Third Generation Modern Rolex Daytonas
For the most recent iteration of Rolex Daytona watches, known as modern or third generation Rolex Daytona watches, the most popular watches are the models made with steel, white gold, and the gorgeous Rolex Daytona Rolesor two tone design. The Rolex Daytona Panda 116500 is a beautiful watch made with 904L Oystersteel stainless steel for the watch casing.
Since it is a third generation watch, the Rolex Daytona 116500 is a 40mm watch, and it uses a proprietary Rolex Daytona Cerachrom ceramic bezel, famous for being virtually scratch-proof and retaining color. The watch is called the Panda watch because it comes either with a black dial and white bezel, or a white dial and black bezel, the contrasting colors creating a minimalist and chic look that complements any outfit.
Finally, for a more elegant timepiece, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116519 is built using 18K white gold for the casing, with the option of either a Rolex Daytona oysterflex strap or a leather strap for the watch bracelet. The Rolex Daytona white gold ceramic casing adds a flair of sophistication and stature unmatched by other materials, and the Rolex Daytona leather strap or Rolex Daytona Oysterflex strap adds a unique and personal touch to the watch design. Leather makes a fantastic watch strap material, since it is more breathable than a Rolex Daytona gold bracelet while still remaining durable. Both watch bands are designed to be flexible, ensuring a comfortable fit.
A Brief History Of The Rolex Daytona
Many view the Rolex Daytona as the “Rolex chronograph”, but the brand actually began producing chronograph watches in the 1930s. These early models were enclosed in conventional watch cases and not Rolexs signature Oyster case, and only had single push buttons to start, stop and reset the timepiece.
During WWII, Rolex introduced its first Oyster-cased chronograph. This was followed by the ref 6234 in 1955 a manual wind chronograph with the tachymeter scale on the inner ring. These models would become the basis of the Rolex Daytona.
Rolex became the official timekeeper of the Daytona International Speedway in 1962. To mark the occasion, the first Cosmograph model, the ref 6239 was nicknamed the “Daytona” to emphasize the brands affiliation with the prestigious race.
It wasnt until 1965 that the “Daytona” name finally appeared also on the dial. In the same year, Rolex introduced the now iconic “exotic dial”. Produced by Singer, a well-known manufacturer of watch dials during the era, it had distinct features such as Art Deco fonts and block hour markers.
The “exotic dials” eventually found a fan in movie star and racing enthusiast Paul Newman. He was gifted by his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, with a rare ref 6239 fitted with an “exotic” dial, which he would often be photographed with.
Rolex continued to innovate and improve on the Daytona in the following decades.
Today, Rolex Daytona watches from every era remain highly sought after, whether brand new or pre-owned.
What Models Of The Rolex Daytona Are Trending
The Oysterflex edition third generation watches are pretty popular, such as the Rolex Daytona 116515, with an Everose gold casing, the Rolex Daytona 116519, with a white gold casing, and the Rolex Daytona 116518 40 mm, with a yellow gold casing. The most fashionable Rolex Daytona watches in 2021 are important to many people who want to be as trend conscious as possible.
One of the most up-and-coming watches this year also happens to be one of the most popular Rolex Daytona watches to begin with, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500, with an Oystersteel Rolex Daytona finish, a Rolex Daytona Cerachrom bezel, and white or black dial. For more information on why the Rolex Daytona 116500 is so popular, check out a Rolex Daytona 116500 review.
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How Long Is The Rolex Daytona Waiting List
The waiting list for the Daytona will differ from one model to the next and can also depend on the specific country where the retailer is located. For some of the most popular Daytona references, waiting lists can span multiple years in length, with no concrete timeline for when the one you order will be delivered.
First Generation Rolex Daytona
The first generation was produced between 1963 and 1988, and consists of the references:
These reference models have 37mm cases, manual-wind Valjoux movements, and acrylic crystals. It was during the first generation that advancements like screw-down pushers, which significantly improved the overall reliability and waterproofness.
