Rolex Daytona Ceramic Models History

 

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is one of the few watches that can truly be called an icon. Launched in 1963, the evolution of the Daytona has been gradual and subtle, which has contributed greatly to its enduring appeal.

While the earliest versions of the Daytona saw little demand, its major redesign in the 1980s, and its connection to Hollywood and racing legend Paul Newman, changed its course. Today, Rolex Daytona watches, vintage and modern, are the most sacred watch to collectors.

The latest generation of the Daytona – in particular, the stainless steel ceramic bezel version – have been notoriously difficult to obtain. The highly anticipated ref 116500LN made its debut in 2016, and until today, is still one of the most popular sports watches around.

 

We’ll take a closer look at the alluring ceramic Daytona, and trace back the history of ceramic bezel Daytona watches.

 

Everose Ceramic
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rose Gold Everose Mens Watch 116515

ROLEX DAYTONA CERAMIC IN EVEROSE (2011)

While the 116500LN is undoubtedly the most popular ceramic Daytona, it was not the first to be equipped with the Cerachrom bezel. That honor goes to the 2011 Everose Daytona.

It was not just the first Daytona to have the Cerachrom bezel but also the first to have a single piece of ceramic holding the crystal in place to ensure waterproofness, instead of the more commonly used Cerachrom insert.

This version was released in Baselworld 2011, with a cream dial version and a chocolate dial version. Today, it comes with a choice of a leather or Oysterflex rubber bracelet.

 

Platinum Ceramic
Rolex Daytona 50th Anniversary Platinum 116506. photo: Rolex

ROLEX DAYTONA CERAMIC IN PLATINUM (2013)

The year 2013 was the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Daytona; and the expectations were quite high. Most predictions anticipated a modern version of the first Daytona — the rugged looking stainless steel 6263 but with a Cerachrom bezel. Instead, Rolex released an ultra luxurious platinum watch.

The Platinum Rolex Daytona ref 116506 is as luxurious as they come. It comes in a case made entirely of 950 platinum, paired with a chestnut brown Cerachrom bezel. Matching lacquered brown subdials sit perfectly on the beautiful ice-blue dial.

While it defied all expectations for a milestone Daytona, what Rolex actually did was create a unique collector’s piece that true Rolex Daytona fans will simply have to own.

 

Stainless Steel Ceramic
Rolex Daytona Ceramic Bezel White Dial Mens Watch 116500

ROLEX DAYTONA CERAMIC IN STEEL (2016)

Four years ago in 2016, the highly anticipated stainless steel, ceramic bezel Daytona finally appeared, much to the delight of watch fans. Today, it’s still one of the hottest watches in the world.

What makes it so desirable, is that it connects almost six decades of the Rolex Daytona in one watch. Many of its traits are visual references to iconic Rolex Daytonas of the past, combined with advancements of modern Daytonas.

The black bezel, screw down pushers and red Daytona logo were directly inspired by historic Big Red Daytona models like the 6263 and 6265.

Meanwhile, the black Cerachrom bezel gives it a sharp look, while the PVD treatment for the numerals give off a beautiful lustre. The watch comes in two versions — a white dial, and a black dial, both with perfectly contrasting bezels and subdials.

 


 

While ceramic bezel Rolex Daytonas have been difficult to come by, they are available at SwissWatchExpo. They do sell quickly, so don’t wait for your chance to admire these beauties on your wrist.

 

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