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Watch Review

Rolex’s Current Cosmograph: A Steel Daytona

Paul Altieri

Steel Daytona

Currently, the only steel Daytona on Rolex’s roster is the new Cerachrom-bezeled beauty released last year at Baselworld.

Unlike the precious metal Daytonas with their endless array of options in dials, metals, and strap vs. bracelet, with the steel model you’ve got only one choice – black dial or white. With the white dial, it’s as close to an homage to the old Paul Newman ref. 6263 as Rolex is ever going to release. With the black dial, the piece looks a little more dressy. But make no mistake, this is the sport version of what’s arguably Rolex’s sportiest watch (as in sporty as opposed to tool).

Yes, while a sport watch like the Rolex Submariner can be called a tool, the Daytona is definitely an instrument. A world class timing instrument.

The Cerachrom Bezel makes the watch scratch resistant.
Rolex Daytona ref. 116500 is steel with a cerachrom bezel.

A Few Specs

The Daytona is housed in Rolex’s signature Oyster case. There’s a Triplock screw-down crown, screw-down pushers, and a screw-down case back. The crystal is sapphire. All of this makes the Daytona water resistant to 100 meters or 330 feet. No worries about falling off the dock with this one.

The bracelet is the Rolex Oyster bracelet. Closure is accomplished with the folding Oysterlock safety clasp which features an Easylink 5 mm comfort extension system.

The black Cerachrom bezel is pure Daytona, with the classic engraved tachymetric scale rendered in white. The contrast with the steel case is striking – and very reminiscent of those old 6263 Daytona watches. That’s a fact that thrilled Daytona lovers and collectors no end when Rolex made their announcements at Baselworld 2016.

The white face of the Steel Daytona is reminiscent of the Paul Newman Panda.
Both the white and black dial the on the Steel Daytona look phenomenal.


As we’ve mentioned before, the self-winding calibre 4130 may be the best chronograph movement ever made. Certainly it’s Rolex’s best. It’s equipped with Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring and carries both a COSC chronometer certificate and Rolex’s own Superlative chronometer certification (-2/+2 seconds after being cased).

The 4130 movement is a watch that is ideal for measuring time.
A steel Rolex Daytona uses a Caliber 4130 movement, making it one the of the most accurate timepieces that the company has rolled out.

Chronograph sub-dials are in the traditional Daytona locations – 30 minute counter at three o’clock, running seconds at six o’clock, and 12 hour counter at nine o’clock with chrono seconds being the large sweep second hand.

Due to the technology introduced with the 4130, the steel Daytona has a power reserve of about 72 hours. You can leave it home for the weekend and it’ll still be running when you put it on Monday morning.

But really, why on earth would you leave this watch home for the weekend. The steel Daytona was made for weekends! Weekends and blue jeans.

Paul Altieri