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What About Rare Pre
Why is Rolex Daytona so rare, you might be wondering? Although these watches werent released with the Daytona brand, some of Rolexs chronograph watches released before 1963 are considered predecessors to the Daytona series and collectors refer to these watches as pre-Daytona watches. These Rolex Cosmograph Pre-Daytona watches include the Rolex Pre-Daytona Chronograph 6234, and the Rolex 6238 Pre-Daytona Chronograph. These watches are extremely rare and scarce, due to how old they are, and can sell for between $30k up to over $100k depending on condition, materials, and reference model.
The Third Series Of Rolex Daytona Movement Mechanisms
The third series, or third generation, of Rolex Daytona watches saw the first in-house Rolex Daytona automatic chronograph movement. The new in-house mechanism was still a self-winding perpetual motion mechanism, but this time it was completely designed and built by Rolex themselves. The winding Rolex Daytona mechanism featured a longer mainspring, which allows the watch greater power reserves in case of battery failure, and is able to continue for 72 hours after the Rolex Daytona battery runs out of juice. The watch mechanism also employed a vertical clutch, replacing the lateral clutch of previous designs.
The benefits of the in-house design when one compares the Daytona Zenith vs Rolex movement are numerous with a vertical clutch, the mechanism was able to avoid issues with loss of amplitude in the Zenith-based mechanism, as well as eliminate the jittering found in lateral-clutch design mechanisms. Rolex Daytona Zenith vs Inhouse saw a victory for Rolex, as the new architecture was also simpler and used far fewer components, making the Rolex Daytona second hand movement both more reliable and service friendly. The resulting design was more efficient and accurate, with less chance of mechanical failure or parts breakdown, and easier repair procedures if they did.
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How Much Does A Gold Or Platinum Daytona Cost
Gold and platinum Rolex Daytona watches are some of the most expensive models in the brand’s entire catalog. Retail prices for solid gold Daytona watches start out at $41,900 for the yellow gold model with a ceramic bezel on a rubber Oysterflex bracelet and increase from there. Both White gold and Everose gold cost more than traditional 18k yellow gold, and platinum models are the most expensive, with retail prices sitting in the neighborhood of approximately $75,000.
Rolex produced chronograph watches before the release of the Daytona, and some of these models are known as Pre-Daytona watches. Prices for Pre-Daytona models start out at roughly $30,000 but it is not uncommon for rare references in exceptional condition to sell for well over $100,000. As these watches are all vintage models, the price can range dramatically depending on factors such as the specific reference, the materials of its construction, and most importantly, its overall condition.
Rolex Daytona Reference Numbers
The table below shows the complete list of Rolex Daytona references through the years, from vintage 4 and 5-digit references, to the modern 6-digit models. Beginning with the 5-digit references, Rolex introduced a reference number system that indicates the model type, metal, and bezel color of the watch.
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Famous Owners Of A Rolex Daytona Watch
Since this is such an iconic watch and chronograph, it should be unsurprising that the famous Rolex Daytona would associate with a wide range of famed individuals who enjoy and own their very own favorites. These Rolex Daytona famous wearers include such notable individuals as Michael Jordan and even John Legend.
French soccer player Antoine Griezmann, member of the LaLiga club F.C Barcelona, has played as a successful forward for many years. He owns an exquisite third generation Rolex Daytona Rainbow Everose Gold 116595rbow. Made of proprietary Rolex Daytona 18K Everose gold, a blend of pure gold with copper and platinum, the Rolex Daytona 116595rbow also features a ring of brilliant rainbow-colored sapphires along the bezel. Thats what the rbow in the reference stands for: rainbow. The soccer player has been seen wearing the watch at various formal events, as well as on the street in casual wear. The Rolex Daytona Rainbow Everose Gold price is quite steep, averaging about $500,000.
The Rolex is not just for actors — yes, for the Rolex Daytona, models like to wear it too. English actress and Victoria Secret Model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is also a huge fan of Rolex Daytona watches. The actress has starred in feature films including blockbusters such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Oscar-winning film Mad Max: Fury Road. Ms. Huntington-Whitely owns two Rolex Daytona watches, a Rolex Daytona Rose Gold watch as well as a Rolex Daytona stainless steel model 116520.
