Since it was first launched in 1963, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch has remained iconic in the world of motorsport, truly living up to its name which pays tribute to the birthplace of professional racing – Daytona, FL. Inspired by a passion for speed and racing, Rolex introduced the Cosmograph Daytona – better known as the Daytona – with the needs of professional racecar drivers in mind. The creation and evolution of the Daytona collection has embodied Rolex’s partnership with the world of motorsport over the years, ever since the opening of the Daytona International Speedway in 1959. This collaboration was further solidified in 2013, when Rolex became the Global Partner and the Official Timepiece of Formula 1.
The reference numbers for the Daytona collection include: 116599, 116598, 116589, 116528, 116523, 116520, 116519, 116518, 116515, 116509, 116505, 16528, 16523, 16520, 16519, 16518, 16515, 6265, 6264, 6263, 6262, 6241, 6240, 6239
The Daytona is a popular Rolex of choice, adorning the wrists of celebrities like NBA legend Michael Jordan, former Spice Girl and fashion icon Victoria Beckham, singer and songwriter John Legend, former NFL player and morning show co-host Michael Strahan, and actress, Sofia Vergara. Another big fan of the Daytona is rapper and producer, Jay Z – who, at his annual Shawn Carter Foundation Gala in 2019, very generously gifted each of his invitees with an 18k Everose gold Daytona watch.
The Daytona was largely made popular by actor, director, and racecar driver, Paul Newman, who owned and frequently wore Rolex Daytona watches in movies and when racing cars. Rolex has since modeled some of their rarest Daytonas after these famous watches, affectionately named Paul Newman Daytonas. One of them, the Daytona ref. 6239, ended up being the most expensive watch ever sold – selling at $17.8 million at the Phillips Auction in 2017. These models are distinguishable by what is referred to as an ‘exotic’ or ‘Paul Newman’ dial, with a number of subtle features that only the keenest of watch collectors will notice. With only about 2,000-3,000 of these special edition vintage models in rotation worldwide, they are some of the most coveted Rolex pieces on the pre-owned market, consistently selling for as much as six figures at auctions.
FAQs about the Daytona
Q: How much is a Rolex Daytona?
A: As with all Rolex collections, the price value for a Rolex Daytona varies quite a bit depending on many factors like a watch’s age, model, materials, and condition. Currently, the Daytona models on the Rolex website range between $13,150 and $45,600, with 2 models of the ice-blue Daytona 116506 with “price on request” only. As aforementioned, the most expensive Daytona ever sold was one of Paul Newman’s himself, which auctioned off at $17.8 million.
Q: How to get a Rolex Daytona
A: Rolex Daytonas are extremely rare and almost impossible to find outside of the secondary market. It is highly unlikely to be able to walk into a luxury boutique shop and find a Daytona for sale, as the demand for them is extremely high and not only are their waitlists for them but they are expected to sell at more than double the retail price.
Q: Who won the Rolex at Daytona 2020?
A: In January 2020, Wayne Taylor Racing – with team members Kamui Kobayashi, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, and Renger van der Zande – won the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, earning them their second straight win and fourth overall win as a team.