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A Rolex Daytona That Stays In Its Own Lane

December 26, 2016

BY Paul Altieri


The Rolex chronograph that’s dashingly different

While full stainless steel Daytona chronographs may be the most popular pick—prized for their sporty robustness—yellow gold Daytonas outfitted on leather straps are less common and gloriously luxurious. This particular 18k yellow gold Rolex Daytona is not only equipped with a yellow gold case but it also has a leather strap and striking mother-of-pearl dial. If you’re looking for a Daytona that drives at a different pace, look no further than this ref. 116518.

Daytona ref. 116518

Rolex Daytona ref. 116518

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Rolex Daytona ref. 116518

The Daytona ref. 116518 is available in a multitude of versions including different dial and strap colors. However, this specific model from the early 2000s. brings together yellow gold, brown leather, and black mother-of-pearl for a captivating luxury sports watch.

The black mother-of-pearl dial takes center stage on this Daytona ref. 116518 flaunting a range of colors depending on how the light hits it. From turquoise to violet it’s a unique dial that’s hard to take your eyes off of. The dial is further embellished with 18k yellow gold Roman numerals for an elegant touch.

Daytona ref. 116518

Rolex Daytona ref. 116518

On the 40mm gold case of the Daytona ref. 116518 is the matching gold bezel engraved with the tachymeter scale. And as with all modern Daytonas, the duo of screw-down pushers flank the winding crown. Capping off the distinct style of this Daytona ref. 116518 is the brown leather strap with white stitching. Exceedingly elegant, leather straps are not as common as metal bracelets on Rolex watches, yet, suit them perfectly. In fact, the only leather Daytona models currently offered by Rolex are Everose pink gold versions with Cerachrom ceramic bezels. More chic than casual, leather is a great choice for a high-end timepiece. The leather strap is fitted with a matching 18k yellow gold Rolex clasp.

Daytona ref. 116518

Rolex Daytona ref. 116518

Rolex Caliber 4130

Beating at the core of the Daytona ref. 116518 is the Rolex Caliber 4130. The 4130 made its debut in 2000 within the then-new stainless steel Daytona ref. 116520. Still very much in use today, the Caliber 4130 is regarded as one of the best, if not the best, mechanical chronograph movement available. When introduced, the Rolex Caliber 4130 was the first completely new in-house Rolex movement in more than 50 years. Of course, prior to the 4130, the movement used to power the Daytona line was the Zenith-based caliber 4030.

Daytona ref. 116518

Rolex Daytona ref. 116518

So what did the 4130 bring to the table that the 4030 didn’t? Several things, but most notably, the vertical clutch that replaces the previous lateral/horizontal clutch. The biggest advantages of the vertical clutch include increased accuracy (with a lateral clutch, using the chronograph negatively impacts the watch’s timekeeping function), in addition to providing a precise start and stop of the chronograph seconds hand rather than “jumpy” ones. Furthermore, the Caliber 4130 includes fewer components than standard chronograph movements, thus increasing reliability.

Merging unforgettable aesthetics and technical superiority, the Rolex Daytona ref. 116518 is an exceptional member of a family of remarkable luxury chronographs.





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