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Rolex Daytona History and Information

The Iconic Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was first manufactured in 1963, with the first reference being the 6239. This model remained in production until 1967, with a distinctive tachometer scale engraved on the bezel and available either with a black dial with silver counters, or featuring a silver dial with black counters.

Initially Rolex used the name Le Mans before finalising the iconic Daytona name. It wasn’t until 1965 that the model was named as we now know it, with the word Daytona appearing on the dial. This same year, they produced the “exotic dial”, which featured an outer track matching the sub dials, sub dials with crosshairs meeting at the centre and block markers instead of lines.

There have been three Cosmograph Daytona series’ produced to date. The first was released between the years of 1963 and 1987, including the reference numbers 6239, 6240, 6241, 6262 6263, 6264 and 6265. These models didn’t have the “oyster” screw down buttons or crown and used a manual-wind Valjoux calibre 72 movement, known as the Rolex Cal 722. From 1970, Rolex started to manufacture the “Oyster” versions, with the reference numbers 6263, 6264 and 6265. These “Oyster” models used an updated movement, based on the manual wind Valjoux calibre 72, called the Rolex Cal 727.

The second series of the Rolex Daytona was first produced in 1988 and ran until the year 2000. With new reference numbers, the Rolex Daytona was available in steel, steel and gold and yellow gold. At this point, the Daytona had evolved from a 38mm case to a 40mm and had changed from a “Plexiglas” to a sapphire crystal glass. They were available in white or black dial and only with screw down pushers. The movement had now been changed from the manually wound previous series to a new automatic movement based on the famous Zenith El Primero 400 calibre. Removing the date function and improving reliability, the result was called the calibre 4030.

In 1991, other versions were created, including two models on a leather straps, reference 16518 in yellow gold and 16519 in white gold.

Never one to rest on its laurels, Rolex had already begun working on a new “in house” developed movement, the Calibre 4130. With fewer components, meaning improved reliability and an easier servicing procedure, this new movement also had an increased the power reserve; 72 hours compared to the previous watch’s 54.

This new edition was finally launched at the Basel World exhibition in March 2000, with the reference number 116500 in steel, 116523 in steel and gold and 116528 in yellow gold. In 2004 a white gold version was introduced with the reference 116509 and was followed up with an “Everose Gold” (a pink gold alloy) created by Rolex in 2008, with the reference 116505.

In 2011, Rolex launched the Daytona, reference 116515 in pink gold on a leather strap, which became the first Rolex Daytona to have a ceramic bezel and was available with either an Ivory or Chocolate dial. This was followed up in 2013 with their latest model, created to commemorate Fifty years from the launch of its most celebrated watch, a truly stunning platinum version with a ceramic bezel and “Ice Blue” dial (reference 116506).

Throughout history, the iconic Daytona has been worn and immortalised by celebrities worldwide, the most famous being Paul Newman. His very first Daytona was a gift from his wife Joanne Woodward when he started his motor racing career. Even though Paul Newman was not an official ambassador for Rolex, he was an enthusiast and over the years it has become common to identify any Daytona with an “exotic dial” as “The Paul Newman Daytona”.

Although unpopular when released, a “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona recently sold in Christie’s Geneva (reference 6263) in steel for over one million U.S Dollars. It’s fair to say that any model from this famed collection will prove exceptionally popular and valuable.

Todays Versions

We have many variations of the Rolex Daytona some of which include.

Rolex Daytona History and Information Global Watch Shop

Rolex also offer a wide selection of other models which include,  Air King,  DateJust, Day-Date,  GMT Master, DeepSea, Explorer, Millgauss, Pearlmaster, SeaDweller, SkyDweller, Submariner and the Yachtmaster 1 and Yachmaster II (2)

Global Watch Shop buy and sell Rolex Daytona watches, If you have a watch to sell, part exchange or you are just looking to upgrade or buy yourself a new watch we can help.

We can supply Rolex, Breitling, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Panerai, TAG Heuer and other prestige brands at prices significantly below retail price.

Why not give us a call on 0207 203 8495 or use the contact-us form to let us help you today.

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