Rolex Daytona 116503Sold
Rolex Daytona 116503
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With the stainless steel sports watch craze of the last decade, two-tone sports watches were often overlooked. But no longer, the steel and 18k gold Daytona has arrived and is here to stay.
While the prices of stainless steel Daytonas, particularly those with a Zenith movement, have sky-rocketed, the two-tone versions have long lacked popularity and prices have lagged behind the more popular steel variants. Of course, this wasn’t going to last very long and watch collectors are finally beginning to appreciate the luxury sporty looks of two-tone Daytonas as well.
This 116503 is the current execution of the two-tone Daytona. This particular watch was sold in 2018 and is powered by Rolex’ very first in-house chronograph movement. The watch features a 40 mm stainless steel case with an 18k yellow gold engraved bezel and gold crown. The sporty Oyster bracelet is executed in stainless steel with 18k yellow gold center links.
The color scheme of the watch is complemented by a beautiful glossy black dial with applied chromalight-filled 18k yellow gold hour markers and gilt printing. A small pop of contrasting color is introduced by the playful red printed ‘Daytona’ text on top of the lower sub-register.
The watch is in great condition with a sharp case and tight stainless steel and 18k yellow gold Oyster bracelet with polished center links. It comes as a full set.
Rolex started making chronographs in the 1930s, but it was only in 1963 that a named product line was introduced: the Cosmograph. In some early advertisements, Rolex referred to the watch as the ‘Le Mans’ after the famous race track in France, although the name never appeared on the dial. After a few years, the line was officially renamed Cosmograph Daytona, after the racetrack in Florida. The most noticeable difference between these Cosmograph (Daytona) models and earlier Rolex chronographs was the tachymeter scale (used for measuring distance and speed) that was moved from its traditional placement on the dial to the bezel. Furthermore, the dial was updated with the introduction of contrasting sub-dials. It's hard to imagine now, but Daytonas received little love after their release. Most Daytonas languished in dealer displays for years and only started to get noticed by Italian collectors and dealers in the late 1980s. Nowadays, Daytonas are among the most sought after Rolex models, fetching prices from $20,000 for modern ones to many millions for rare vintage references. A big contrast with the $210 list price when it was first released!