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Rolex Daytona

Used Rolex Daytona

The Daytona made its debut in 1963 & was made popular by actor & racing enthusiast Paul Newman, whose own 6239 sold at auction recently for $17.8m. Featuring a tachymetric scale, 40mm case size, & wide variety of metal options, the Cosmograph Daytona is a highly sought-after chronograph, both new & used. As of 2020, the current retail price for the new 116500 is $13,150. Click here to shop our entire stock of pre-owned Rolex watches for sale.

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Used Rolex Daytona Steel 116519 Steel Dial, 18k White Gold Case
Black Oysterflex Strap, B&P (2021)

Used Rolex Daytona White 116520 40MM Case, Tachymetric Bezel
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2014)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116520 Black Dial, Stainless Steel
40MM Case, Oyster Bracelet (2005)

Rolex Daytona Black 116500LN Ceramic Tachymetric Bezel, 40MM
Stainless Steel, Oyster Bracelet

Rolex Daytona Black 116520 Tachymetric Bezel, Random Serial
Steel Oyster Bracelet, Rolex Box

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116509 Matte Black Dial, 18k White Gold
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2012)

Used Rolex Daytona Black 116500LN Ceramic Tachymetric Bezel, 40MM
Steel Oyster Bracelet, B&P (2018)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116519 18K White Gold, Steel Dial
Black Oysterflex Strap, B&P (2018)

Rolex Daytona Black 116500LN Black Ceramic Bezel, 40MM Case
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2018)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116520 White Dial, 904L Stainless Steel
Oyster Bracelet, B&P (2013)

Rolex Daytona Black 116520 Black Index Dial, Stainless Steel
Tachymeter Bezel, Rolex Box (2008)

Used Rolex Daytona Black 116520 Tachymetric Bezel, 40MM Case
Stainless Steel, Rolex Box (2006)

Used Rolex Daytona Black 116520 40MM Case, Black Luminous Dial
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2005)

Rolex Daytona Black 116500 Black Ceramic Bezel, 40MM Case
904L Stainless Steel, B&P (2016)

Used Rolex Daytona White 116520 White Dial, 40MM Steel Case
Oyster Bracelet, Rolex Box (2009)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116520 Steel Tachymetric Bezel, 40MM Case
White Dial, Oyster Bracelet (2007)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116500 Black Dial & Ceramic Bezel, 40MM
Stainless Steel, B&P (2017)

Used Rolex Daytona White 116520 40MM Steel Case, White Index Dial
Stainless Steel, Rolex Box (2008)

Rolex Daytona Black 116500 40MM Case, Black Ceramic Bezel
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2016)

Mens Rolex Daytona 116509 Panda Dial, 18k White Gold
Oyster Bracelet, 40MM (2006)

Rolex Daytona White 116520 White Dial, 40MM Steel Case
Stainless Steel Oyster Band (2007)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116520 40MM Steel Case, White Dial Model
Stainless Steel, Rolex Box (2000)

Rolex Daytona Champagne 116518 Tachymetric Bezel, 18k Yellow Gold
Black Oysterflex Strap, B&P (2018)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116520 Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet
Tachymeter Bezel, B&P (2007)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116520 Oyster Bracelet, Tachymetric Bezel
904L Stainless Steel Model (2001)

Used Rolex Daytona Black 116520 Black Dial, Stainless Steel
Oyster Bracelet, Rolex Box

Mens Rolex Daytona Black 116520 Tachymetric Bezel, 40MM Case
Stainless Steel Oyster Band (2000)


Recently Sold Rolex Daytona Watches

Rolex Daytona Black 116520 Stainless Steel, Tachymetric Bezel
40MM, Oyster Bracelet (2001)

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona 116500 Black Dial, 904L Stainless Steel
Oyster Bracelet, B&P (2019)

Rolex Daytona White 116500 FACTORY STICKERED, Ceramic
Steel Oyster Band, B&P (2019)

