The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch has to be one of the most classic timepieces. We have had some stunning examples available in our Mayfair watch shop recently, which prompted us to look at the history and latest version of this iconic Rolex model.
How the Cosmograph Daytona began
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was first introduced in 1963, and was designed to meet the demands of professional racing drivers. It has a highly reliable chronograph watch and bezel with tachymetric scale, which allows drivers to perfectly measure average speeds up to 400 kilometres or miles per hour.
There are many similarities between fine automobiles and luxury swiss watches, and with Rolex especially. World fascination with both racing and wristwatches developed after the First World War. The extremely famous auto racer, Sir Malcolm Campbell (also known as The Speed King) popularised auto racing. He had a full career and smashed numerous land-speed records in his race cars. Whilst he was British, Sir Malcolm Campbell would travel to to Daytona Beach, Florida to set more records on the actual beach!
Rolex’s Hans Wilsdorf was fascinated by Sir Malcolm Campbell's lifestyle, which he felt matched his brand so well. Therefore he became a Rolex Ambassador, which lasted for many years. Rolex even introduced a Malcolm Campbell Rolex model. Campbell wrote a letter to Rolex in 1935 stating “I have now been using my Rolex watch for a while, and it is keeping perfect time under somewhat strenuous conditions.”
Rolex Daytona Today
Today, Rolex is introducing a new version of its Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona (ref. 116518LN). This latest version features the innovative Oysterflex bracket in elastomer, with a black cerachrom ceramic bezel. There are three new versions in 18 carat yellow, white and Everose gold. This latest evolution is a blend of high technology and sleek aesthetics, and pays tribute to the heritage of this legendary chronograph. The black bezel is reminiscent of the 1965 model that was fitted with a black Plexiglas bezel insert.
A key part of the model’s identity is the bezel engraved with a tachymetric scale for measuring average speeds. However it also just looks amazing! It is a watch that will certainly stand out from he crowd. One of the best features of this timepiece is the bezel, which uses advanced ceramics and is virtually invincible to scratches and fading.