Nowadays, the Daytona is one of Rolex’s most popular models. But this wasn’t the case when the brand first introduced the Daytona to the world in 1963. In the beginning, it was actually quite tough to sell the Daytona, because the market wasn’t a big fan of the manual wind movement manufactured by Valjoux. But that all changed when Rolex started to use automatic winding movements from Zenith ( – don’t worry, meanwhile Rolex produces its own movements). The rest is history – since then, the Daytona has become a must-have for any watch collector.
The timepiece captivates due its classic design, the perfect size in diameter as well as its perfect height. Changes between editions are quite rare (Rolex stores currently sell the third generation) which is why the watch keeps its value over time or even increases it. This fact brings us to the Rolex Daytona reference 16520 with the Patrizzi Dial which currently has a market price of approximately CHF 35,000 – 55,000 CHF, depending on the conditions of the watch.
The Daytona reference 16520s have an automatic winding movement which was externally manufactured by Zenith, originally for the company’s “El Primero” watch (Rolex has since moved to producing its own movements for watches). The all-steel models were produced with either a black or white dial but the Patrizzi Dial uniquely appears on the black version.
What makes the Rolex Daytona with Patrizzi Dial so special is that the silver outer tracks on the iconic sub dials transform into shades of brown over time (see picture). This happens because an organic varnish was used to protect the face of the Rolex Daytona reference 16520s made between 1994 and 1995. Undetected by Rolex’s quality management at that time, the varnish did not cover the dial amply enough and the outer tracks started to oxidize. Osvaldo Patrizzi is the first person who ever recognized this production mistake and, ever since, the watch has been known in the vintage watch world as the Rolex Daytona with Patrizzi Dial.
What collectors love about the watch is that the process continues over time and doesn’t stabilize, since the dial reacts to UV rays. This means every Daytona with Patrizzi Dial is unique – and for collectors, unique means expensive.
Want to buy one? Let us know!
Daytona ref. 16520
approximately CHF 35,000 – 55,000 depending on the condition
40mm wide, 12.2mm thick
When to wear:
The steal case makes it quite useful to wear the watch with smart causal / business casual outfits. You never go wrong with a steel Daytona, especially if it’s a Patrizzi. It is definitely a good starting point for a conversation with other watch lovers!
What we love about the watch:
The effect of the silver outer tracks oxidizing to shades of brown over time. The older the watch, the bigger the effect. Each dial is unique and it is a must have in any vintage watch collection.
Image: Bert Buijsrogge, https://100percentpassion.net/2015/07/25/die-verschiedenen-gesichter-der-rolex-daytona-ref-16520/