How Much Do Newer Stainless Steel Daytona Model Cost
The retail price for a brand-new stainless steel Daytona is $13,150 however, due to an overwhelming demand and a relatively limited supply, these same watches trade hands for almost twice their retail price on the open market. Prices for the previous generation of stainless steel Daytona watches start out at roughly $15k when purchased used, and vintage Daytona models are the most expensive due to their high levels of collectability.
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Rolex Daytona Rose Gold Rose Dial 116505
A firm favourite among motor racing enthusiasts, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona rose gold edition retains all the classic Daytona features, impeccably finished in stylish Everose gold. This 2016 watch boasts a 40mm rose gold case, Everose gold dial, 3 black sub dials with automatic movement, and an engraved 18ct fixed bezel with full tachymetric scale.
Designed to support motor racing enthusiasts, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is both the ultimate Racing watch and one of Rolexs most highly-regarded collections.
This 116505 Everose model features a gold dial, plus three elegant black sub dials and white with black outline hour baton markers. The 18ct Everose fixed bezel is engraved with the full black tachymetric scale, whist the 40mm Oyster case encapsulates a perpetual, self-winding Rolex calibre 4130 movement.
The watch itself sits upon an 18ct Everose gold flat 3 piece link Oyster bracelet, with a folding overlock safety clasp which also features the Rolex Easylink comfort extension link, allowing an adjustment of 5mm in bracelet diameter without the need to add or remove links.
Second Generation Zenith Rolex Daytonas
For the second generation, or Zenith series Rolex Daytona watches, produced between 1988 and 2000, the most popular references are the steel, yellow rolesor, and yellow gold models. The Rolex Daytona Zenith Ref 16520 features a stainless-steel watch casing, 40mm just like modern Daytona models. The watchs bezel is made out of the same stainless steel, adding a weighty feel and wholeness of construction different from the way the watches are made today. The Rolex Daytona 16520 comes with either a black or white dial, with the same classic Rolex Daytona ceramic Panda look as the Ref. 116500. The timeless design is sure to pair well with any style and outfit.
The Rolex Daytona Model 16523 was the first Rolex Daytona watch to feature a two-toned Rolesor design, with a beautiful mix of stainless steel and 18K yellow gold. The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 18K Gold was also one of the first to offer a choice of champagne and grey watch dials, in addition to the black and white dials and Rolex Daytona subdials found on previous models. A literal piece of history in the timeline of the Rolex Daytona series, it is no surprise that the Ref. 16523 is so beloved by fans of the Daytona watches. The Rolex Daytona 16523 price on the used market is about $20,000 to $25,000, depending on condition and dial color, making the price of Cosmograph Daytona watch expensive but worth it.
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Gold Or Platinum Daytona Watches
The Rolex Daytona watch has always been available with luxury metals, the most common being gold. Rolex Daytona Gold models are made with 18K gold and come in various models with a variety of dial colors. This includes those such as the:
- Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Black Dial
- Rolex Yellow Gold Daytona Green Dial
- Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Mother of Pearl
- Rolex 18k Yellow Gold Daytona Black Diamond Dial Model 16528
- Rolex Daytona Oysterflex Yellow Gold Black Dial
- Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold white face
and others. The Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold price is the lowest for all the Daytona models that use luxury metals, starting at around $28,500.
The company also offers gold Rolex Daytona watches made with Rolex Daytona 18K white gold, such as the:
- Rolex Daytona White Gold Oysterflex
- Rolex Daytona White Gold Blue Dial
- Rolex Daytona White Gold Rainbow
- Rolex Daytona White Gold Red Dial
- Rolex Daytona Panda White Gold, as well as others.
In addition to Rolex Daytona White Gold and Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold, Rolex offers the Cosmograph Daytona in one more variety of gold: Rolex Daytona Everose. While white and yellow gold are self-explanatory, the Rolex Daytona 18K Everose gold is a custom blend of gold made by Rolex for an exquisite copperish, pinkish metal that adds a wonderful sophistication and exotic look to watches.
