FREE SAME DAY SHIPPING | 18 - MONTH WARRANTY | 10-DAY LEADING RETURN POLICY

More than 100 New Arrivals available in Store and Online SHOP NOW

Welcome to the #1 Retailer of Pre-Owned Watches; Showroom Located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo of watch

Men's Daytona | Rolex Watch Collection

160 MATCHES FOUND

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is a mechanical chronograph watch designed to meet the needs of professional racing drivers. Introduced in 1963, it was named after the Daytona International Speedway, which was home to the most prestigious races of the time, and of which Rolex was the official timekeeper. The Rolex Daytona today is sought after for its trademark features: an Oyster case, tachymeter bezel, screw-down pushers, and an edgy, sport-oriented look. It remains a class of its own among other chronograph watches. Explore our collection of Rolex Daytona watches for men at SwissWatchExpo.com.

IN STOCK

SwissWatchExpo ARCHIVE - RECENTLY SOLD

Rolex Daytona Collection

Photo of Rolex Daytona watch

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, more popularly known as the Rolex Daytona, is widely considered as the most iconic and recognizable chronograph.

Launched in 1963, the Rolex Daytona was developed to meet the needs of professional race car drivers for a highly reliable tool, to measure elapsed time and calculate average speeds. The watch is named after Daytona, Florida, where passion for speed and racing developed in the early 20th century.

The Rolex Daytona has a long and colorful history, and a wide range of models that make collecting interesting and enjoyable. Due to its timeless design, it eventually gained fans beyond the racing circuit. Vintage Rolex Daytona models have consistently broken auction records, and waitlists for modern references have stayed consistent. Today, there is no other watch more pursued by collectors than the Rolex Daytona.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ROLEX DAYTONA

Many view the Rolex Daytona as the "Rolex chronograph", but the brand actually began producing chronograph watches in the 1930s. These early models were enclosed in conventional watch cases and not Rolex’s signature Oyster case, and only had single push buttons to start, stop and reset the timepiece.

During WWII, Rolex introduced its first Oyster-cased chronograph. This was followed by the ref 6234 in 1955 – a manual wind chronograph with the tachymeter scale on the inner ring. These models would become the basis of the Rolex Daytona.

Rolex became the official timekeeper of the Daytona International Speedway in 1962. To mark the occasion, the first Cosmograph model, the ref 6239 was nicknamed the "Daytona" to emphasize the brand’s affiliation with the prestigious race.

Created expressly for race car drivers, the 6239 had a larger tachymeter scale engraved on the metal bezel to enhance the legibility of the dial.

It wasn’t until 1965 that the "Daytona" name finally appeared also on the dial. In the same year, Rolex introduced the now iconic "exotic dial". Produced by Singer, a well-known manufacturer of watch dials during the era, it had distinct features such as Art Deco fonts and block hour markers.

The "exotic dials" eventually found a fan in movie star and racing enthusiast Paul Newman. He was gifted by his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, with a rare ref 6239 fitted with an "exotic" dial, which he would often be photographed with.

Its association with Paul Newman, the cult appeal of "exotic dials", coupled with the strong return of wristwatch collecting in the late 1980s, elevated the Daytona to become one of the most famous and collectible watches of all time.

Rolex continued to innovate and improve on the Daytona in the following decades.

In 1988, they introduced the second generation of the Daytona, the 16500 series. They introduced several novelties that we continue to see today, such as the larger 40 mm case diameter, the sapphire crystal that replaced the Plexiglas. This generation bridged that Daytona from the vintage to the contemporary era.

In 2000, after years of development, Rolex introduced the first Rolex Daytona powered by an in-house movement – the ref 116520 equipped with the Caliber 4130. This model marked the third and current generation of the Rolex Daytona with six-digit references.

Today, Rolex Daytona watches from every era remain highly sought after, whether brand new or pre-owned.


KEY FEATURES OF THE ROLEX DAYTONA

The Rolex Daytona is the ultimate luxury watch for those with a passion for driving and speed. Regardless of age or era, all Rolex Daytona watches are sports chronographs used to measure elapsed time and calculate average speeds. The features of the Rolex Daytona has evolved through the decades, but the following components remain:

TACHYMETRE BEZEL

The Rolex Daytona has always had a tachymeter scale, which is used to measure speed based on time traveled over a fixed distance. It appeared on the Rolex Daytona’s dial in earlier models, and was eventually transferred to the bezel to improve the dial’s legibility.