Rolex Daytona Black 116505 40MM Black Dial, Tachymetric Bezel
18k Everose Gold, Oyster Bracelet

Cash wire prices shown. Prices may be higher if other payment methods are selected.*

This page contains information about:

Rolex Daytona History         Prices for the Daytona        Key Features        Rolex Daytona Models        Questions

About Rolex Daytona Watches

The Rolex Daytona collection was first introduced in 1963; however the history of automobile racing in Daytona Beach, Florida dates all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century. With 14 world land speed records set there between 1904 and 1935, the very first stock car races taking place in 1936, and the very first Daytona 500 race in 1959, the name "Daytona" has been synonymous with racing and speed for over a hundred years.

Since the early 1960s, Rolex has been the official timekeeper of the Daytona International Speedway which has been home to the annual 24 Hours of Daytona (known now as the Rolex 24 at Daytona) and Daytona 500 races, along with a number of other high-profile automotive racing events each year. To celebrate their sponsorship of the sport and their long-standing partnership with the world of automotive racing, the iconic Swiss timepiece manufacturer has developed a collection of purpose-built racing chronographs named after the legendary racing capital located on the shores of Florida: the Rolex Daytona.

Rolex Daytona History

First introduced in 1963, the Rolex Daytona has been linked with many other celebrities such as Jay-Z and John Mayer, who both own a number of different Daytona references. As the Submariner conquered the deep sea, so did the Rolex Daytona on land. Designed for professional racers, it features a precision chronograph and tachometer bezel which allow accurate measurement of land speeds of up to 400 miles per hour. The model symbolizes Rolex's historical ties to the world of motorsports.

Throughout its 50+ year history, the model has undergone some significant changes. When it first made its debut it was significantly smaller, coming in under 38mm and it featured a hand-wound manual movement. Today, the new models feature an in-house automatic movement, sporty ceramic bezel, and have cases that measure in at 40mm.

Like other models created by Rolex back then, this watch too was originally designed as a tool watch - made for racing drivers and motorsports enthusiasts to accurately keep time while at the racetrack. While the model was first introduced in 1963, it was not the company's first chronograph, and originally these early Rolex Daytona watches did not even have the 'Daytona' name printed on their dials.

Rolex had been manufacturing chronograph wristwatches for decades prior; however it was not until the introduction of the first Cosmograph Daytona (the reference 6239) in 1963 that Crown's legendary chronograph would start to take its contemporary form. This reference moved the tachymetric scale from the periphery of the dial to the bezel of the watch - a trait that still defines the watch produced today. Over the years, the model has gone through a number of changes and updates, transitioning from a 37mm manual wind precision watch to a state-of-the-art chronograph with a 40mm case diameter and an in-house self-winding mechanical movement.

The Rolex Daytona still remains a part of the brand's catalog today, and is arguably one of the most famous and desirable watches that Rolex has ever created. Although the collection was originally developed to be a professional timing tool for drivers to use at the race track, the collection has expanded over the years to include a variety of different models crafted from precious metals, with some that are even encrusted in diamonds and other precious gemstones.

rolex daytona

How Much is a Rolex Daytona?

Retail prices for Rolex Daytona watches start at $13,150 for the stainless steel and ceramic model and increase from there, depending on the use of precious metals or gemstones. The most expensive Rolex Daytona models are vintage references, and virtually all vintage Daytona watches will sell for significantly more than the price of a brand-new Daytona. The most expensive Rolex Daytona ever sold is Paul Newman's very own ref. 6239 Daytona, which sold for a record-breaking $17.75 million at an auction in 2017.

