The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watches are dedicated to professional drivers, who require highest precision, superb functionality and perfect legibility in endurance races. This unique chronograph brings together sport, elegance, luxury and the renowned in-house technology.
The first Cosmograph Daytona, named after the most famous motor racing circuit in the United States, was launched in 1963. It was a new member of brand’s rising Professional line, which has offered reliable timing tools to divers, pilots, drivers, sailors, explorers and mountain climbers. The Submariner, the Explorer, the Milgauss, the GMT Master are just some iconic watches from this fabulous Rolex family.
Daytona wasn’t the first Rolex chronograph (it was 1935, when Swiss watchmaker introduced its initial chrono model, with the separate central second hand and the Valjoux movement). However, Daytona featured two crucial innovations, which has brought it instant popularity and the status of brand’s icon.
First, Rolex incorporated new mechanism, with three chrono counters, which guarantied a superb accuracy. Also, Swiss watchmaker presented a tachymeter scale, for the first time engraved on a bezel. With these functions that provided precise measuring of elapsed circuit time and average speed, car-racers got everything they needed. A high quality of these timepieces wasn’t only recognized by professionals. Worn by Paul Newman in his racing movie “Winning”, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona reached the global popularity that has been growing ever since.
In-house Caliber 4130 Automatic
The line has been increased with new, advanced models, but the essence of the very first Daytona is still alive. Today, it features the in-house Caliber 4130 chronograph movement. This self-winding mechanism provides excellent power reserve of 72-hours (66 hours if the stopwatch is in use). Thanks to the blue Parachrom hairspring, it has amazing resistance to shocks, temperature changes and magnetic fields. This unique hairspring also makes the biggest influence on extraordinary precision.
The Caliber 4130 was introduced at Baselworld 2000, as a successor of the modified Zenith El Primero Caliber 4030, which was incorporated in the Daytona from 1988. The new mechanism has just 290 components and oscillates at frequency of 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hertz). That allows central hand to count time with 1/8 second accuracy.
A dial features three chronograph sub-dials. A small second counter is at 6 o’clock position; a 30 minute counter is located at 3, while a 12 hour sub-dial takes 9 o’clock position. A tachymeter scale served for measuring speed of up to 400 units per hour (expressed in miles or kilometres).
Legibility and Luxury
Another highly useful feature for drivers is the superb legibility, which is provided by fat hands and over-sized hour markers, all coated with Super-Luminova. The 40 mm Oyster case and the sapphire crystal protect a watch from dust, water-pressure, mechanical shocks and scratches. Perfect construction guaranties water-resistance up to 100 metres.
Rolex completed the attractive design of the Cosmograph Daytona timepieces, with distinctive touch of luxury. Except the model 116520, which is made of stainless steel, all other Daytonas are crafted in gold (white, yellow, Everose).
The most striking model 116505 features the 18ct Everose gold case and the oyster bracelet. It comes in two variations – the first one has the pink dial that matches the color of Everose gold and black sub-dials, while second watch makes wonderful contrast with the black surface and pink sub-dials. You can get one of them for around 25,960 dollars.
At Baselworld 2011, Rolex exclusively presented the newest Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona timepiece, with innovative Cerachrom bezel, painted in monobloc black. Featuring the 18 ct EVEROSE gold case, it comes with the black alligator strap and either with the chocolate brown or ivory dial.