Rolex Daytona 6265/8

Museum Piece
There’s something perversely decadent about a gold toolwatch.
There’s something perversely decadent about a gold toolwatch. Even more so when it’s a rare 4-digit Daytona.

Rolex marketed the Daytona as a sporty chronograph by naming it after the famous racetrack at Daytona Beach, Florida. Rolex even submitted a so-called ref. 6238 ‘Pre-Daytona’ to NASA to become the first flight certified watch in space, an honor that would eventually end up going to Omega’s Speedmaster. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the Daytona was intended as a purpose-built toolwatch. A sturdy and reliable instrument that could survive being knocked around in the toughest circumstances. So, why the hell would you make a full gold one? Well, it doesn’t make any sense really, but it does make for one hell of a watch.

This 6265/8 is in amazing condition. Just look at those thick lugs and the tight, all original, 19 mm riveted Oyster bracelet with the correct Daytona specific ‘71’ endlinks. The 6265/8 is fitted with screw-down pushers and an engraved 18k yellow gold bezel. Both the steel and the gold 6265s feature a Valjoux 727 movement. Yet, only the gold models were supplied with COSC certification and therefore sport two extra lines of text (“Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified”) on the dial. Speaking of the dial: it is in impeccable condition with champagne sub-registers and creamy tritium lume plots that match the tritium-filled hands.

This exceptional 6265/8 dates back to 1983 and even comes with the original papers.
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 subdials.It's hard to imagine now, but Daytonas received little love after their release. Most Daytonas languished in dealer displays for years and were 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!