The material used for the tachymeter bezel also evolved through the years. The inaugural model, ref 6234, had a sister reference that had a black acrylic bezel.

In second generation Rolex Daytonas, the only option was tachymeter bezels made in metal. For the third generation of watches, Rolex introduced Cerachrom ceramic bezels, which are highly resistant to scratching and fading.

There are also rare and exclusive model references fitted with gem-set bezels, wherein the iconic tachymetric scale is swapped out for diamonds or other precious gems.

PUSHERS

Rolex’s first chronograph wristwatches had single push buttons on the side to start, stop and reset a separate second hand.

It was in 1965 that Rolex fitted screw down elements to the pushers on the Daytona, to improve water resistance and robustness. These would eventually become integral to the design.

The Rolex Daytona’s chronograph complication is activated by pushers that screw down when they are not in use. One press to start, stop or reset the chronograph produces a crisp, clear click.

CHRONOGRAPH SUBDIALS

The Rolex Daytona has two upper, contrasting subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock. The one at 3 o’clock registers the minutes, while the one at 9 o’clock registers the hours. The subdial at 6 o’clock indicates the running small seconds of the watch.

Before the year 2000s, the running seconds sub-dial was at the 9 o’clock position. It was moved down to the 6 o’clock spot to give the dial a better balance along its vertical axis.

OYSTER BRACELET

Lastly, all Rolex Daytona models are equipped with three-link Oyster bracelets, either in stainless steel, steel and gold, solid gold, or platinum. The only exception to these are 18k gold references that are fitted with either leather straps or Oysterflex rubber bracelets with matching 18k gold clasps.


EVOLUTION OF THE ROLEX DAYTONA

The Rolex Daytona has been manufactured by Rolex since 1963, with three generations into which all references fall under. Below are the defining characteristics of each generation:

FIRST GENERATION (1963 – 1988)
Reference Numbers: 6239, 6241, 6240, 6262, 6264, 6265, 6263 and 6269 / 6270
Movements: Valjoux 72, Valjoux 722, Valjoux 727

The original series of the Rolex Daytona had four-digit reference numbers and manual-wind movements. The movement sets this generation apart from the two succeeding series, which had self-wound movements. It was also during this generation that screw-down pushers and tachymeter bezels were introduced.

SECOND GENERATION (1988 – 1999)
Reference Numbers: 16520, 16523, 16528, 16518, 16568, 16519, 16588, 16589, 16559 and 16598
Movements: Caliber 4030

The second generation of the Rolex Daytona used five-digit reference numbers, and were the first to be equipped with self-winding movements. This generation is considered to be the transition of the Rolex Daytona from the vintage era to the modern era.

It was during this period that the following improvements were introduced:

  • increased case diameter from 37mm to 40mm
  • switch to sapphire crystal from acrylic crystals
  • hour markers changed from blocks to elongated arrow head markers
  • sub-dials with contrasting outer track

These changes put the Daytona towards a contemporary standard. However, the movement has yet to become completely in-house, as the Caliber 4130 was based on the Zenith El Primero’s Caliber 400 movement.

THIRD GENERATION (2000 – present)
Reference Numbers: 116500, 116503, 116515, 116505, 116508, 116518, 116519, 116509, 116506
Movements: Caliber 4130

The third generation of the Rolex Daytona was introduced in 2000, and remains in production today. This generation makes use of six-digit reference numbers, and were the first to be equipped with Rolex’s in-house chronograph movement, the Caliber 4130.

The series introduced the following features that we see in Rolex Daytona today:

  • introduction of the first models to be made in platinum, white gold & Everose gold
  • introduction of the first models to be equipped with Cerachrom ceramic bezels
  • introduction of the leather strap and Oysterflex strap options
  • running seconds sub-dial relocated from 9 o’clock to the 6 o’clock position


ROLEX DAYTONA REFERENCE NUMBERS

The table below shows the complete list of Rolex Daytona references through the years, from vintage 4 and 5-digit references, to the modern 6-digit models. Beginning with the 5-digit references, Rolex introduced a reference number system that indicates the model type, metal, and bezel color of the watch.

