- Feb 27, 2018
A brief history ...
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is one of Rolex’s most iconic watches.
("Cosmograph" is the term given by Rolex when the the tachymeter scale (used for measuring distance over time) was moved to the bezel.
"Daytona" signifies Rolex's association with the Daytona International Speedway.)
Early renditions (often referred to as "Pre-Daytona") were simply chronographs.
(Ref. 3525, circa 1941)
(Ref. 4113, circa 1942)
(Ref. 2508, circa 1945)
(Ref. 6234, circa 1955)
(Ref. 6234, circa 1959)
(Ref. 6234, circa 1962)
(Ref. 6238, circa 1963)
was introduced in 1963, the first Cosmograph.
The word "Cosmograph" was added on the dial and contrasting sub-dials where introduced.
(Ref. 6239, 1963-69, Hand-wind Valjoux 72 B then 722 then 722/1)
Notice the bezel featuring 300 units per hour and a cream colored dial - both traits of the very early Daytonas.
In 1962, Rolex partnered with Daytona International Speedway.
The word "Daytona" appeared first in 1964 at the 12 o'clock position and then later was moved to its iconic 6 o'clock position in 1967.
Notice that the engraved bezel had now been reduced from 300 units/h to 200 units/h.
Another variant of the ref. 6239 features a Paul Newman/Exotic dial
is the same as ref. 6239, only the bezel has changed from steel to “bakelite”/black Plastic, with the tachymeter scale printed in white.
Initially a prototype in 1965, it features screw-down pushers for the first time.
This is the first really waterproof Daytona, therefore bearing the inscription “Oyster”.
Notice the absence of the word "Daytona"
is probably the most famous.
Up until 1987, Rolex had been using a hand-wind Valjoux 72 chronograph movement.
In 1988, Rolex introduced a self-winding Daytona, ref. 16520, using a movement based on the
Zenith Caliber 4030.
- Bigger size (37mm changed to 40mm)
- Crown guards
- bezel has been changed from 200 units/h to 400 units/h
- Sapphire crystal
- "OYSTER PERPETUAL
was added on dial
- The surfaces of the dials were now lacquered and glossy with applied metal hour markers inlaid with luminous material.
- The sub-dials featured now a thin outer track of an opposing color, each ringed with a metallic edge.
At the BaselWorld fair of 2000, Rolex introduced a new Daytona, ref. 116520, with a new 100% in-house design,
the caliber 4130.
In 2013, the Cosmograph Daytona was the first Oyster model in the Professional range to be offered in platinum. It is fitted with an ice blue dial, exclusive to Rolex platinum models. It is also equipped with a spectacular "Monobloc Cerachrom bezel," which offers exceptional resistance to scratching, as well as offers a brilliant and aesthetic look.