Rolex Daytona 116599-12 SA

We like to think of white gold Daytonas as “stealth wealth”.

Museum Piece
Rolex Cosmograph DaytonaRolex started making chronographs in the 1930s, but it was only in 1963 that a named product line was introduced: the Cosmograph.

Introduction

We like to think of white gold Daytonas as “stealth wealth”. But there’s no other way to say this: this baby is all wealth and zero stealth!We love precious metal Daytonas with gemstone dials because they truly put the luxury in the luxury sports watches category. This ref. 116599 is the iciest of them all with a diamond weight of a whopping 4.30 carats! The combination of a white-gold case, shiny diamonds, and royal-blue sapphires gives the watch a luxurious but harmonious look.This watch takes the classic 40 mm Daytona case, executed in 18k white-gold, and encrusts the end links with 48 brilliant cut diamonds. The bezel, in turn, is set with 48 baguette-cut diamonds that are interspersed with 12 baguette-cut sapphires at the hour positions. Finally, the star of the show is the exquisite pavé-set dial with applied 18k white-gold and blue enamel Roman numerals and the Rolex logo in a cartouche at the 12 o’clock position. A cool detail on these pavé dials is that they forgo the traditional “DAYTONA” text just like the highly sought-after vintage ‘solo dial’ Daytonas.This amazing 116599 is in excellent condition and dates back to 2005 according to the accompanying original papers. The watch comes on a new royal blue alligator-leather Rolex strap with an 18k white-gold Rolex folding clasp.

Description

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!