Model Retail Price Second-Hand Price Materials Features
Paul Newman's Daytona, Ref. 6239 N/A 17.75 million dollars Stainless Steel Most expensive Rolex Daytona
Ref. 116500LN 13,150 USD from $23,500 Stainless Steel Ceramic bezel
Ref. 116503 17,400 USD from $18,000 Stainless Steel + Gold Two-Tone
Ref. 116508 36,650 USD from $33,950 Yellow Gold Gold bezel and Oyster bracelet
Ref. 116509 39,350 USD from $26,995 White Gold Gold bezel and Oyster bracelet
Ref. 116505 45,600 USD from $36,500 Everose Gold Diamond dial
Ref. 116519LN 29,700 USD from $29,900 White Gold Ceramic bezel and Oysterflex bracelet
Ref. 116518LN 28,500 USD from $28,495 Yellow Gold Ceramic bezel and Oysterflex bracelet
Ref. 116506 75,000 USD from $68,995 Platimnum Ice Blue dial and brown ceramic bezel

Rolex Daytona Price Information

Due to the vast range of differences that can be found on Rolex Daytona watches, prices can differ significantly. Suggested retail prices for stainless steel Rolex Daytona watches start at $13,150 but due to an overwhelming demand for these iconic chronographs, Rolex Daytona used prices can be almost twice as much as retail prices, with values for vintage models reaching well into the six-figure range.

Additionally, due to the huge variety of different metals, gemstones, and most importantly - the varying degrees of collectability among the references, the Rolex Daytona price range can span hundreds of thousands of dollars, with certain examples reaching into the millions. Current prices for vintage Daytona models 6263 have risen dramatically with the reference 6263 selling for as high as $85,000 USD, and the reference 6265 at about $50,000 USD.

rolex daytona

How Much Do Newer Stainless Steel Daytona Models Cost?

  • The retail price for a brand-new stainless steel Daytona is $13,150; however, due to an overwhelming demand and a relatively limited supply, these same watches trade hands for almost twice their retail price on the open market. Prices for the previous generation of stainless steel Daytona watches start out at roughly $15k when purchased used, and (generally speaking) vintage Daytona models are the most expensive due to their high levels of collectibility. 

How Much Does A Gold or Platinum Daytona Cost?

  • Gold and platinum Rolex Daytona watches are some of the most expensive models in the brand's entire catalog. Retail prices for solid gold Daytona watches start out at $28,500 for the yellow gold model with a ceramic bezel on a rubber Oysterflex bracelet and increase from there. Both White gold and Everose gold cost more than traditional 18k yellow gold, and platinum models are the most expensive, with retail prices sitting in the neighborhood of approximately $75,000.

How Much Does A Rare Pre-Daytona Cost?

  • Rolex produced chronograph watches before the release of the Daytona, and some of these models are known as Pre-Daytona watches. Prices for Pre-Daytona models start our at roughly $30,000 but it is not uncommon for rare references in exceptional condition to sell for well over $100,000. As these watches are all vintage models, the price can range dramatically depending on factors such as the specific reference, the materials of its construction, and most importantly, its overall condition.

Rolex Daytona Models

There are three main generations of these watches, into which all of the various references can be categorized.

The first generation (four-digit reference numbers) was produced between 1963 and 1988, and consists of the references 6239, 6241, 6240, 6262, 6264, 6263, 6265, 6269, and 6270. These reference models have 37mm cases, manual-wind Valjoux movements, and acrylic crystals. It was during the first generation that advancements like screw-down pushers, which significantly improved the overall reliability and waterproofness.

The second-generation (five-digit reference numbers), nicknamed the "Zenith Daytona" was in production between 1988 and 2000, and consists of the references 16520, 16523, 16528, 16518, and 16519. The case diameter for the second generation of the model grew to 40mm, and the acrylic crystal was replaced by one made from synthetic sapphire. While the external updates are certainly significant, the biggest change to accompany the second generation of the watch was the arrival of a self-winding movement, turning the watch into the "Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona."

The third generation (six-digit reference numbers) was first introduced in 2000, and still remains in production to this day. While previous generations are powered by modified Valjoux or Zenith movements, the third generation is characterized by the use of Rolex's in-house chronograph movement, and retains many of the same core design traits that were first introduced with the second generation.

