The mid-80s Daytonas are the most modern vintage Daytonas you can get. They look great! One special version that stands out among the regular versions is the Ref. 6263 with a black and white Exotic dial. The dial loses the red elements found in previous “Paul Newman” models, but the result is, in my opinion, one of the best-looking Daytonas. It has a seriousness to it that I like compared to the frivolity of exotic dials with red accents. Because they are rare, they are among the most popular and expensive replica Rolex Daytona models. The plain silver and black dial versions form the perfect bridge between the old and new or hand-wound and automatic models. Their prices start at around 80,000 euros and go up to several hundred thousand euros for the rarer versions.
Now let’s take a look at the first watch to appear in these top five lists for the second time. If you are a regular reader of this series, I also put the Rolex Daytona ref. 16520 in the list of the most important Zenith El Primero references. And with the dawn of a new era came a new movement and a new design. When fake Rolex launched Ref. 16520, it was clear that it was not just another incremental evolution for the brand. The new Daytona introduced a new, larger 39mm case, an updated bezel design, a new strap and a new movement.
Rolex also introduced a two-tone (steel and gold) version of the Daytona ref along with the stainless steel model. 16523 and a yellow-gold version of Ref. 16528. But it’s all about the stainless steel model, which comes with a black or white dial and a hint of the “Daytona” name in red above the 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock. Inside the case, Rolex presents its new 4030 calibre. This automatic chronograph movement is based on the famous Zenith El Primero. Rolex reduced the operating frequency from 36,000vph to 28,800vph, eliminated the date function, modified the escapement and replaced the hairspring. All of this has made the movement more reliable.
The successor to the “Zenith Daytona” introduced Rolex’s first in-house manufactured chronograph movement. As such, it is a monumental version of the Rolex Daytona collection. The model 116520 was introduced in 2000, ensuring that from that moment on, every Rolex watch was made entirely in-house. The Model 116520 is available in black or white. Our very own Ben Hodges is proud to own a white dial version. When it comes to specifications, you get a standard set of specifications that most of you will know by heart. The watch comes in a “40mm” case and is 12mm thick. But as Ben says in his review, the actual size is smaller than Rolex indicates, at about 38.5 mm.