For many watch fans, the dream chronograph has to be the Rolex Daytona, certainly one of the hottest collectables in the entire watch market. First introduced in 1963, the Daytona has always been inextricably linked to the world of motor racing and its sporty style is instantly recognisable.
This two-tone Cosmograph Daytona (ref 16523) in stainless steel and 18k yellow gold is a striking example from Jan 1994. The 40mm stainless steel case has been expertly refurbished and presents a highly polished body contrasted by elegantly brushed lugs. As is common with many Rolex pieces of this age it is presented with service replacement hands, which are in excellent condition.
Underneath the sapphire crystal, the perimeter of the champagne dial is punctuated by 8 brilliant cut diamonds set in faceted gold markers, accentuating the watches luxury credentials. Arabic numerals are situated at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions while the Rolex crown sits proudly ‘top and centre’ at 12 o’clock. The ‘small seconds’ and chronograph registers are gold with black perimeters and enhance the dial’s symmetry to complete a truly rich composition. This model has the added bonus of an inverted ‘6’ in the 12-hour chronograph register, with ‘Daytona’ emblazoned above the dial in the marques familiar trademark red script.
The chronograph pushers are 18k gold as is the ‘TripLock’ crown, well-guarded by the shaped steel case. A highly polished and engraved ‘units per hour’ tachymeter bezel shows some wear in the lacquer markings, furthering the vintage aesthetics of this most iconic sports timer. Being derived from the original Zenith El Primero movement, the highly precise column wheel chronograph offers a satisfying click during start, stop and reset functions. The ‘4030’ movement offers superb reliability and accuracy. Originally supplied as a 5Hz movement or 36000 beats per hour (BPH) Rolex modified the movement, reducing the BPH to 28800 in order to reduce service intervals and increase the power reserve.