Even though the Cosmograph Daytona was launched in 1963, Rolex’s roots in motorsports can be traced back decades prior. In the early 1900s, Daytona beach became a favorite location among drivers, as its hard-packed sand provided an ideal surface to speed past world records. The man known as the king of speed, Malcolm Campbell, owned several impressive records, including the World Land Speed Record. He wore an early Rolex Oyster watch when he set his records, which was both a testament to the durability of Rolex watches and the establishment of a permanent bond between Rolex and motorsports. When the Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, Rolex became the official timepiece of the circuit and held this title ever since. When Rolex re-launched their chronograph watch in 1963, you may not be shocked to hear that it was named after the Speedway, thus, the Cosmograph Daytona.
Unlike many of their models including dive watches and GMTs, this is the only chronograph that Rolex produces. Likewise, there really are not alternatives in the Rolex catalogue for these pieces – if you want a chronograph, you need a Daytona. Rolex is a company that established itself through innovations that aided in their creation of what weren’t luxury products, but rather high-quality tools that tell the time. The Cosmograph Daytona watches were built for motorsport athletes as a way to track their speed and distance. Traveling at hundreds of miles per hour, there is no room for error. Over the years, the Cosmograph Daytona has withstood the test of time, both in its legible design and movement durability.
In today’s market, the Daytona is one of the hottest, most in-demand Rolex models, and as such, finding one available at an authorized dealer is very unlikely. If you can manage to work your way on to a waiting list, you may get a call in two years. So, the pre-owned route may be your best bet. With Watchbox’s ever-growing global inventory tapping into world-wide markets, they are a great place to start seeking out your Rolex Daytona!
The Cosmograph Daytona is Rolex’s racing-inspired chronograph, often referred to simply as the “Daytona” for short. A chronograph is an impressive complication which adds a stopwatch feature to a watch. The two hallmarks of the Daytona models are the three sub dials and fixed bezel complete with tachymetric scale. The evenly distributed sub dials allow the Daytona to maintain its well-loved, balanced, symmetrical dial. The sub dials are purpose-driven however, used to let the wearer track elapsed minutes on both a 30-minute and 12-hour totalizer. The third sub dial is reserved for the sweeping seconds hand associated with the hour and minute hands. The chronograph works in conjunction with the scale on the bezel to calculate speed or distance traveled.