1963 - 623x, 624x & 626xs Newman Daytonas, Exotic Dials and some models not crazy popular watches in their day becoming hot vintage buys now
- Cosmograph. No Daytona on the dial initially. That came in 1964 onwards to denote Rolex's sponsorship of the 24hrs Daytona race in Daytona Beach, Florida.
- Valjoux 72 based calibre(there's a movement shot of this below). Diameter 36.5mm
- In the 80s because of the quartz invasion, Rolex just had to come out with a self winding chrono and so...
1988 - 16520 series launched: The 16520 was a highly popular series at launch and throughout its life with long wait lists(up to 5 years even) and people willingly paying premiums to jump the queue to own it. it wasn't surprising to hear some folks paying twice the retail price for them and it was(and still is) selling higher than the two tone(gold and steel) 16500 models.
- 4030 movement based off Zenith El Primero - hertz down from 36,000 to 28,800. Rolex said it was so that the movement could last longer between servicings. Escapement was changed to have a larger balance and has a Breguet overcoil balance spring and microstella fine adjustment screws (all for better accuracy)
- Mark I and II dials that are in the first series of the range have floating cosmograph i.e. there is a space between the cosmograph word and the 4/3 lines above
- late U series(1998) onwards started having the superluminova for the luminous bits. earlier dials also had more hash marks in the 30min register
- Dimensions: Lug width 20mm, Diameter 40mm. Bezel width 38.75mm, left side of the case to right end of crown 43mm. Thickness ~12.7 mm including crystal. Weight: 120g
2001 - 116520 series. no wait lists for these I would think and should be readily available at your nearby authorised or pre-owned dealer
- 4130 Rolex Manufacture movement. lesser parts than 4030, more part standardisation and easier serviceability (I wonder if it costs less to service based on this?)
- Parachrom hair spring: nice blue color(not that this matters yuh ;) and more anti-magnetic(this matters :)
- vertical clutch chrono reduces start stop jumps
- more solid bracelet and clasp
- running seconds at 6o'clock (vs 9 o'clock)
First some pics followed by my personal take on this piece
first thing you do when dealing with pre-owned Rolex is verify authenticity either at Rolex Service Centre or with trusted watch technicians... iphone shots of my watch movement as it underwent inspection
& it's legit! :) Cal. 4030, rhodium-plated, oeil-de-perdrix(read perlage) decoration, 31 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance adjusted to temperatures and 5 positions, shock absorber, self-compensating free-sprung Breguet balance spring, Microstella regulating screws
- Case and bracelet: the case and bracelet is finished well with a mix of brushed and polished finishings. my version is the 78390 bracelet(polished centre links) with the 503B end links so it's non solid end links(SEL) which means it may rattle a bit when shaken
Tomorrow, Christie's is having a major auction for Rolex Daytonas on 10 Nov - ROLEX DAYTONA "LESSON ONE" 50 EXCEPTIONAL EXAMPLES OF THE WORLD'S MOST CELEBRATED CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH LINK
one day maybe? ;)