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The passion for the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, a wonderful story between speed and wheels
A watch case widely accepted today, but little appreciated in the 60s of the last century, is the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. It is one of the icons of the watch industry and for this reason, highly appreciated and requested by men around the world.
Its history goes back to the relationship of Rolex with the world of the motor and passes through a significant character, Paul Newman, both are part of this story that sparked the furor and the wait to be able to have one.
Hans Wilsford, Malcom Campbell and Rolex, a trio of respect
Everyone knows Hans Wilsford’s passion for self-improvement and in his endeavor to possess Rolex, he used as a strategy the link with men who challenged themselves in great projects. One of these edges was the world of motorsport.
During the 30 ‘s , the company partnered with leading figures from the world of the automobile , as Malcom Campbell, who was able to break the world speed record 9 times between the years 1924 and 1935 . Almost all of these records were implanted on the beaches of Daytona.
Wilsdorf was impressed with those accomplishments and the broker’s own lifestyle, which was very much like Rolex, so he selected him to become the first true Rolex ambassador.
Rolex and Daytona
This association lasted many years and even launched a Rolex Malcolm Campbell model with his name on the dial. After the 9 speed records in the Daytona arena, Campbell decided to leave hisdue to the poor condition of the track and moved to Bonneville Salt Flats, where he established his best record with a Rolex Oyster on his wrist.
All this led to the pilots leaving Daytona, a city that saw its popularity and privileges in danger, but the authorities, foreseeing the future, also used their strategies.
They maintained Daytona as the winter hub of American competition, organized races, and after World War II the races were reorganized on the Daytona Beach Circuit . There the NASCAR Strictly Stock was raced, today the NASCAR Cup, and Daytona hosted the last race in 1958.
Then the races began to be played at the Daytona International Speedway a superspeedway 2 miles long, the beach continued to be used for testing high speed until the year 1961.
But it was in 1959 when Rolex began its relationship with Daytona International Speedway, and years later, 1992 to be specific, it became an official sponsor of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Today is one of the most prestigious races in its class alongside the 24 Hours of Le Mans, also sponsored by Rolex since 2001.
The first Rolex chronograph models are from the 1930s. It was well received, but its limitations were evident. Thus it evolved very quickly and at the end of the decade it launched a chronograph with two buttons, to stop time and continue it later without having to restart the account. Then, it incorporated the famous Oyster crown into the 3462 model, a fact that marked a before and an after in Rolex history.
Then came the Oyster Chronograph during World War II, with two push buttons, the central crown and the 30-minute subdial. Then they added a third 12-hour counter in the late 1940s, with which the base structure of the Rolex chronograph was established . The Rolex chronograph is considered the grandfather of the modern Rolex Daytona.
Chronographs were not the most popular models and were produced in limited quantities because they were considered too expensive by customers and with little practicality. The first Cosmograph was known in Italy as the pre-Cosmograph Daytona, it was the last Rolex with a tachymeter scale on the dial, and the first to bear the name of Cosmograph. Two years later, Rolex launched the first Cosmograph Daytona wristwatches.
Three stages distinguish the evolution of the Rolex Daytona:
– (1963-1988 ) It used a 37mm case and Rolex 722 and 727 (Valjoux) movement with manual loading.
– (1988-2000 ) It had a 40mm case and a self-loading Rolex 4030 (Valjoux) movement.
Starting in 2000, it uses a 40mm case and manufactured Rolex 4130 movement.
Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona
The Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona came on the market in 1970. It was an improved watch, with threaded chronograph push buttons , better water resistance, new caliber, black bezel and the word “Oyster” preceding “Cosmograph”.
Jump to popularity
The Rolex Daytona reached its fame and great success when Rolex announced that models manufactured prior mind would be discontinued and launch a new model to the market, which occurred in 1988.
It was the first automatic Daytona, and the only chronometric certified stainless steel model. Rolex added the words Oyster Perpetual and superlative chronometer officially certified to its dial. The current design has practically only changed since then by the use of new materials and combinations.
Paul Newman, unofficial Daytona ambassador
Some believe that the Daytona Paul Newman exists , but it is not, there is no model with this name. The truth is that by popular association of the actor’s name, his passion for the Rolex Daytona and his appearance in the movie Winning released in 1969, many people believe otherwise.
Newman decided to become a professional runner in 1972 and his wife gave him one, he never parted with it. He wore it when he won the runner-up at Le Mans, when he received the Golden Globes, Oscars and other recognitions for his work. In 2017, the watch was auctioned for € 15.3 million, making it the most expensive watch in the world.
How is a Rolex Daytona?
The Rolex Daytona can be found in stainless steel, gold and a combination of both. The gold models, in turn, can be white, yellow and pink and there is a model in platinum, of course the most expensive.
It has luminous markings for hours and numerals marks for second in the field and has a small second s eparado of the main assembly, also has a counter thirty minutes.
The model is highly appreciated by amateur motorists and professionals to have a second hand plant and luminous hands indicating the minute and hour, ideal for controlling time .
The Rolex Daytona has bracelet and close Oyster, very safe and overall look elegant, functional and confortable. Some editions replace metal for a rubber belt . Due to its size, the box is perfect for medium or large dolls. It can be worn with a suit or with casual clothes.
It is an automatic model but faithful to the mechanical style . The box has a larger main spring allowing to reserve the energy at 72 hours.