The Rolex Daytona is an extremely sought-after chronograph watch that has become an iconic representation of luxury and accuracy. First introduced in 1963, the Daytona was specially designed for professional racing drivers and rapidly gained popularity among watch enthusiasts and collectors. Its unique design, which includes a tachymeter-engraved bezel, a pair of chronograph pushers flanking the crown, and three counters on the dial, has remained mostly untouched over the years. Furthermore, its specific mechanical movement and robust assembly continue to set the norm for luxury watches. Today, the Daytona is extensively viewed as one of the most appreciated and collectible timepieces in the world.
When it comes to purchasing or selling luxury timepieces, trust and knowledge are vital. At Bob's Watches, we pride ourselves on being the prominent online marketplace for buying, selling, and trading luxury watches. With over 20 years of familiarity in the industry, we have built a name for providing the premier level of customer service by ensuring that our clients receive authentic and quality items. Our team of certified watch experts judiciously inspects every watch that comes through our doors to verify authenticity and condition. We stand behind our products with a one-year warranty. Bob’s Watches also offers competitive pricing and a hassle-free selling experience for those looking to sell or trade their watches. Whether you're a seasoned watch collector or just starting, choosing Bob's Watches means choosing a trusted partner for all your luxury watch needs.
I decided it was time to treat myself with a luxury watch. I had been looking forever so wasn't unfamiliar with Bob's but had never pulled the trigger.
I finally reached out and was surprised with how helpful Larry was in ensuring I was comfortable making this purchase online. Literally had no worries after talking with him, so I placed the order for my Rolex Daytona and got and recieved it the next day.
Amazing... and wonderful customer service on top of that. Thank you, Larry, you were a huge comfort while making this purchase online.
Another great transaction with Bob's, acquiring the hard to get Rolex Daytona ceramic Panda. Thanks so much.
The Rolex Daytona is more than just a timepiece; it's a symbol of precision, elegance, and status. The watch's heritage, collectability, and iconic design have made the Rolex Daytona one of my favorites.
- Paul Altieri, Founder and CEO of Bob’s Watches
The Rolex Daytona is one of the most collectible and thereby, sought-after watches in the world. This has resulted in significant price appreciation over the years. Prices for Daytona models have varied depending on the materials, reference numbers, and production years, with some vintage models fetching millions of dollars at auction. Stainless steel Daytona models have seen a surge in popularity and price in recent years, with waitlists at authorized dealers and prices reaching well above retail value in the secondary market. Despite the fluctuations in price, the Daytona remains a sound investment for collectors and enthusiasts alike thanks to its classic looks and impressive performance.
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The Rolex 116503 and 116523 are both two-tone Daytona watches that combine stainless steel and yellow gold. Moreover, the 116503 and 116523 references offer a variety of dial options and both run on the Rolex Caliber 4130 automatic chronograph movement. The older version is the 116523, which was introduced in 2000 and eventually replaced by the 116503 in 2016. The biggest difference between these Yellow Rolesor Daytona models is the bezel design. The newer 116503 features fatter fonts and triangular markings instead of circular ones, as well as a layout that curves around the bezel rather than the previous orientation that positioned the numerals upright. In 2023, Rolex discontinued the Daytona 116503 and replaced it with the Daytona 126503.
To learn more read our Rolex 116503 vs Rolex 116523 comparison.
The Rolex 116500 and 116520 are both stainless steel Daytona watches, fitted with Oyster bracelets, available with black or white dials, and powered by the Rolex Caliber 4130 self-winding movement. However, the newer 116500 has a black Cerachrom ceramic bezel while the older 116520 has a stainless steel bezel. Additionally, the white dial version of the 116500 features black rings around the subdials while the 116520 has silver rings. Rolex introduced the 116520 in 2000 and replaced it with the 116500 in 2016. In 2023, Rolex discontinued the 116500 and replaced it with the 126500.
To learn more read our Rolex 116500 vs Rolex 116520 comparison.
The Rolex Daytona is a highly coveted watch that has gained several popular nicknames over the years.
