Are COVID restrictions interfering with your much needed beach vacation? No worries, we got the next best thing: an ultra-rare complete set of colourful Rolex ‘Beach’ Daytona's!In the early 2000s, Rolex introduced a quartet of 18k white-gold 116519 Daytona's with colourful stone dials. Due to the popping blue, green, yellow, and pink dials these watches are collectively known as the ‘Beach Daytona’ series. We’ve managed to acquire a full set of the entire series: one of each dial variation, each accompanied by the original box, papers, and accessories!It is near impossible to bring together a complete set of these watches. The Beach Daytonas were produced in limited numbers only and were accompanied by special boxes and accessories in colours that matched each specific watch. This is the only Rolex ever produced with a special, matching box and leather wallet. Because of that many dealers try to make full sets and there even is an entire market for the 'Beach Daytona' accessories. As a result of the limited production, it is extremely difficult to find one of these watches with the correct box, papers, and accessories. Let alone all four of them! The last time a complete set of four Beach Daytona's came up for sale was at a Phillips Geneva auction in 2015. The hammer price back then: a cool 112,500 Swiss Francs. So what’s so special about these watches aside from their collectability? That's simple, they feature some of the nicest stone dials ever made by Rolex. Just look at those magnificent recessed sub-dials, an incredible feat of precision engineering given the brittleness of natural stones. On the hour markers we find applied 18k white-gold Arabic numerals that match well with the white-gold stick hands. Finally, a pop of contrasting colour is introduced by the placement of the word “DAYTONA” in red text.Included in this unique set are four 116519s, each with a different dial: sweet pink mother of pearl, apple green chrysoprase, vibrant turquoise, and pastel yellow mother of pearl. Each watch comes on the original and ultra-rare colour-matching lizard-leather Rolex strap together with an 18k white-gold Rolex folding clasp. These special straps are not in production anymore, which is why they separately already fetch prices. Moreover, each watch is accompanied by the original box, papers, and leather wallet; all of them colour matched to the watch as well!
Rolex Cosmograph DaytonaRolex 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!