Rolex Daytona Timeline

  • 1903 to 1935 - Daytona Florida becomes known as World Capital of Speed.
  • 1935 - British driver and Rolex Oyster wearer Malcolm Campbell breaks 300 MPH speed barrier at Utah Salt Flats.
  • 1959 - First Daytona International Speedway Race officially opens.
  • 962 - Rolex becomes Official timekeeper of Daytona International Speedway; first Rolex 24 At Daytona race.
  • 1963 - First Rolex 6239 introduced.
  • 1964 - The word "Daytona" is added below 12 o'clock on the dial.
  • 1965 - Rolex 6240 introduced which includes "Oyster" features.
  • 1967 - The word "Daytona" moved above 6 o'clock on the dial.
  • 1988 - Second series of self-winding watches is introduced.
  • 2000 - Third series introduced 2013 Formula 1 racing.

Rolex Daytona Features

Watches found in this collection display the hours, minutes, and seconds; however there has never been a Daytona reference that has featured either a day or date complication. Additionally, regardless of the specific generation, they are all sports chronographs with two pushers flanking the winding crown, three registers on their dials, and tachymeter scales on their bezels. A chronograph complication is used to measure elapsed time, and when its centrally-mounted seconds hand is used in conjunction with the tachymetric scale on the watches bezel, wearers can use their watch to measure speeds up to 400 units per hour.

Rolex Daytona Materials

Since its initial introduction in 1963, the Rolex Daytona has always been available in a variety of different materials. The very first reference was produced in high-quality 904L Oystersteel (stainless steel), 14k gold, and 18k gold, and since its introduction, the list of options has only expanded from there. The second generation introduced Rolesor (two-tone, stainless steel and gold) to the collection, and the third generation expanded to further include platinum and Everose gold models.

Today, the model is manufactured in stainless steel (with ceramic bezel), Yellow Rolesor (stainless steel and 18k yellow gold), solid 18k gold (yellow gold, white gold, and Everose pink gold), and 950 platinum (with ceramic bezel). Additionally, while most models are sold on matching Oyster bracelets (either stainless steel, two-tone, solid gold, or platinum), certain solid 18k gold references are fitted with either alligator leather straps or Oysterflex bracelets with matching 18k gold folding clasps.

rolex daytona

Rolex Daytona Movements

Just like the Rolex Daytona collection itself, the movement used to power Rolex’s iconic chronograph exists in three major generations.

Rolex Daytona Movement Evolution

  • First Series - Valjoux Calibre 72, Calibre 722, Calibre 727 (manual wound).
  • Second Series - Zenith El Primero Calibre 3019PHC; modified and re-named “Calibre 4030” by Rolex (automatic movement).
  • Third Series - Rolex in-house Calibre 4130 (automatic movement).

Valjoux Movement

Every reference within the first generation of 37mm watches is powered by a manual wind movement; however a few different calibers were used. The very first received the Valjoux 72, which was quickly replaced by the Valjoux 722. By the very end of the 1960s, Rolex changed up the movement yet again, replacing the Valjoux 722 with the more precise Valjoux 727, which brought the frequency up to 21.600 VPH (vibrations per hour), compared to the 18.000 VPH of the previous models.

Zenith Movement

The second generation of movements corresponds with the second generation of watches with 40mm cases that were based on the 'El Primero' Caliber 3019 PHC - a self-winding chronograph movement made by Zenith. This generation marked the first automatic Daytona watches, and although Rolex heavily modified the original Zenith El Primero caliber - having their watchmakers replace roughly 50% of its total components and rename it the Caliber 4030 - this generation is known as the "Zenith Daytona" by many of today's collectors.

In-House Movement

The third generation of movements was introduced in 2000 and still remains in production today. While Rolex has been selling automatic-winding Daytona watches since the late 1980s, it was only in the year 2000 that the mechanism used to power them became an in-house designed movement: the Caliber 4130.