Daytona watches made with Rolex Daytona 18K Everose Gold include:
First Generation Vintage Rolex Daytonas
The first generation, or vintage Rolex Daytona watches are the most sought-after models by collectors and have stood the test of time in terms of their fashionable design, classic look, and everlasting appeal. All references produced during this period, between 1963 and 1988, were available in steel, 14K gold and 18K gold, but had varied Rolex Daytona dial options, as well as bezel offerings.
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 6239 was one of the earliest models of the Rolex Daytona series watches, and the personal favorite of famous actor Paul Newman. Like all the other models of watches in this generation, the Rolex Daytona Model 6239 was available with a casing made out of either steel, 14K gold, or 18K gold, and was 38mm in size. The watch came with a variety of dial colors, including black, silver, and a more unique cream color.
The watch was also famously produced with an exotic style dial, which actor Paul Newman popularized at the time. The exotic style bezel featured a contrasting color for the subdials and an art deco style font for the markings on the subdials. The Rolex Daytona Paul Newman 6239 famously sold for over 17 million dollars at auction, making it the most expensive Rolex Daytona watch ever sold.
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Rolex Daytona Everose Gold 116505
The Everose variation of the Cosmograph Rolex Daytona has been in production since the late 2000s with the ref. 116505 that is presented here today coming to market a few years later in 2010. As a newer preowned Rolex, the ref. 116505 brings with it an impressive list of modern amenities, such as an inner reflector ring that is engraved with the serial number as an anti-counterfeit measure, and Oysterlock clasp, a Rolex-calibre 4130 perpetual movement with 28,800 bph and anti-shock technology, and 18 karat rose gold, which is forged in-house. The satin and polished finish of the case and bracelet pairs well with the chocolate dial, which is set with unique black Arabic markers and rose gold hands and chronograph registers. Sophisticated yet bold, this is the timepiece to add to your luxury watch collection.
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Rolex Biography And Important Works
While the rise in popularity of vintage Rolex watches is of no surprise to aficionados, collectors and industry experts, when it comes to contemporary luxury wristwatches, Rolex is also often the first brand that springs to mind. Not only is the company revered for its precision timekeeping and impeccable craftsmanship, but its name was designed to be memorable.
Rolex’s enviable worldwide recognition can be credited in part to the genius of company founder Hans Wilsdorf. When the German-born watch dealer and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis, set up their London enterprise, in 1905, they called it Wilsdorf & Davis, according to the traditional formula.
But Wilsdorf was determined to come up with another name that was short, would look good on a watch dial and was easy to say and remember in several languages. In 1908, he trademarked the name Rolex, and by 1920, he had moved the company to Geneva and redubbed it as Montres Rolex S.A.
But the main reasons for the brandâs success are its aforementioned commitment to precision and unflagging pursuit of innovation. In 1926, the company introduced the aptly named Oyster model. With a screw-down crown and case back, both fitted with rubber gaskets, this was the first truly waterproof watch.
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What Is A Rolex Daytona Made Of
Generally, these premium watches use Rolex Daytona Oystersteel, a proprietary 904L steel designed in house by Rolex, for maximum resistance to corrosion. The materials available for Daytona watches vary by generation. First generation vintage reference watches were only available in Rolex Daytona stainless steel, Rolex Daytona 14K gold, and Rolex Daytona 18K gold.
Stainless steel models of the Rolex Daytona include:
- Rolex Stainless Steel Daytona White Face
- Winner Rolex 24 ad Daytona 1992 stainless steel
- Rolex Daytona Ice Blue Stainless Steel
- Rolex Daytona Ceramic Stainless Steel
- Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel Blue Dial, and many more.
Second generation Daytonas introduced the Rolex Daytona Rolesor style of watch casing, the Rolex Daytona two tone design made using stainless steel and gold. These two-tone watches include the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Yellow Rolesor, the Rolex Two Tone Daytona White Face, the Rolex Daytona Two Tone Black Dial, and the Rolex Daytona Two Tone Diamond Dial, among many others.