Rolex Daytona 116519 'Chrysoprase Green Beach'

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Rolex is typically known as a pretty conservative company. But this white gold Daytona with green hardstone dial proves that its designers certainly have a flair for the dramatic— or in this case a flair for the exotic—as well. In the early 2000s, Rolex introduced a quartet of 18k white gold ref. 116519 Daytonas with colorful hardstone dials. Due to the popping blue, green, yellow, and pink dials these watches are collectively known as the ‘Beach Daytona’ series.This lovely specimen from 2001 features a dial made from chrysoprase, a gemstone variety of chalcedony that can range from a light to a deep green color. The name chrysoprase is derived from Greek and translates roughly to “golden apple”, an apt description for the apple green hue of this dial!A number of details give this dial a ton of depth. 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. A pop of  contrasting color is introduced by the placement of the word “DAYTONA” in red text.The watch comes on its original green alligator leather Rolex strap with an 18k white gold Rolex folding clasp. The watch dates back to 2001 and is in great overall condition, though you should know that there are some scratches here and there on the case and clasp.


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!


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