Designing the entire movement from the ground up for maximum precision and dependability, Rolex simplified the architecture of the Caliber 4130 to incorporate far fewer components than a standard chronograph movement, increasing its overall reliability. With the space that was saved, Rolex was able to use a longer mainspring, which gave the Caliber 4130 movement an increased power reserve of 72 hours. Additionally, Rolex changed the chronograph coupling system from a lateral clutch to a vertical clutch on the Caliber 4130, which eliminates both the loss of amplitude and the “jitter” that occurs with lateral clutch mechanisms when starting or stopping the chronograph complication.

Rolex Daytona Bezels

The bezel always has a tachymeter scale on it; however like the rest of the models, the material for its bezel has changed throughout the years. The very first ref. 6239 references were fitted with metal (stainless steel or gold) bezels that had their tachymeter scales engraved into them; however shortly after their introduction, the inaugural model was joined by a near-identical sister reference that swapped out the metal bezel for one made from black acrylic. Both metal and acrylic bezels were fitted to watches throughout the vast majority of the production of the first generation, and it was not until the second generation that the black acrylic bezel was phased out completely.

Metal tachymeter bezels were the only option for watches during production of the second generation; however during production of the third generation of watches, specifically for the 50th anniversary in 2013, Rolex unveiled a solid platinum version that featured a chocolate brown, monobloc ceramic bezel made from a proprietary material called Cerachrom that is highly resistant to scratching and fading. Three years later, Rolex introduced a new version of the stainless steel Daytona, the reference 116500, which swapped out its stainless steel bezel for an extra durable one made from the same corrosion-resistant ceramic - this time in black Cerachrom rather than chocolate brown.

Since phasing out the stainless steel bezel in 2016, the tachymeter bezel on all modern watches is either constructed from Cerachrom (ceramic) or 18k gold. Additionally, there are also very limited and exclusive model references that are fitted with gem-set bezels, like the "Leopard Daytona" or "Rainbow Daytona" which swap out the iconic tachymetric scale for an ultra-luxurious bezel set with diamonds or other brilliant gemstones.

Rolex Daytona Dial Options

Throughout the last 50 years of the Daytona's production, Rolex has fitted a wide variety of different dials to their iconic chronograph collection, with the majority appearing on their various precious metal models.

rolex daytona

Vintage Daytona Dials

The first generation of this model was most commonly fitted with either white, black, silver, or champagne (gold) colored dials. Most frequently the sub-dials were rendered in a contrasting color - a black dial with white sub-dials, or a silver/white dial with black sub-dials - which has resulted in the "panda dial" and "reverse panda dial" nicknames among modern collectors. However, a small handful of vintage references received all silver dials, earning them the "Albino Daytona" nickname.

Paul Newman Daytona Dials

Additionally, during production of the first generation of watches, a small number were fitted with "Exotic" dials that featured a stepped minute track in a contrasting color, and an Art Deco style font for the numerals in its sub-dials. Famous Hollywood actor, Paul Newman owned one of these exotic dial watches, and after being photographed for a magazine cover wearing one, they started to rise in value and popularity, picking up the nickname the “Paul Newman Dial” among vintage collectors. Although these exotic Paul Newman dials were initially rather unpopular upon their release, they are now one of the most valuable and highly coveted timepieces in the entire luxury watch industry, with Paul Newman's very own "Paul Newman Daytona" selling for $17.8 million dollars at an auction in 2017.

Modern Daytona Dials

Since the arrival of the second generation, stainless steel models have only been available with either black or white dials. Although dial options for stainless steel watches are relatively minimal, there exists near-countless options for dials when it comes to the various precious metal references. Among the dial colors that can be found on two-tone, solid gold, and platinum are silver, champagne, blue, green, chocolate brown, pink, and ice blue - plus all of the various stone/material dials like lapiz, meteorite, and mother of pearl. Additionally, the style of hour markers can vary on some of these more elaborate dials, and in addition to the classic stick indexes, Rolex hour markers can include Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, Hindu-Arabic numerals, diamonds, and even rainbow-colored sapphires.

