Rolex Daytona 116519 'Beach Daytona Set'

Museum Piece
Rolex is typically known as a pretty conservative company, but the Daytona’s we have here prove that its designers certainly have a flair for the dramatic— or in this case a flair for the exotic—as well.

Rolex is typically known as a pretty conservative company, but the Daytona’s we have here prove that its designers certainly have a flair for the dramatic— or in this case a flair for the exotic—as well.

A watch, or better yet, a specific configuration of a reference, that hasn’t been properly covered at all. One can find a ton of Rolex literature from aficionado’s all over the world, more specifically much has been written about the Daytona; arguably the most collectible model in history. So, it is about time you let the waves hit your feet and the sand be your seat whilst we guide you through all aspects of the 116519 “Beach Daytonas”.

The previous generation of Rolex’ renowned chronograph, already had some remarkable pieces, examples with gem-setting or cool stone dials, often available upon request. But few as colorful as this commercially available series; where they kicked of their 6-digit reference Daytona line with. Although it was officially marketed as “Special edition” (not numbered or limited), it was nicknamed the Beach. To emphasize the “Joie de vivre” Rolex made the unconventional choice to deliver these watches with color-matching accessories. For many reasons we usually care little about additional items around the watch, like papers; but how cool is this funky set!

Ever since Rolex incorporated automatic calibers in the Cosmograph, the case size has been 40mm. The last number of its reference, a 9, refers to the use of 18K white gold on all external elements including the case back and bezel. The last mentioned featuring a different design compared to the steel counterpart. On precious metal models a fatter font is used and it features triangles instead of dots and a closed track from 100 to 60.

Lastly the lugs are “hooded”, therefore allowing to sport a leather strap without showing a gap between the case and band. However, this means one cannot attach a metal bracelet instead. the strap plays an important role on this model. Whilst most straps are still obtainable, the colored lizard straps from Rolex aren’t anymore. The soft leather with fine texture is dyed in the same color of the dial, or accessories for that matter, but tends to slightly discolor over the years due to UV or moist. Making an original strap with one of these bright colors rather valuable.

Just like the regular early 1165XX series, the Beach Daytona’s had slimmer hands, as thin as its predecessor. However, since there is also no lume applied on the dial or in the markers, the hands feature black lacquer instead. Not unique to the beach Daytona’s but worth noticing to spot if the hands or even the dial might have been swapped.

The utmost important and remarkable of the watches in todays spotlight is without a doubt the dials. 4 Different dial colors that can be divided into 2 sub-categories: Mother of Pearl and hardstone.
Needless to say, mother-of-pearl and Oysters go hand in hand, Rolex used them in many different models, including earlier examples of the Daytona. For the yellow and pink variety, they also use this beautiful organic material, making each and every dial unique. Depending on the mollusk and the water the colors vary. Rolex only uses the finest nacre out there, with the best luster and smooth surface.

The green and blue dial are made out of hardstone. Rolex used a variety of Chalcedony for the first mentioned; known as Chrysoprase. The name derives from Greece and translates to “Green Gold” as it is, compared to other chalcedony’s, the most valuable one. The desirability is mainly because of its apple green color, caused by Nickel. Bear in mind outside agents such as UV can deteriorate the brightness of the color.

There are many misconceptions regarding the stone used for the dial of the blue variant; but it is Kallait, better known as Turquoise. I suspect Rolex from using either artificial or enhanced Turquoise, therefore lacking the matrix of other minerals, resulting in a rather monochrome dial. Regardless it looks stunning without a doubt.

If we take a look at the lay-out we have to conclude they only used the one with polished, applied Roman indices. The quarters have black lacquer applied to the square markers. Furthermore, it doesn’t feature unique details we can’t find on other models.

This special edition of the Rolex Daytona was offered with a retail price around 30K USD a piece, no records are known of someone buying all 4 simultaneously nor do they get offered as a set often. The only public offering was in 2015 when Phillips sold all 4 slightly over 100K. As the search and demand for rare and uncommon Rolex’ grew over the years, the price skyrocketed in the meantime.
We are proud to showcase the entire set, albeit sold separately as the papers disclose, it is still pretty unique.