Rolex Daytona 6263 'Floating Big Red'Sold
Rolex Daytona 6263 'Floating Big Red'
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‘Big Red’ sounds like a mob boss’ nickname. But rest assured, nothing to see here. Just a plain ol’ four digit Daytona.Okay, now that we’ve got rid of the outsiders, let’s get to the real story. It was nearly impossible to sell this watch when it rolled off the production line in the late 1970s. Manual wind Daytonas like this 6263 often languished in dealer windows for years, until some good Samaritan finally took pity and gave it a new home for just a couple hundred bucks. Can you imagine a Rolex dealer begging you to take a Daytona off of their hands. Yeah, hardly can we..Nowadays, these four digit Daytonas are among the most coveted and collectible watches on the planet. The ref. 6263 (together with its sibling, the 6265) has the distinction of being the last vintage Daytona and the Daytona that enjoyed the longest production run, from 1971 until 1987 when it was replaced by the modern ref. 16520 with automatic movement and sapphire crystal.This ref. 6263 dates back to 1979 and features a matte black dial with a white recessed subdials. This dial configuration is known as a ‘reverse panda’ dial among collectors. The dial is in spotless condition with thick creamy tritium lume dots that match the tritium luminous compound in the hour and minute hands. At the 6 o’ clock position the dial features the desirable big red “Daytona” text. As the text is placed at a slightly elevated position it is also referred to as "Floating/ floater".The watch is in incredible condition with a thick and sharp case and the original acrylic bezel inlay. It comes with a rare 19 mm Oyster bracelet with the correct Daytona-specific ‘571’ endlinks. Included with the watch are recent service papers from Bucherer, the famed Swiss Rolex retailer.
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!Waterproof 62xx DaytonasRolex has touted the water resistant qualities of its watches ever since the invention of the ‘Oyster case’ in the 1930s. Nevertheless, the first truly waterproof Daytona only came into existence in 1965 thanks to the introduction of the ref. 6240 and its screw down chronograph buttons (instead of the round pump pushers with internal gaskets on earlier Daytonas). The 6240 was also the first Daytona to feature a black acrylic bezel inlay with contrasting white graduation scale. The 6240 was discontinued after just a few years and was replaced by the 6263. The 6263 (and its brother, the 6265, with a metal bezel) enjoyed the longest production run of all vintage Daytonas, from 1971 until 1987.
- SKU 6684
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