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Old 24 February 2008, 07:13 AM   #1
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Cosmograph Daytona
By LarryD

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is arguably, the most well known watch on earth. Say the name Daytona in almost any country and you get nods and murmers of understanding – even if there is an otherwise language barrier.

The Daytona has reached cult status it seems. Look at the wrists of celebrities, the wealthy, and the want-to-be’s. If there is a Daytona there, and there are a lot of them, it will be prominately displayed along with all the other badges and symbols that define us.

Sports watches and chronographs in particular, are constantly being re-defined and transformed, but the Daytona remains largely unchanged (visually) since its release in the early 1960’s.

Rolex introduced their chronograph watches in the 1930’s, with the basic two-button design we are familiar with appearing in 1937 with those watches that contained the Valjoux movement. Our beloved Daytona began to emerge in its present form in 1949 along with the Oyster case and familiar Cosmograh name. Finally, in 1960 with the appearance of the tachymeter scale on the bezel of the Cosmograph reference 6239, rather than on the dial, it morphed into its iconic present configuration.

By 1961 the name Daytona began appearing on the Cosmograph with the 6241 models, but the name stuck after a time and all Cosmos were known eventually as the “Daytona”, even if the name wasn’t there. Today the 6239 and 6241 references, manual wind, non-screw down pushers, are the grail watch for many collectors.

The 1970’s hailed the last major changes to the manual chronograph with the introduction of screw-down pushers in the reference 6263. This change allowed the Daytona to be listed as waterproof to 50 meters, and finally 100 meters in depth. In these early days, only the Gold and Two-Tone models sported “Chronometer” on the dial, the only manual wind models to do so.

The early Daytona used the very reliable Valjoux movement up until 1987 when favor turned to the Zenith El Primero movement which earned its’ place in history in 1969 as the worlds first automatic integrated chronograph movement. Zenith movements were a very fast beat 36,000 BPH, but Rolex redesigned the movement to operate at it's typical 28,8000 BPH. Likely this was done to keep grease and oils on the fast moving parts and to ensure that it remained reliable and stable for it's expected lifetime. Coined the cal. 4030, this impressive workhorse powered the Daytona 16520 from it's introduction in ~1987 until Rolex introduction of their own fully patented and in-house built Cal. 4130 just a short decade later in 2000 in the 116520.

The 4130 Movement:

The latest and possibly best Daytona was introduced at the Basel World Watch and Jewelery Show in March of 2000. The 4130 design allows truly unique actuation for the start/stop/reset mechanics, while taking up less room inside the case allowing a larger, therefore, more accurate or precise balance system. The movement incorporates some important Rolex traits: a balance bridge rather than the usual balance cock seen in other movements; a large balance wheel; and lately, their own Parachrom Bleu in-house hairspring. The 4130 also moved the sub-dial configuration around with the sub-seconds now in the traditional 6 o’clock position rather than the earlier 9 o’clock slot; the sub-minute dial at 3 o’clock, and the sub-hour dial at 9 o’clock. The two horizontal sub-dials are also now 7 degrees above the center shaft rather than straight across as before. It is likely that this configuration was done to thwart counterfeiters.

It is likely the latest Rolex Cosmograph Daytona has firmly cemented itself in horological history both from an engineering perspective, and as a worldwide watch icon.
(Copyright 23 February 2008, Larry Draper)

The Daytona can look intimidating but it is a very simple watch to operate. The 3 sub-dials are, at the 6 o'clock position a standard seconds dial, at 3 o'clock a 30 minute timer for the stopwatch function, and at the 9 o'clock position a 12 hour timer for the stopwatch. The stopwatch is read with the main seconds hand and is activated by the pushers that are located on either side of the Triplock crown. The upper pusher is for start/stop, and the lower pusher is to reset to zero.

The bezel is a standard Tachymetre where the stopwatch is activated when an object first starts/crosses a measured mile/kilometer, and then stopped at the end of the measured distance. An estimate of speed is then read off the bezel.


Daytona Reference Numbers:
1960 to 1991 - 6239, 6241, 6240, 6262, 6263, 6264, 6265
1988 to 2000 - 16520
2000 to present - 116520

Date of production:
1960 to 1991 with Valjoux movements including the 72B, 722/1, 727
1988 to 2000 with modified Zenith movement
2000 to present (for the current 4130 in-house equipped model)

Movement: 4130

Case: 40mm Triplock

Weight:
SS - 146 grams
WG - 200 grams
WG w/strap - 121 grams

Power Reserve: ~72 hours without chronograph engaged

Daytona Zenith 16520 Dial differences


Photographs:

The 4130 Movement
(Courtesy Web File photo)
Kal4130.jpg

6_Hairspring.jpg

The Daytona bracelet and Clasp is a great improvement over the earlier stamped steel offerings. A Daytona Clasp is a sought after up-grade for any Rolex:
CosmoBackside.jpg
ymcl14.jpg

Beginning in about October of 2008, Rolex seems to have changed the Daytona Clasp to a more modern "channel" construction offering:

(Photo Courtesy Felly Jr.)
NewClaspDaytona084.jpg
NewClaspDaytona121.jpg

Last edited by Tools; 8 November 2017 at 05:56 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 16 March 2008, 12:43 PM   #2
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The Paul Newman Dial

While all versions of the Daytona with contrasting registers have become 'known' as Paul Newmans, some would argue that the only true Paul Newman models are described as follows: The 6239 and 6241 case numbers, manual wind, stainless steel non-Oyster cases, non-screw-down pushers, and pre-Triplock crown, with either the black dial with white registers, or the cream white dial with black registers--featuring square markers and crossed subdials.
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Old 20 March 2008, 02:20 AM   #3
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Waterproof Daytona

It seems we get questions about the Daytona and it's waterproof capabilities quite a bit lately.

