Daytona and Carrera: More Alike Than You Know

The Rolex Daytona and the Tag Heuer Carrera – two of the world’s most important sports watches – are hardly ever compared.

They have evolved through the years to be completely recognizable from each other, but we dug a little into their past and discovered that aside from being icons, they share common history.
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Here are five things they have in common:
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1. They share the same anniversary and both celebrate their 55th year in 2018. Both watches actually hit the stores in 1964, but some models were leaked in the market in 1963, making it their official launch year.
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2. Both were named after prestigious automobile races. This is probably the most obvious similarity. The Carrera was a tribute to what was then the world’s most dangerous race – the Mexican “Carrera Panamericana”. The Daytona, meanwhile, was named after the Daytona International Speedway race, where Rolex served as the official timekeeper in 1962.
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3. The original Daytona and Carrera dials were made by the same manufacturer, and they ran on the same calibre – the Valjoux 72. While it has become increasingly common for watches to be made in-house today, watch parts in the 1960s were still sourced from suppliers.

The dials of the Daytona and Carrera were made by Singer, while their calibre or movements were made by Valjoux. Interestingly, Omega Speedmaster watches of the same period also had their dials made by Singer.

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4. Because they had the same supplier, they used the same exact hour markers, milled registers and numerals on the milled registers, which as mentioned, were made by Singer. The most obvious difference between early models is that the Carrera did not have contrasting sub-dials like the Daytona’s.

5. Despite these similarities, both watches stayed true to their brand’s DNA. The Daytona retained the external bezel and stainless steel case of previous Rolex chronographs, while the Carrera had an angular case, no external bezel, and beveled lugs, like previous Heuer chronographs.

Today, the Rolex Daytona and the Tag Heuer Carrera are both icons in their own right. Both have been instrumental in shaping the world mechanical watches, and even motor racing, and will do so for many more years.

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SEE MORE OF THE WATCHES IN OUR VIDEO:

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PHOTO CREDITS: Heuer Carrera 1964 By By Jeff stein [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons / Carrera Panamericana-Mexico 1952 By Cete at German Wikipedia. (Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons.), CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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