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Rolex > Men's > Cosmograph Daytona

About Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona - the Rolex for those who have a need for speed

The Cosmograph Daytona is a line of mechanical chronograph wristwatches from the Swiss luxury watchmaker Rolex. It was first released in 1963 and since had three distinct generations, the second series introduced in 1988, and the third in 2000. The Daytona was released to celebrate Rolex becoming the official timekeeper of the Daytona Internation Speedway a year previous, naming the watch after the NASCAR track. In addition to its chronograph, the Cosmograph Daytona also features a bezel engraved a tachymeter. Rolex designed the Daytona with racing drivers in mind, making it the perfect timepiece for those who have a need for speed.


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Men's > Cosmograph Daytona

A watch that had all the features of the Cosmograph Daytona was released in 1961, however, the watch did not use this name. It wasn't until a year later in 1963 where the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona made its debut, its name tribute to the Daytona International Speedway, a racetrack that Rolex was the official timekeeper. In addition to the Daytona's signature mechanical chronograph, the first Cosmograph Daytona also featured two telemeter scales on the outer chapter ring and the inner chapter ring of the watch.

The original series of the Cosmograph Daytona was produced in relatively small quantities from when it was first released in 1963 to the late 1980s. These models had a four-digit model number and a manual wind movement - these two features being what differentiates the original series from the two later generations. The second series of the Daytona was released in 1988 with the first watch in this generation being the Reference 16520. These second-series Daytonas used a sapphire crystal and were able to keep the time much more accurately. The third and current series which was introduced in 2000 has a mechanical movement designed and manufactured by Rolex and a six-digit model number. The newest models of the Cosmograph Daytona are self-winding chronometers and production of the watches are limited to a few thousand per annum.

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is popular with Rolex and watches collectors, with the "Paul Newman" or "Exotic" dial versions of the watch being some of the most sought-after. The "Paul Newman" watches are so named after the American actor and racing driver of the same name. The legend goes that Newman's wife Joanne Woodward gave him one of the watches as a gift when he took up car racing. Paul Newman wore the "exotic" dial model, which were slower to sell compared to the standard dial. In 2017, Paul Newman's very own Daytona was auctioned off for 17 million USD, making it the second most expensive watch ever sold at auction.