The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
The Rolex Daytona sets the benchmark for those with a passion for cars, watches and high performance engineering. This highly sought after yet elusive model celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and as a special treat Rolex unveiled a new platinum model at the 2013 edition of the Baselworld watch fair.
In the previous fifty years there had been little change to the original Cosmograph Daytona. Aside from the limited editions like the Daytona Paul Newman the range was left relatively untouched.
Dedicated to the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, the Rolex Daytona is the worlds most recognisable sports watch. Rolex’s association with Daytona stretches back as far as the 1930s and the land speed records by Sir Malcolm Campbell.
It was not until 1963 that the designation ‘Daytona’ first appeared on the dial to capitalise on the increasing popularity of NASCAR. It was originally to be for drivers in endurance races. To this day Rolex continues its commitment to Daytona, sponsoring the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the largest race of its kind outside of Le Mans.
The most significant period in the history of the Daytona fell between 1988 up to the year 2000. By using modified Zenith El Primero movements Rolex transformed the Daytona into a Chronograph with a reputation for great accuracy.
Limited supply of the movements meant only limited numbers of the Daytona could be produced. The sudden rise in popularity of a Rolex model that was scarce in its availability created an aura around the Daytona. Waiting lists for even the standard steel model grew to months and then years.
By the time Rolex introduced its own in-house movement to Daytona models from the year 2000, the Daytona had become the most sacred of watches to Rolex collectors, perhaps rivalled only by the Rolex Submariner.
Technically the Daytona is still a great watch. The movement uses fewer components than a standard chronograph which over time has improved reliability. The exterior features subtle harmonious lines making it the archetypal gentleman driver’s watch.
While it’s true to say that supply has increased in the 21st century, Rolex still deliberately keep numbers low. Their least advertised yet most desired model has become something of an enigma
Since the start of 2013 Rolex has also been the Global Partner and Official Timepiece of Formula 1® underlying their dedication to motor racing and high level engineering.
Rolex Daytona Specifications:
- Case – Oyster, 40mm Steel, Steel & Yellow Gold, Everose Gold, Yellow Gold, White Gold, Platinum
- Bezel – Fixed, with Engraved Tachymetric Scale
- Movement – Calibre 4130, Manufacture Rolex
- COSC Certified
- Bracelet – Oyster, flat three-piece links
- Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
- Water Resistance – 100 metres
- Dial – Various