3. December 2020

Rolex Daytona Ref. 116506 – The Hottest Chronograph Out There

The Daytona is arguably the hottest model in the Rolex product line, ranging from classic vintage piece like ref. 6264 John Player Special (which, by the way, is one of my grail pieces), the Daytona Patrizzi (click here to read the full article) and the platinum version with ice blue dial and baguette diamond hour markers.

The latter, which is also one of my grail timepieces, is currently available at Rolex stores. But how long that lasts after all the recent hype. The Daytona, which is named after the Daytona Beach race circuit where some of the most iconic race events of the past took place, is a chronograph timepiece that is recognizable by its additional pushers and sub-dials. As with all Daytona models, the watch features a 40mm diameter. The chestnut brown monobloc Cerachrom bezel looks really good on the ice blue dial – a color combination that wouldn’t necessarily seem flawless in my mind. However, it does look jaw-dropping on the Daytona.

Let’s have a closer look at the chronograph function. In the case of the Daytona, the seconds hand is located at the 6 o’clock sub-dial. To start the chronograph, you simply push the top pusher until you feel the click. This will immediately start the chrono-seconds-hand, which is located on the main dial, telling you how much time has passed since you pushed the button. The seconds hands (at 6 o’clock sub-dial) and the chrono-seconds-hand run now in parallel.

The minutes sub-dial is located at 3 o’clock and shows you the elapsed minutes. One full rotation of the chronograph hand allows the minute sub-dial to move one unit ahead.

To stop the chronograph running, you simply push the top button again. Now you can read the elapsed time. The bottom pusher is used to reset the chronograph. It’s always a good idea to make sure your watch his fully wound as this ensures optimal performance for the chronograph.

The engraved tachymetric scale on the bezel is designed to measure the speed of something or the speed at which someone is traveling over a certain known distance. It can be used to count the average amount of time it takes to do anything over a period of 1 hour. For example, if you are at the racing circuit and you want to know the how fast the driver goes around the track. You know that the track is exactly 1.5-kilometer long and the driver has a constant speed. You measure a time of 30 seconds for one full lap with a distance 1.5 kilometers. The tachymeter on the brown bezel shows you 120 (units per hour). Since the driver passed 1.5 units (in this case kilometers) you multiple 120 by 1.5, which results in an average speed of 180 km/h. Simple as that.

Back to the looks. My favorite thing about this Daytona are the 11 baguette diamond hour markers. They give the watch a bit more class in comparison the “standard” platinum version with Chromalight index hour markers (as if there was a standard platinum Daytona). The timepiece is sometimes referred to as the “Baguette Daytona” and goes under reference 116506-0002 (or 116506 ID). The luxury timepiece comes with the platinum Oyster bracelet and is powered by the self-winding 4130 caliber with -2/+2 sec/day precision and a power reserve of 72 hours.

Initially Rolex released the platinum version to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Daytona. Now, the watch is one of the most sought-after Rolex watches on the market. Our friend and collector, you might now him under his IG name @watchrookiee , has one of these stunning pieces. He and talented @imwvp got together to shoot the fantastic pictures of this jaw-dropping masterpiece. I hope you enjoyed them.

Photography: @imwvp for @watchrookiee