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, with screw down pushers, is waterproof to the same 100m capability of all Oyster Cased Rolexes. The Daytona is waterproof whether the pusher screwlocks are tight or not.

The pushers internal actuation are the weak link for this depth rating and must not be pushed while submerged. To ensure this, screw locks are fitted to each pusher.

The pusher is an assembly that contains it's own internal "O" rings and is screwed into the case with a gasket seal against the case. When the pusher is depressed, it deforms the "O" rings slightly and may allow water to enter the movement through the actuator rod hole. They also may be inadvertantly depressed so the usual mode should be with the pushers screwed down and locked unless in use.

Cal4130 O Ring.jpg
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Old 7 April 2008, 01:55 AM   #4
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Rolex At Daytona

The very rare Rolex At Daytona 24hr does exist.. Rolex has sponsored Daytona Speedway Races sine 1991, and gives class winners a presentation Rolex.

Inscribed on the back is:

WINNER
ROLEX
At Daytona (date) 24

These are very rare and only came in Stainless Steel, so any exotic metal example is likely a fake until very recently where some TT models have been given. Also, many are engraved "Rolex AD Daytona", which is nonsense and fake too.

Here is 24 hr Winner At Daytona. Note that location and size of the Winner engraving. There are some very good fakes with correct wording, but the Winner is smaller and in the wrong location:

24caseback.jpg

daytona winner.jpg
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Old 13 May 2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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A Bit Of Lifecycle..

1175360760.jpg
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Old 14 May 2008, 07:24 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Way out of my price range. Maybe if I win the lottery.
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Old 14 May 2008, 07:41 AM   #7
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WOW!!!!!!!!!! I think I am falling in love...
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Old 17 May 2008, 10:56 PM   #8
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It is my target but not sure if I can achieve it. Need to wait for it and hopefully get a good price.
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Old 24 May 2008, 09:15 PM   #9
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Nice review, thank you. The Daytona is a beauty.
Attached Images
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116509 Daytona Meteorite, 116520 Daytona Black, 116710 GMTIIC, 16013 DATEJUST,
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Old 27 May 2008, 07:05 AM   #10
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Everose tt Daytona?

New to the board, great forum, already learned a lot. Now ROlex came out with a Everose Daytona, do you guys think they may come out with a everose tt Daytona? I would love one!
So glad I found the board.
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Old 15 July 2008, 12:56 PM   #11
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that Daytona with the metorite dial is awesome!!!!!
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Old 15 July 2008, 11:23 PM   #12
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That meteorite dial is awesome, but I'll pass on the rose gold...
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Old 22 July 2008, 02:29 AM   #13
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love the rose gold..
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Old 11 August 2008, 09:27 PM   #14
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I fell in love with the daytona the first time I saw it. I was in Cegas and was on my way to purchase my third Sub the 18K, when the salesman showed me the 18K daytona withe the MOP dial i instantly purchased it and haven't looked back since.
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Old 19 September 2008, 12:51 PM   #15
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That meteorite face is the coolest---but still partial to my white one
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Old 20 September 2008, 03:50 AM   #16
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Do they all have the Rolex engraving on the inside of the bezel?
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Old 20 September 2008, 09:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikko View Post
Do they all have the Rolex engraving on the inside of the bezel?
The Rolex engravings were introduced lately to make it more difficult for counterfeits. JHB wrote an article on the evolution of the Daytona

edit: We are on TRF and in the middle of a review written by one of our members and you want to promote someones else site?

Last edited by Earl; 15 December 2008 at 01:00 AM.. Reason: We don't promote other boards and JHB? well he is banned here, go figure.
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Old 20 September 2008, 10:27 AM   #18
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I believe the engraving is a newer thing--I don't see it on mine (R series 20 yrs. old)
Peace,
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Old 30 September 2008, 08:44 PM   #19
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great watch! got one last month, 116520 white dial. very happy
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Old 30 September 2008, 11:24 PM   #20
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Great posts of a grail (for some) watch. Meteorite dial is fascinating. I'm beginning to understand the WIS tag because I suspect I'm turning into one.

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Old 2 October 2008, 01:58 PM   #21
fikko
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Quote:
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is it the same for 16523 on the dial info? i feel that white dial is also easier to find than black. while gold dial is the most common and slate dial is the rarest.
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Old 9 October 2008, 08:26 AM   #22
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Has anyone got a picture of all the dial options on the Daytona, there has been talk of a new dial on the 2-tone, anyone got pics?
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Old 9 October 2008, 11:05 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Has anyone got a picture of all the dial options on the Daytona, there has been talk of a new dial on the 2-tone, anyone got pics?
This may help:

http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=51701
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Old 9 October 2008, 08:41 PM   #24
hsung
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Also, Jocke took a pic of the new TT dial at http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=52856.
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Old 10 October 2008, 11:26 AM   #25
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SS Daytona bezel

I have a 2006 white face SS Daytona, I'm very lucky to have it. I've done a cursory scan and have a question about the bezel.

Is the bezel white gold or stainless steel on the SS Daytona? just wondering.

LM
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Old 11 October 2008, 12:41 PM   #26
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A Pleasure Tools.

Thanks,

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Old 13 January 2009, 03:02 PM   #27
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great write-up. Hopefully, I will be able to get my hands on a Daytona this year.
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Old 3 February 2009, 01:08 AM   #28
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Thank you very much for the info....what a great forum!
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Old 6 February 2009, 03:11 PM   #29
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I have one and I want and need more
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Old 6 February 2009, 03:17 PM   #30
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[QUOTE=oztimelord;935256]This is my Daytona collection so far . I'm sure it won't end there, just have to save up some more.

These four




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