W: What does the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph represent for you?
WR: The Daytona is above anything else a Rolex, and then a tool; a chronograph, a stop timer. However, we had to wait for the reference 6240 to be introduced in 1965 when the watch finally gets its screw down and it can finally join the water resistant Oyster family. These screw down pushers give the watch a very unique look and distinguish the Daytona from the chronographs of its many competitors produced in the 60’s. This final design is the beginning of the legend
Do you have or have you ever wanted to own a Rolex Daytona? If yes, could you please tell us the ref / year ?
I have owned a few Daytona, including a few Paul Newman. My first Daytona, which I still have, is a Zenith movement black dial 16520 bought in Paris in 1993. I added a first screw down pushers 6240, a “panda” 6263, and finally modern white gold reference. 11650.
According to you, why has this watch become so mythical?
The Daytona was the ugly duckling among the Rolex tool watches. For 20 years it was fitted with a restrictive manual wind Valjoux movement, when every other Rolex tool watches had convenient automatic movement. It was more fragile, less water resistant than its siblings. It was rather expensive, seems more complicated to use and therefore was less popular. When it finally was fitted with an automatic movement, it came from a third party (Zenith) with limited production. These are the premises upon which we the myth was built. The light which started the fire was named Paul Newman...
50 years after its launch, how do you imagine the future evolution of this emblematic model?
Dear Rolex Committee of New watches Creation. Don’t screw up that one, go back to the basics, we don’t need a brown ceramic bezel, simple black one will suffice, a choice of black and silver dial with contrasting subdials. Keep it clean and simple if that is still possible. Merci Beaucoup.
If you have something special to add… please feel free!
Very often words such as legend, myth or saga are used in watchmaking marketing and for the Daytona they can truly be applied. The Daytona has been a very important part in creating the modern watch collecting universe.