The Cosmograph Daytona made its debut in 1963 as the watch of professional race drivers. Named after the internationally known U.S. racing circuit, this watch is simply known as the “Daytona” and also the quintessential Rolex chronograph. This watch was specifically designed to meet the needs of professional race car drivers and has gone through significant design and functional updates since it was first launched to give it the matchless precision, efficiency, and critical reliability.
Rolex’s Daytona has also made a name for itself in the racing world. The Daytona International Speedway first launched its Rolex 24 endurance race in 1962, a year before the release of the Cosmograph Daytona. Rolex became the official timepiece of the Daytona International Speedway, and to honor its history-making ties with American race car driving, it named the Cosmograph after one of the world’s fastest super speedways.
Cerachrom Bezel - The Daytona bezel is made of monobloc Cerachrom in black ceramic, which is reminiscent of the bezels on 1965 models that featured black Plexiglass inserts. On the Cerachrom bezel is a graduated tachymetric scale numbered from 60 to 400 that allows average driving speeds to be measured up to 400 units of distance per hour. The units of distance can be either miles or kilometers, offering convenient versatility that accommodates the unit-measuring requirements of different drivers and races. The numeral and increment engravings of the scale are finely layered with 18 ct gold or platinum through a process called Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) to provide long-lasting legibility. The bezel color is also long-lasting thanks to its UV-ray insensitivity. Also equipped with corrosion and scratch-resistant properties, this solid unit block bezel is what holds the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal onto the case with water-tight security.
Screw-Down Pushers - A unique feature of the Cosmograph Daytona is the screw-down capability of its pusher buttons. Screw-down pushers first came out on the 1965 Daytona model, replacing the standard pump pushers on previous models. These innovative pushers feature a threaded pattern around the entire circumference of the button that allows the pusher to be screwed down and tucked away when not in use to prevent accidental manipulation. With up to 100-metre water-resistance when screwed down, the pusher buttons are easy-to-use, requiring only one click to instantly start, stop, or reset the chronograph functions.
Calibre 4130 - The Daytona’s self-winding Calibre 4130 mechanical chronograph movement was an upgrade from the watch’s already impressive previous movement. Calibre 4030, its predecessor released in 1988, came out at a time when quartz-powered watch movements were becoming popular. However, Rolex stayed committed to the craft of mechanical watch movements and did an overhaul on the Daytona. It was with Calibre 4030 that the Daytona first featured a self-winding module with Perpetual rotor, along with other features like a hairspring with a Breguet overcoil, Microstella regulating nuts, and an oscillator with a variable inertia balance wheel.
New-generation Calibre 4130 came out in 2000 and was designed in-house by Rolex specifically for the Daytona. Also a self-winding movement with a Perpetual rotor, the 4130 was designed with 60% fewer components for its chronograph function and boasted a power reserve increase from 50 to 72 hours. This reliable chronograph possesses a mechanism with a column wheel and vertical clutch instead of a horizontal clutch that activate precise, instant start timings. The oscillator includes the Rolex-patented blue Parachrom hairspring that withstands the effects of magnetic fields and temperature changes and remains up to 10 times more precision than standard hairsprings under shock.
Chronograph Functions/Sub-Dials - Displayed inside the dial are features and functions at the heart of what makes the Daytona the ultimate, high-precision chronograph. Centered in the dial are hour, minute, and seconds hands, with the arrow-tipped central sweep seconds hand providing readings that are accurate to ⅛ of a second.
Oysterflex Bracelet and Safety Clasp - Newer models of the Daytona come fitted with the sporty Oysterflex bracelet. This durable strap is made of black elastomer reinforced internally with a titanium-nickel alloy metal blade. A resilient polymer, the durable elastomer is resistant to environmental elements and chemically inert, making it ideal for wearers with allergic sensitivity. The flexible metal blade is paired with a patented longitudinal cushion system inside the strap that provides comfort and stability on the wrist.