown and are therefore watertight.

The chronograph movement is extremely reliable and reacts thanks to coordinated pushers without any loss of time. Visually striking are the three sub-dials, which are colored in the variants of the current collection. They are also equipped with a self-winding caliber 4130 caliber, which guarantees optimum accuracy even in the event of shocks and temperature changes. The Daytona measures speeds of up to 400 units, kilometers per hour or miles.

Famous wearers of the Rolex Daytona - the "Paul Newman" Daytona

One of the big names in Daytona racing is the Brit Malcolm Campbell, who broke the speed record nine times between 1924 and 1936. He wore both privately, as well as at races a predecessor model of the Daytona. The most famous bearer of the Daytona is the actor Paul Newman. Although he was never sponsored by Rolex, the model he was wearing was unofficially referred to as "Paul Newman Daytona." Newman wore an early version of the Daytona with the reference 6239 with the white exotic dial, of which only a small edition was produced and which today has a great collectors value.

Newman was also a race driver in addition to acting. Joanne Woodward, Newman's second wife, gave him a Daytona engraved with "Drive carefully - Me" In 2017, the original Newman Daytona was sold at an auction in New York for 17.75 million dollar which converts into 15,3 million euro - making the "Paul Newman Daytona" the most expensive watch in the world.

The current Rolex Daytona collection at a glance

The current Daytona collection includes various variants, which differ mainly by their exclusive materials. Rolex relies on the use of luxurious precious metals that give the watch its high-quality appearance. When buying a Daytona, it's also worth considering vintage models and special editions. But also used classic steel models of the Daytona are extremely popular and still have a great trend in price.

A selection from the current collection and popular models:

  • The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN features a stainless steel Oyster bracelet and case. The bezel is black, the dials come in black and white.
  • The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520 is the predecessor of the 116500LN with a stainless steel case. The bezel is also made of stainless steel which gives it a high recognition value.
  • The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116503 or its predecessor 116523 is a Rolesor variant, meaning its bracelet is made of a combination of stainless steel and yellow gold. Its dial is available in different colors from black, white to champagne, the bezel comes in gold. The new price of the current variant is 15,350 €.
  • The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116510LN is made of white gold. It comes with a black bezel and black auxiliary dials that contrast with the silver dial. It is also equipped with a black Oysterflex band. Cost: 26.150 € .
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