4 Things We Like About The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona In Platinum
DECEMBER 21, 2019
Launched in 2013, the platinum version of the sporty chronograph with an ice blue dial was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the icon. Today, it remains a firm favourite
The city of Daytona Beach in Florida, USA is widely known as the world capital of speed with motor races on the sandy strip as early as 1903 and with several world land speed records broken there. The beach’s links with speed and endurance are inextricable—the same way Rolex and automobile racing are. The watchmaker has been partnering the world of motor sports since 1930s and is currently the Global Partner and Official Timepiece of Formula 1. So it’s natural that Rolex has a timepiece inspired by and dedicated to the adrenalin-laced world of speed.
Birth of a Legend
Enter the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. Introduced in 1963, the chronograph, affectionately known simply as “Daytona” among watch enthusiasts, is designed to meet the demands of professional racers. Even till today, the iconic model remains one of the most well-known chronographs in the world.
In 2013, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sporty ticker, Rolex introduced the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Ref 116506, a platinum version of the chronograph that comes with a chestnut brown monobloc Cerachrom bezel in high-tech ceramic and an ice blue dial. While it is not common or conventional for a tool watch to be made of platinum—most are constructed out of stainless steel to withstand daily rigours—the Daytona Ref 116506 received rave reviews from the cognoscenti for its rarity and handsome aesthetics. Six years on, it remains highly sought-after and here, we list four reasons why its popularity among connoisseurs remains sky-high.
For the 50th anniversary of the Cosmograph Daytona, many had expected Rolex to release an Oystersteel model in reference to the earliest models, which were mostly constructed in the sturdy and versatile metal. Instead, the watchmaker went for luxury and chose 950 platinum, which is one of the world’s rarest and most precious elements—out of 94 natural elements in Earth’s crust, it is the 72nd most common. Because of it being a noble metal, it is unreactive, and hence, not susceptible to rust or tarnish—that explains the material’s high level of corrosion resistance. The case and bracelet is made entirely out of 950 platinum, which is a metallic composition of 950‰ (thousandths) of platinum combined with ruthenium. This way, the alloy is robust enough for case construction, while retaining the metal’s brilliance and shine. On the flipside, platinum, which is soft, elastic and malleable, is not easy to machine and polish. Thanks to the experience of the team of expert craftsmen and metalworkers at Rolex, crafting a case or bracelet is par for the course.
The platinum case of the Daytona Ref 116506 is matched with a chestnut brown monobloc Cerachrom bezel insert in ceramic with engraved numerals and graduations and an ice blue dial. While the ice blue shade is not particularly common among regular Rolex offerings, it is the colour used exclusively on platinum watch models. Also, the combination of chestnut brown and ice blue is not common but one that slowly grows on you. In fact, based on our interaction with horophiles and consumers, many have given the thumbs-up to the colour combination.
What drives this Daytona Ref 116506 is the calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement developed and manufactured by Rolex. Like all other Rolex Perpetual movements, it is COSC-certified, having passed the stringent accuracy and precision tests at the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) successfully. The movement boasts a precision standard of -2 and +2 sec/day and also some 72 hours of power reserve. Composed of only 290 components—far fewer than that in a regular chronograph movement—the calibre 4130 features a simpler yet more effective and efficient movement architecture. Of particular note is the employment of the blue Parachrom hairspring in the movement. Crafted from a paramagnetic alloy, the Parachrom hairspring is unaffected by magnetic fields and up to 10 times more shock-resistant than regular ones. All these factors make the calibre 4130 much more reliable than most of the chronograph movements in the market.
CIRCLE OF LIGHT
Like some of its other Professional siblings in the family, the Daytona Ref 116506 features a Cerachrom bezel, which is developed and patented by Rolex. It is not just a bezel constructed out of high-tech ceramic but it boasts a number of advantages. It is not only corrosion-resistant but its hardness makes it scratch-proof too. The Cerachrom bezel also keeps its colour despite the effects of ultra-violet rays. Legibility of the numerals on the tachymetric scale is extremely legible too. Being manufactured in a single piece, the Cerachrom bezel holds the sapphire crystal firmly in place on the middle case, ensuring the waterproofness of the case.
Oyster, 40 mm, platinum
Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown
Chestnut brown monobloc Cerachrom in ceramic with engraved numerals and graduations
Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system
Waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet
Perpetual, mechanical chronograph, self-winding
4130, Manufacture Rolex
-2/+2 sec/day, after casing
Centre hour, minute and seconds hands, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock. Chronograph (centre hand) accurate to within 1/8 of a second, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock. Stop seconds for precise time setting
Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring
Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor
Approximately 72 hours
Oyster, flat three-piece links
Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
Dial with snailed small counters
Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)
Tags: Cosmograph Daytona, Platinum
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