Most Popular Rolex Daytona References

The Daytona is one of the most popular watches in the world, and virtually all references - both vintage and modern - enjoy a considerable amount of popularity among today's collectors. There is no such thing as a non-desirable one; however, some of the most popular references include the following:

  • 116500
  • 116520
  • 116523
  • 116505
  • 116506
  • 116508
  • 116519
  • 16520
  • 16523
  • 16518
  • 6239
  • 6241
  • 6262
  • 6264
  • 6263
  • 6265

Who Wears A Rolex Daytona?

The Rolex Daytona is easily one of the most famous luxury watches in the entire world and it is worn by countless individuals around the world, including actors, musicians, models, and professional athletes.

Celebrities that Wear Rolex Daytona Watches:

  • Eric Clapton
  • Paul Newman
  • John Mayer
  • Adam Levine
  • Kevin Hart
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Jay-Z
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Victoria Beckham
  • Jonah Hill
  • Russel Crowe
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Mark Wahlberg

If you're looking to sell a new, vintage, or used Rolex watch let Bob's Watches help. Get your quote quickly from one of the most trusted names in the pre-owned Rolex market. Click this link to learn about the history of the Rolex Daytona.

rolex daytona

Trending Model 2021

The Rolex Daytona ref. 116500 remains one of the most sought-after editions of the brand's famed chronograph. In addition to featuring the in-house Cal. 4130 movement, the ref. 116500 was also the first Daytona to feature an Oystersteel finish and a ceramic (aka Cerachrom) bezel. Cerachrom won't fade, scratch, or corrode and the reference 116500 is produced with either a white or black dial.

Another trending Daytona is the Oysterflex edition, which includes Rolex's patented rubber bracelet. Currently in production on the Oysterflex option are references 116515 (Everose), 116519 (white gold), and 116518 (yellow gold). If it's a two-tone Rolex Daytona that you're after, another popular reference is the ref. 116503 in Yellow Rolesor.

Common Rolex Daytona Questions

What Is A Rolex Daytona?

  • The Rolex Daytona is the brand's collection of chronograph watches that was first launched in 1963. The collection is officially known as the Cosmograph Daytona, however today it is best-known around the world as simply the Rolex Daytona.

Why Is The Rolex Daytona So Expensive?

  • The Rolex Daytona is one of the most famous and desirable watches in the world. In addition to being built to the highest standards and only using the finest materials in their construction, what makes the collection so expensive is the massive demand for them. Virtually all Rolex retailers around the world are completely sold out of the most popular Daytona models, and most have incredibly long waiting lists.

How Long Is The Rolex Daytona Waiting List?

  • The waiting list for the Daytona will differ from one model to the next and can also depend on the specific country where the retailer is located. For some the most popular Daytona references, waiting lists can span multiple years in length, with have no concrete timeline for when the one you order will be delivered.

Why Is The Rolex Daytona So Hard To Find?

  • Simply put, this collection is hard to find because everyone is looking for one. It is easily among the most desirable luxury watches in the world, and although Rolex produces a decent number of them each year, the demand far exceeds the supply, creating multi-year waiting lists for certain models at retailers.

Is A Rolex Daytona Worth The Money?

  • The Daytona model is one the best buys in the entire luxury watch industry. It is often said that the this collection is actually underpriced and is actually worth far more than the money that Rolex charges for one. This is confirmed by the fact that many used Daytona models sell for significantly more than their original retail prices on the open market.

Which Is The Best Rolex Daytona To Buy?

  • Rolex offers the Daytona in a wide variety of different materials and configurations, and the best Rolex Daytona to buy will come down to your individual needs. Stainless steel models make great everyday sports watches, while the solid gold and platinum models represent the final word in exclusive luxury. Many collectors even own multiple Daytona watches, due to the wide range of variation that can be found within the collection.

rolex daytona

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