Power. Speed. Exhilaration. Luxury.
If you are lucky enough to have a Rolex Daytona in your watch collection, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The Rolex Daytona is the embodiment of the above words, not only because of it’s beautiful design, but more importantly because of it’s deep ties to the rich history of auto racing.
This is the watch for guys that make things happen, and live life unapologetically in the fast lane.
The Rolex Daytona was introduced in 1963 for professional race car drivers, and its design screams functionality for the race track. Rolex’s long standing partnership with Daytona and famous race car driving wearer’s (Paul Newman and Sir Malcom Campbell to name a few) make this watch HIGHLY collectible and a must-have for the serious watch aficionado.
I would know – I’ve owned 4 or 5 Daytona’s over the years. Every time I sell one, I end up picking up another one for my personal collection. It’s almost a sickness at this point, but if my wife gets to buy shoes and purses…I can get some toys too. We’re even.
If you are thinking about buying a Rolex Daytona, there are a few features you need to know about first:
The Tachymetric Scale
The Rolex Daytona features a tachymetric scale that is engraved into the bezel to measure speed in either kilometers per hour or miles per hour – driver’s choice. Rather than including it on the dial of the watch, Rolex moved the tachymetric scale out to the bezel on the Daytona to free up space for readability as well as to make the design less cluttered.
I wouldn’t exactly suggest staring at your new Rolex Daytona for speed measurements while you drive away from Jonathan’s Fine Jewelry...but you could if you wanted to.
The chronograph (or affectionately called the “Cosmograph” by Rolex) is the feature that makes the Rolex Daytona REALLY special. When you first look at the dial, you will notice three sub-dials positioned at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock.
The bottom dial is a small second counter, while the dial on the right is a 30 minute counter and the dial on the left is a 12 hour counter. The chronograph is operated by using the three push buttons on the right-hand side of the Daytona’s 40mm case. The idea here is that a race watcher could effectively time out anything from one lap at the Daytona 500, or the entire race.
The chronograph dials and tachymetric scale give the Rolex Daytona its bold look, and made it a truly functional tool for race car drivers and racing fans alike in the early 1960’s.
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I have tried to make the Daytona my daily wear watch over the years. Unfortunately, the watch is missing a key element that I simply need to have in a watch: a date counter.
The three sub-dials that I mentioned earlier absolutely give the Rolex Daytona it’s personality and add to its appeal for serious watch collectors. However, they don’t leave enough room on the dial for a date counter, and Rolex won’t be adding that feature to arguably it’s most iconic watch anytime soon. And yes, I know that I could look at my iPhone or computer for the date…but I’m a jewelry dealer. I like to look at my jewelry for the date.
Again, it’s a sickness.
The other thing about the Rolex Daytona that keeps me from wearing one daily is that the vintage models tend to not keep time very well. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE vintage watches and have several in my collection and in stock at Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers.
Vintage watches can have their quirks though, and the older Rolex Daytona’s just aren’t as accurate as I’d like. Don’t worry, Rolex more than corrected the issue in the year 2000 by changing over to Calibre 4130 chronometer in all of their Daytona models. The 4130 is bad to the bone and runs like a finely tuned Ferrari engine – trust me.
Watches are personal, and if the Daytona is what you want, you should get one.