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Rolex Daytona 116503

Rolex Daytona116503

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Case Size


Case Material

Steel/Yellow Gold



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Product Description

This stainless and 18 carat yellow gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116503 is 1970s chic but thoroughly modern, which makes it an enigma. There aren't many contemporary watch manufacturers daring the two-tone, particularly on a flagship model, but Rolex is a different breed of cat. The glossy black dial of this 116503 is a commitment in its own right. Versaille-esque gilt (gold) decadence - the crown and lettering at 12, the minute track, the Chromalight lume filled baton hour markers, all of the hands, including the arrow-tipped chronograph hand the running seconds hand at 6 and both chrono totalizers at 3 and 9, the sub dial numerals, hashmarks and surrounds, event the "Swiss Made" at the bottom of the dial beneath the 6. And all of that matches the screw-down chronograph pushers, winding crown and polished center links. The only aspect of this watch not in stainless, black or gold is the red "Daytona" at 6, which is as it should be. This thing is amazing. If it was just a la mode, though, it wouldn't be as much fun, which is why Rolex outfitted it with the superb caliber 4130 - an in-house, automatic, chronometer-rated, column-wheel chronograph movement - and Rolex's patented screw-down, Triplock crown so it's as technologically sound as it is visually arresting. The Cosmograph Daytona has been in continuous production since 1964 with offerings in: two-tone, steel, gold or solid platinum; dials in black, white, silver, grey, chocolate, pink, blue, red, lemon, crysophase, ice-blue, ivory, champagne, meteorite, mother of pearl, gem-set, and leopard; Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, no numerals; red hands, gold hands, platinum hands, steel hands; panda dials, reverse panda dials; bezels in Cerachrom ceramic, steel, platinum, gold, and rainbow multi-gem set; bracelets in steel or precious metals and straps in exotic skins or black elastomer. As a result, the Daytona has been a part of contemporary culture, and hence en vogue, for fifty-three years. Including the two-tone. Perhaps only the Patek Philippe Calatrava can connect generations on a similar level and even then the Calatrava has enjoyed only a small handful of options. Debuting in 1963 the Daytona was designed specifically as a tool watch for professional drivers to calculate speed and time laps during car races. Originally known only as the Cosmograph, the "Daytona" moniker found it's way to the dial in 1964 during the third year of Rolex's sponsorship of what is now known as the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance race. Since the late 1960s the winners of that race in each car classification have received Daytonas, including the 2017 edition when they were each given the white dialed version of this very watch. The two-tone is truly a classic. As an aside, in the mid-1960s full retail on a Daytona was $210 USD including federal tax, and jewelers were discounting that because no one wanted them. A vintage reference Daytona will set you back low-mid six figures at auction these days and that's for a watch you wear gingerly or perhaps not at all. The 116503 has survived decades of use and love and fashion and trends, and even car races. It will not let you down.

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