About Rolex Daytona Watches
The Rolex Daytona, designed as a driving watch, was created in part to compete with the Omega Speedmaster. It is especially purposed for measuring elapsed time and calculating the average speed. Rolex became Daytona’s official timekeeper in 1962 and nicknamed this model “Daytona” that same year to emphasize the watch’s affiliation. This timepiece was conceived for racecar drivers, which explains why the tachymeter scale on the bezel is larger than on most other watches. The name of the watch refers to Daytona, Florida, the city most famous for its association with racecar driving. The watch was introduced in three different series. The first was in 1963, the second twenty-five years later in 1988, and then the third was manufactured in 2000.
Daytona was not an instant success and the original model sold for less than $200. Initial sales were sluggish and many retailers offered the Daytona at heavily discounted rates to move stagnant stock. The "exotic" dial wasn't a feature that was immediately coveted. In fact, the sales numbers were initially quite low. As a result, only 2,000 to 3,000 such "exotic" dial variants were ever manufactured.
In the first series, called the “Paul Newman” Daytona, Rolex featured an “exotic” dial. The watch’s nickname is that of the famous actor because he was photographed in the model and his influence boosted its popularity. He pursued racecar driving after playing a driver in the film Winning, and his track record helped to cement the watch as a symbol of the car-driving world. Newman continued to wear the model for years, solidifying his association with the brand. His watch had been given to him as a gift by his daughter’s boyfriend and was eventually sold for a steep $17.8 million at an auction.
The second generation of Daytonas was introduced in 1988 and quickly become popular, causing a years-long waitlist. In 1988, wristwatch collecting increased in popularity. This, combined with the buzz surrounding the launch of the new variation and the discontinuation fo the manually wound Daytona, created an increase in demand.
Currently, the Cosmograph Daytona comes with some exciting and precise features, including a tachymetric scale and the capability to read time to 1/8 of a second. It also features a display showing the elapsed time. The Rolex caliber 4130 is particularly unique in that it doesn't use a lateral clutch, but rather a vertical one. This particular variation is highly reliable, with a number of finely engineered components designed to improve accuracy and precision. It is available in varying materials and comes with a 40mm case.
Rolex Daytonas have proven to be an excellent investment for watch collectors because their value has either increased or remained consistent. Currently, pre-owned prices typically exceed retail prices because the demand for vintage models is so high. The Paul Newman dial, in particular, is highly valuable. Many of these models' dials were replaced with standard ones during servicing. Because of their scarcity, these variations have greatly increased in demand, and prices have increased along with it.