Hailed as a marvel of both design and durability, the Rolex Daytona has become one of the most legendary timepieces in the world. But, while the Rolex Daytona is one of the most highly desired watches today, it wasn’t an instant success.
The history of the watch begins in 1963, when Rolex released the first model of the Rolex Cosmograph watch, which would later be renamed the Rolex Daytona. The Rolex Cosmograph was designed specifically with sports car racers in mind and was meant to be used by the drivers as a highly precise personal timing device. While the 1963 version is essentially a Daytona, models of the watch didn’t bear the name on the watch dial until 1965.
In 1964, Rolex landed on the name Daytona for the Cosmograph. The Daytona gets its name from Florida’s Daytona International Speedway, which had become a racing hot spot around the time of the model’s release. And, while early models of the Daytona are in high demand today, public response to the model at the time was underwhelming. The timepiece had a distinctively sporty design. Today, the design is lauded for it’s attractive combination of form and function, but shoppers at the time were largely uninterested in the timepiece.
In 1972, race car driver and actor Paul Newman began wearing the Daytona watch. While Paul Newman was never an official ambassador for Rolex, he became so closely associated with the Daytona that certain models of the watch are referred to as “Paul Newman Daytonas.”
Even the association with the popular actor didn’t immediately inspire public interest in the watch. The fanaticism for the timepiece only began in the early 1980s, when watch collectors began searching out this under appreciated watch. Collectors became more interested in the watch due to its rarity (as a less popular Rolex model, fewer were made), its unique design, and the fact that there are many different models of the watch. Paul Newman versions of the Daytona became particularly desired by collectors and is, today, one of the most highly desired watches across the world.
Because of the newfound popularity of the Daytona, Rolex began releasing modern versions of the watch in the late 1980s. Today’s Rolex Daytona models feature perfected pusher mechanisms and come in a variety of metals, watch face designs, and band options. These modern versions of the Daytona, alongside Rolex’s vintage models, have remained highly desired among watch enthusiasts across the globe.
Featured Rolex Daytonas
Rolex 18k Everose Gold Daytona Black Dial Model 116505
This incredibly designed Rolex Daytona comes in 18k Everose (a rose gold unique to Rolex) and is paired with a bold black dial with contrasting everose chronograph dials. This modern version of the Daytona features water resistance to 100 meters, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a sophisticated automatic movement.
Pre-Owned Rolex SS Daytona 40mm Black Model 116520
The 116520 Daytona model, released in 2008, is a distinguished version of the Daytona. This luxurious sports watch was constructed in durable stainless steel and features a screw-down crown, water resistance up to 100m, and a sophisticated black dial design.
Rolex 18k Everose Gold Daytona Chocolate Arabic Dial Model 116505
This elegantly designed Rolex Daytona features some of Rolex’s most unique modern design elements. This watch features Rolex’s signature chocolate dial, which is encased in their signature 18k Everose. These distinctive design choices are further complimented by the Arabic numbering on the dial, which adds a unique touch to this incredible model.