Arguably the most sought after watch by Rolex collectors the Daytona is only rivaled probably by the Submariner in terms of desireability. Originally released in 1963 the first Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona had a steel case , manual wind chronograph movement and was named after the famous racetrack, since then it has appeared in numerous variants. For more information on the history of the Rolex Daytona check out an article I wrote about it here.
The 50th anniversary edition Daytona was highly anticipated, with many collectors and Rolex fans speculating on what kind of Daytona would be released. Many thought Rolex would release one like the Newman Daytona 6263 Daytona, however this wasn’t what was released but the first platinum Daytona and what Rolex’s press material refer to as a “prestigious edition”.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506 – Case
So the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506 features a case made entirely of 950 platinum along with a chestnut brown Cerachrom bezel. This is not however the first Daytona with a Cerachrom bezel, since the Everose Daytona received the update first in 2011, it is however the first Daytona with this colour combination. I really like the “chestnut brown” ceramic of the bezel and it is nicely complimented by the lacquered sub-dials within the “ice-blue” dial, this colour combination I find to be quite refreshing.
The Daytona’s case measures 40 mm in diameter and is made in Rolex’s distinctive Oyster style and has a water-resistance of 100 meters (330 feet). Its water resistance is helped by the use of a winding crown fitted with Rolex’s patented Triplock water-resistance system which screws down securely into the case. The fluted caseback is also (hermetically) screwed down with a special tool exclusive to Rolex watchmakers and the chronopushers also screw down too. A crown guard has been integrated into the case middle which has been machined entirely from a solid block of 950 platinum and has a polished finish and is complimented by a bracelet also in platinum.
One of the Daytona’s signature design elements is the tachymeter bezel which adds to its auto racing persona, used in conjunction with the chronograph it measures average speeds of up to 400 miles(or kilometers) per hour. The tachymeter has engraved numerals and graduations coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD, and Rolex’s proprietary Cerachrom material is an extra-hard, corrosion resistant ceramic – Cerachrom is a contraction of the words Ceramic and Chrome.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506 – Movement
Inside the case powering the Cosmograph Daytona is Rolex’s COSC-certified chronometer Caliber 4130 which is a a self-winding column-wheel chronograph. It features an oscillator with a hairspring made of blue Parachrom, exclusive to Rolex . The Parachrom hairspring offers great stability when exposed to temperature variations, is impervious to magnetic fields and up to 10 times more precise than a conventional hairsprings in the case of shocks.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506 – Dial
The “Ice blue ” dial is a colour reserved exclusively for platinum models in particular the Day-Date II. Contrasting the ice blue of the dial the outer scales on the chronograph subdials are made of chestnut brown lacquer which compliment the bezel, they have 18k white gold borders. White gold has also been used for the applied hour markers and hands which have a coating of Chromalight, a luminescent substance with a blue glow that Rolex claims lasts longer than eight hours.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506 – Conclusion & Price
Understandably a lot of Rolex watch fans were hoping for a Daytona in steel for the anniversary edition but Rolex presented one aimed at the wristwatch connoisseur. The 50th Anniversary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506 in Platinium is a real collectors piece and a must have for serious Daytona devotees. At $75,000 retail its a Daytona that is out of reach for all but the most serious collector of this iconic Rolex model.
More resources about the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona available on DreamChrono and the Official Rolex Website.