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ROLEX BLOG

Gear up for the Rolex 24 and the Anniversary Daytona

January 20, 2016

BY Paul Altieri

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An endurance race that pushes man and machine to the limits

Slated to take place at the end of this month, from 30 – 31 January the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona will be the 54th edition of the adrenaline packed motorsport. This event will be the first one at the new motorsports stadium at Daytona International Speedway after a two-year and $400 million renovation. The grueling car race on the track’s 3.56-mile course is considered the most prestigious auto racing event in North America where the best drivers in the world battle it out for the fastest time during a 24-hour period.

Anniversary Daytona

Rolex Anniversary Daytona ref. 116506 is the new watch that has people raving.

 

This year’s edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be the 24th time that Rolex serves as the Title Sponsor and Official Timekeeper of the “Twice Around the Clock” endurance challenge, first having signed on in 1992. Rolex’s relationship with Daytona stretches as far back as the 1930s where racer Sir Malcolm Campbell set five-speed records driving his Bluebird across the sands of Daytona Beach while wearing his Rolex watch. The 1950s saw Rolex officially supporting racing events in Daytona, thereby laying the foundation for the relationship between the brand and the sport of car racing. A decade later, in 1963, Rolex unveiled a new chronograph watch dubbed the Cosmograph Daytona, named in honor of the place regarded as the center of the auto racing world.

The Cosmograph Daytona chronographs from Rolex are legendary. Their vintage models, in particular, the ones of the “Paul Newman” variety, are big-ticket items in the Rolex collecting community. When they can get their hands on a Paul Newman Daytona, auction houses hype up the lot relentlessly, knowing full well that there is an enthusiastic audience waiting to snatch it up.

Vintage Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Chronographs

A Paul Newman is an iconoic watch in the racing world.

The current models of the Daytona chronographs are offered in every material Rolex works with – 90L stainless steel, 18k yellow, white and Everose gold, and platinum – and a plethora of dial options are available for an impressive variety of different configurations. They are all driven by the Rolex Caliber 4130 automatic mechanical movement, which was first launched in 2000. The Oyster cases of the Daytona watches are sized at 40mm and topped off with a fixed bezel with an engraved tachymetric scale. When not being used, the chrono pushers screw down, much like the Triplock screw-down crown, for a waterproofness of 330 feet. In 2013, Rolex released an anniversary edition of the Cosmograph to celebrate the collection’s 50th birthday. It marked the first time that a Rolex watch from their Professional series was crafted in platinum, and it came equipped with the signature ice blue dial. Also noteworthy on the platinum model is the Cerachrom bezel with the highly resistant ceramic insert.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520 is still highly desireable.

The painstaking dedication and groundbreaking innovations to produce exceptional machines is a theme that spans both the Rolex watchmaking world and the motorsport universe. It is a fitting partnership between the luxury Swiss brand and the renowned 24-hour race at the Daytona International Speedway. Get ready and rev your engines for the Rolex 24 at Daytona – the green flag will drop to signal the race commencement at 2:40 pm ET on January 30, 2016.

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