The Rolex Daytona has several reference numbers that have been used throughout its production history. Here is a list of some popular Rolex Daytona reference numbers:
Rolex Daytona dials come in a range of colors and styles, allowing buyers to choose a design that best fits their personal tastes. Some popular dial options include the classic white dial, the sporty black dial, and the colorful "Rainbow" dial featuring multi-colored sapphire-set hour markers. There’s also classic champagne, vibrant blue, rich green, warm brown, and exotic meteorite. Regardless of the specific dial material and color, all Daytona dials feature three sub dials: a 12-hour counter, a 30-minute counter, and a small seconds counter.
Depending on the year of production, a Rolex Daytona can be equipped with either a manual-winding movement or an automatic movement. There have been four generations of movements so far. The first is the manual-winding Valjoux-based chronograph movement found inside vintage four-digit Daytona references.
The second is the automatic Caliber 4030 Zenith El-Primero based chronograph movement found inside neo-vintage five-digit Daytona references. The third is the automatic Caliber 4130 self-winding mechanical chronograph movement developed and manufactured in-house by Rolex. This movement, found inside six-digit Daytona references made from 2000 to 2023, is known for its reliability and precision and has a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.
The Caliber 4130 also features a vertical clutch mechanism, allowing for a smooth and precise chronograph function without affecting the accuracy of the watch. The fourth is the newly released Caliber 4131 in-house-made movement, complete with the patented Chronergy escapement and Côtes de Genève decoration, found inside the latest Daytona 1265xx series.
Modern Rolex Daytona watches are available in one size, measuring 40mm in diameter. This size has become a signature of the Daytona and is appreciated by both men and women who enjoy a sporty and versatile watch. Vintage Daytona watches are slightly smaller, measuring around 37mm in diameter.
The Rolex Daytona is available in a range of materials. Material options include stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, Everose gold, two-tone steel/gold, and platinum. Rolex also makes lavish gem-set versions of the Daytona with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.
The stainless steel models are highly sought-after due to their durability and versatility, while the precious metal and two-tone versions offer a more luxurious look. Some newer Daytona models also feature a Cerachrom ceramic bezel, which is both fade- and scratch-resistant, and provides a modern touch to the classic design.
The cheapest Rolex watch on the market is the Oyster Perpetual, which has a starting price of around $5,000. However, the price of a Rolex watch can vary depending on factors such as the model, materials used, and rarity of the watch. Vintage Rolex watches can also command high prices, sometimes exceeding those of newer models.
The average price of a Rolex Daytona can vary greatly dependent on the specific model and its condition, but it typically starts at $14,800 retail. However, rare vintage models or those with unique features can fetch significantly higher prices at auctions or from private collectors. Pre-owned models are also available and can range in price from five figures to well over $100,000, depending on their rarity, age, and condition.
The Daytona Rolex's expensive price tag is due to its superior craftsmanship, high-quality materials, and intricate movements, which require significant skill and time to produce. Additionally, the brand's exclusivity and reputation for luxury contribute to its high demand and high price point in the luxury watch market. The brand's reputation for quality and craftsmanship, combined with its extensive history and heritage, has helped to solidify the Daytona Rolex as a luxury item with a corresponding price point.
Rolex Daytona watches can be hard to get due to their popularity and limited production numbers, resulting in high demand and long waiting lists at retail stores. The brand's strict distribution policies (which limit the number of authorized dealers and require customers to go through an extensive vetting process to ensure they are eligible to purchase a Rolex Daytona) play a role in the demand for the Daytona exceeding its supply. Rolex carefully controls its supply chain and distribution channels, which can make it challenging to acquire a new Daytona directly from an authorized dealer.
Selecting the appropriate Rolex Daytona involves a meticulous evaluation of several factors. These include the distinct model, the quality and type of materials, the dial's color, its functionalities, and the dimensions. For a comprehensive understanding, we've provided a series of links below that will guide you through the intricacies of choosing a Rolex based on its features.