Rolex Daytona Anniversary - John Goldberger Interview
As the Rolex Daytona is probably one of the most iconic watches ever, it was important to share some experiences and testimonials from very special people to understand the reasons of this passion. For this reason we wished to include very brief interviews of collectors, auctioneers, journalists, designers, and more...
W: What does the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph represent for you?
JG: Today the Rolex Daytona has become the most iconic wristwatch ever produced by Swiss watch industry. This timepiece in only five decades has managed to transform itself into an icon, still today provokes endless dispute amongst worldwide collectors. For me the Daytona represents one of most beautiful chronograph wristwatch manufactured in last century and can be worn and enjoyed on a daily basis. A nice, clean and correct manual Daytona cost 1/10th of the price of this year "must have" Baselworld masterpiece and it has the best part of fifty years of history to tell.
Do you have or have you ever wanted to own a Rolex Daytona? If yes, could you please tell us the ref / year ?
I own few Rolex Daytona watches, in 1986 I purchased my first Daytona, a steel model, reference 6239, fitted with a 3 colours exotic dial, so called Paul Newman, in a Rolex dealer in Amsterdam, for $ 900. This watch was languishing in the stock from 1969! My small Daytona collection consisting of watches with unusual dials, no polished cases, original documentation and provenance.
According to you, why has this watch become so mythical?
In the mid of Eighties the Rolex Daytona became one of the most interesting watch affairs in the collecting market place. As a matter of fact no other watch version has ever attracted so much attention, and even more importantly never has so much attention endured and withstood the passage of time. This legendary model from the world's most well-known luxury watch brand, originally introduced fifty years ago in 1963, evolved from a functional, subdued tool watch, then not appreciated by the market, to an impressive statement piece.
50 years after its launch, how do you imagine the future evolution of this emblematic model?
Rolex, from the 20's to the 60's, manufactured circa 80 chronograph references with different functions, sizes, styles and dials, in the last fifty years the Geneva watch company produced only one chronograph model, the Daytona and lately the Yacht-Master! In the future I suppose that the Daytona will be the timepiece most iconographic in the Rolex catalogue and still the king on the watches market. Nearly 25 years after the introduction of the first self-winding Daytona, versions in stainless steel remain one of the most difficult watches to buy new from a Rolex dealer.
Your opinion on the most beautiful and rarest Daytona.
All the worldwide Daytona collectors are looking for the rarest one, the only one made example by Rolex in the seventies: the white 18k gold Daytona (reference 6265), waiting in meanwhile for the holy grail, my favorite Daytonas are the models with very rare and unusual dial: the steel 6239 with pulsations dial and the red Daytona signature (only 2 known pieces), the steel 6263 with "albino" dial (only 3 known pieces), the steel 6263 with black oyster "Paul Newman dial (one dozen known pieces) and the beautiful gold 6263 with oyster "Paul Newman dial ( only 3 known pieces). All these watches are full illustrated in the magnificent Ultimate Daytona book published by Pucci Papaleo and they are all proudly-cherished trophies of the Italy's most distinguished private watch collection.