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What is it about the Rolex Daytona

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Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. Red subdial hands indicate that this is a white gold model

One of Rolex most venerable models is the Rolex Daytona. Originally known as the Cosmograph, the Rolex Daytona has evolved to being one of the most recognized watches on the planet. Although Rolex had chronographs going back to 1926 with the model 2303, a single pusher chrono with two sub-dials, the modern day Rolex Submariner was released at Basel in 2000 sporting Rolex’s first in-house chronograph movement. In years past, Rolex had relied upon Zenith and Valjoux  to manufacturer the base movement with then Rolex would modify to its own specifications. BeckerTime has a selection of Rolex Daytona’s Here. [Not sure of the difference between a Chronograph and Chronometer?, click to read this article explaining the difference.]

What makes them desirable?

Original Rolex Chronograph

The Rolex Daytona has been described as being the pinnacle of form and function.  The shape of the case, and the three concentric sub-dials placed proportionally in the 40mm watch face gives the watch a feeling of being in perfect balance.  Adding to the Daytona’s mystique are the screw-down chrono pushers. The screw down pushers must be unscrewed in order to operate the chronograph, but were added to insure that they were water tight at 100 meters like Rolex screw-in TripLock crown. The Rolex Daytona is Rolex’s only model with screw-down pushers as their YachtMaster II chronograph does not use screw down crowns, yet they are rated to 100 meters. Many other chronograph manufacturers do not use screw-down pushers yet their watches are water tight to 100 meters as well. Nevertheless, Rolex’s screw-down pushers are one of the many standout features of a Rolex Daytona.

The Rolex Daytona dial is clean, with attention to detail.  Although the subdial hands are small, they can easily be read with the contrasting background.  The dial markers are also small, but still easy to read.  Another standout feature are red-subdial hands only found on the all gold Rolex Daytonas (and another way to easily distinguish the all stainless from the all white gold models).

The Movement

The modern Daytona is made of 290 parts, which is much less than other chronographs of its class. One of the standout features of the New Rolex Daytona is the column wheel used to activate the chronograph.  One of the primary advantages of a column wheel is that the long second hand does not rock backwards upon activation as some of the types of chronograph movements. The older Zenith movement Daytona’s can be quickly identified by the sub-dials being along the same plane as the watch crown. Daytona’s with Rolex’s in-house movement has two sub-dials just above the center horizontal axis of the watch.  The Rolex Daytona is one of the Rolex’s first watches with the Paracrom Blu hairspring.  The Cosomograph Daytona long pedigree is still evolving and many hypothesize that the Daytona is the next watch in the Rolex lineup looking to get a facelift.  Stay tuned…

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