VINTAGE ROLEX DAYTONA REFERENCES

REFERENCE NUMBER YEAR PRODUCED MATERIAL
62391963 – 1969Steel, 14k Gold, 18k Gold
62411965 – 1969Steel, 14k Gold, 18k Gold
62401965 – 1969Steel,
62621970 – 1971Steel, 14k Gold, 18k Gold
62641970 – 1971Steel, 14k Gold, 18k Gold
62651971 – 1988Steel, 14k Gold, 18k Gold
62631971 – 1988Steel, 14k Gold, 18k Gold
6269 / 62701980 - 198918k gold
165201988Stainless Steel
165231988Stainless Steel, Yellow Gold
165281988Yellow Gold
165181992Yellow Gold
165681994Yellow Gold, Diamond Bezel
16568 EMRO1996Yellow Gold, Emerald Bezel
165191997White Gold
16588 SAFU1997Yellow Gold, Pink Sapphire Bezel
16589 BRIL1997White Gold, Diamond Bezel
16589 SAPH1997White Gold, Blue Sapphire Bezel
16589 RUBI1997White Gold, Ruby Bezel
16559 SAPH1998White Gold, Blue Sapphire Bezel
16559 RUBI1999White Gold, Ruby Bezel
16559 SACO1999White Gold, Red Sapphire Bezel
16598 EMRO1999Yellow Gold, Emerald Bezel


MODERN ROLEX DAYTONA REFERENCES

REFERENCE NUMBER YEAR PRODUCED MATERIAL
1165002000Stainless Steel
1165232000Stainless Steel, Yellow Gold
1165282000Yellow Gold
1165182000Yellow Gold
1165192000White Gold
1165682001Yellow Gold
1165092004White Gold
116598 SACO2004Yellow Gold
1165052008Everose Gold
116599 4RU2009White Gold
116589 RBR2009White Gold
116515 LN2011Everose Gold
116598 RBOW2012Yellow Gold
116599 RBOW2012White Gold
1165062013Platinum
116576 TBR2014Platinum
116500 LN2016Stainless Steel
1165032016Stainless Steel, Yellow Gold
1165082016Yellow Gold
116518 LN2017Yellow Gold
116519 LN2017White Gold
116515 LN2017Everose Gold
116595 RBOW2018Everose Gold
116578 SACO2019Yellow Gold
116588 SACO2019Yellow Gold
116588 TBR2019Yellow Gold

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ROLEX DAYTONA

The Rolex Daytona is the most famous chronograph watch of all time, and one of Rolex’s best-selling models. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Rolex Daytona.

WHAT IS A ROLEX DAYTONA?

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is the brand's chronograph watch, introduced in 1963. It is characterized by a tachymeter bezel, screw down pushers, and three chronograph sub-dials.

HOW CAN I TELL IF MY ROLEX DAYTONA IS REAL?

Because of the great demand for Rolex Daytona watches, they have become a target for counterfeiters. Each Rolex watch is made to the highest standards, and with top quality materials. If even a minute detail comes across as shoddy, you can be certain that it’s not the real deal.

When buying any luxury watch, it is essential to do research on your chosen model and reference. If you are familiar with its most minute details, then you can more easily spot a fake. Your best defense against buying a fake timepiece is to purchase your watch from a reputable and trusted dealer, who can provide a guarantee of authenticity on the watch.

WHY ARE ROLEX DAYTONA WATCHES DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN?

Rolex Daytona watches are difficult to come by because they are made with limited production runs. This is especially true for the earliest Daytona models. Because the Rolex Daytona wasn’t popular then, production numbers were also low.

Rolex Daytona watches are also known to have years-long waitlists. When a Rolex Daytona is introduced to the market, authorized dealers usually have a roster of clients who have reserved their slot to get the timepiece. This is where buying pre-owned presents many advantages – it opens up your options to include previous versions, limited editions, and even discontinued styles.

HOW DO I WIND A ROLEX DAYTONA?

Your watch has to be wound before being worn for the first time, or if it has stopped. To wind the watch, unscrew the winding crown until it pops out of its position and is free from the threads securing it onto the case. Then, turn it several times clockwise or away from you. At least 25 turns are recommended for adequate partial winding. The watch will stay wound automatically as long as it is worn on the wrist.