The Rolex Daytona, released in 1964, is named after the international speedway where Rolex is the official timepiece.
Designed for motor racing, the watch features a tachometer engraved on the bezel for easy MPH reading and has one-minute, 30-minute and 12-hour registers. Its sweep second hand times to 1/5 of a second.
The Daytona was the first time Rolex has used inverse colours for sub-dials, and saw the tachometer moved from the dial to the bezel.
Ref. 6239. Circa 1964. Cal. 722 mechanical movement. Subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30 minutes, and 12 hours registers. Tonneau-shaped, water-resistant case, bezel calibrated for 300 units per hour. Screw back, screw down crown, two chronograph buttons.
Price (2004): $22,000
Price (2014): $35,000
The Picollecta Rare Watch Index tracks the value of popular collectible watches that are regularly traded around the world, using analysis of auctions and private sales, in addition to expert opinion.
Values shown are reflective of a very good/excellent condition example – unless otherwise stated.
Rolex was founded in London, England by Hans Wildorf and Alfred Davis in 1905 as Wilsdorf and Davis, before moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 1919.
The earliest watches produced by the company were made with imported Swiss movements from Herman Aegler, who placed then in cases made by external suppliers and sold them to jewellers, who would add their names to the dial.
The registered trademark Rolex did not appear until 1908, when the company opened an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Rolex let England due to wartime taxes and the high cost of import and export duties, establishing a head office in Geneva as the Rolex Watch Company. The business was later changed to Montres Rolex SA and finally Rolex SA.
After Hans Wilsdorf left all his shares to charity in 1944, the company has been privately owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation.
The company's reputation first began to grow when a Rolex watch was presented with a Class A precision certificate by the Kew Observatory – an award usually reserved for marine chronometers.
Other notable innovations include; the first waterproof wristwatch, the first wristwatch with an automatically changing date on the dial, the first wristwatch case waterproof to 100m, the first wristwatch to show two time zones at once, and the first wristwatch with an automatically changing day and date on the dial.
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