Enthusiasts had to be expecting something big from Rolex this year, and they just may have got what they were wishing for. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of its iconic Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, the brand revisited the entire range.
Synonymous with speed since its launch in 1963, the Cosmograph Daytona was designed for professional racing drivers. Its tachymetric bezel, in combination with its mechanical chronograph movement, was a track-side favourite in measuring time intervals and determining average speeds. Of course, a certain Hollywood actor may have helped drive the watch into legendary status. Nevertheless, today, it remains indelibly linked to the world of motorsport as it turns sixty years young.
To begin, this new generation of Daytona receives delicate refinements to both the dial and case. Harmonius colour combinations are the flavour of the day, highlighting the contrast between the dial and its registers. The archetypal Oyster case receives updates visible in light reflections on the lugs and case sides, as well. And those references employing the Cerachrom bezel will also be edged in a thin band of the same metal used in the midcase.
Rolex was among the pioneers in the development of the special Ceramics employed in the creation of monobloc bezels and inserts. Virtually scratchproof, their colours offer up a rare intensity which is highly resistant to impacts from the environment. They are essentially inert and, therefore, cannot corrode.
In particular, the Cosmograph Daytona in 950 platinum—recognizable by its ice blue dial—receives a transparent case back and an oscillating weight fashioned from 18 karat yellow gold. It also sports a monobloc Cerachrom bezel in chestnut brown. The variants in Oystersteel (white lacquer dial) and 18 karat gold (gold dial) are equipped with black Cerachrom. The graduations in the tachymetric scale are treated with a thin layer of platinum or yellow gold through a PVD process.
The 40 mm Oyster case of this latest generation is rated to 100m of water resistance. The mid-case is milled from a solid block of Oystersteel, 18 karat yellow yellow, Everose gold, or 950 platinum, depending upon the variant. The caseback is fluted and hermetically screwed down. Nestled among asymmetrical guards, the crown is equipped with a Triplock winding system and screws down like the pushers, themselves. The crystal is sapphire and is treated with AR.
The movement at heart of this latest iteration is the calibre 4131—an evolution of the 4130, incorporating Rolex’s proprietary Chronergy escapement and a vertical clutch column-wheel mechanism. The patented Chronergy escapement, which is made of nickel-phosphorus, is highly resistant to strong magnetic fields—as is the blue Parachrom hairspring, not mention less vulnerable to temperature changes and sudden shocks. Aesthetically, the calibre boasts a cut-out oscillating weight and entirely new finishes–particularly on the bridges, which feature Rolex Côtes de Genève. It will, of course, carry the Superlative Chronometer certification and offer up 72-hours of power reserve.
The new Cosmograph Daytona in 950 platinum, the Oystersteel, and the yellow Rolesor model will all be fitted on an Oyster bracelet. As will the variant in 18 karat Everose gold. However, the 18 karat yellow gold reference will receive an Oysterflex. Both bracelets use the Oysterlock safety clasp. The Oyster bracelet makes use of the Easylink adjustment system, while the Oysterflex is equipped with the Rolex Glidelock extension system. This allows the bracelet to be adjusted up to 15mm.
For pricing and further information, please visit the brand website.
About the author
Brent Robillard is a writer, educator, craftsman, and watch enthusiast. He is the author of four novels. You can follow him on Instagram.
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5 thoughts on “On Spec: The 2023 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona”
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More Daytona(s) are great – but they’re still unattainable..
Opening up the caseback was an unforeseen move by Rolex!
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I dig the Daytona in many of its iterations, especially vintage, even though only seeing 1 in my life…a zenith with steel bezel and white dial. I like the history behind it as well. Should they be so astronomically priced?? Hell no. Do they earn that right to be?? Probably
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They have certainly left the realm of the everyman