The Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona is the consummate Rolex Chronograph
The Rolex Daytona watch – EFFICIENT , PRECISE , LEGIBLE , ROBUST , RELIABLE ,WATERPROOF AND SELF-W IND ING , IT IS ALSO COMFORTABLE , ELEGANT AND TIMELESS . JUDGING BY THE SUCCESS AND OUTSTANDING REPUTATION WORLDWIDE OF TH IS PERFECT ALCHEMY OF FORM AND FUNCTION , IT IS CONSIDEREDIN MANY RESPECTS TO BE THE ULTIMATE CHRONOGRAPH.
MORE THAN 50 YEARS AFTER ITS LAUNCH IN 1963, ITS PERFECTION IS THE PRODUCT OF A LONG MATURATION PROCESS . EACH INSCRIPTION ON THE DIAL OF A ROLEX WATCH IS A GUARANTEE OF PERFORMANCE.
THEY WERE ADDED ONE BY ONE TO TH IS EMBLEMATIC WATCH AS IT EVOLVED : S IMPLY “COSMOGRAPH” AT THE OUTSET, OVER THE YEARS “OYSTER” , “PERPETUAL” , “COSMOGRAPH” , “DAYTONA” , AND “SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERT IF IED” WERE ADDED , CHRONICLING A LEGEND IN WATCHMAKING.
In 1963, Rolex launched a new-generation chronograph, the Cosmograph, dedicated to racing drivers. The singular name invented by Rolex immediately marked it out as a very different new model – The Rolex Daytona.
The chronograph counters stood out clearly on the dial thanks to their strongly contrasting colour, black on a light-coloured dial or a light colour on a black dial. The tachymetric scale – that allows average speeds over a given distance to be measured using the chronograph seconds hand – was moved from the dial to the bezel.
Dictated by functional considerations, these features made the chronograph far more legible – one of the challenges of the time. They also gave the watch a technical and sporty look, making it instantly recognizable and placed the Cosmograph firmly among the Professional watches, a category created by Rolex 10 years earlier, in 1953, with models such as the Explorer dedicated to explorers and mountaineers, or the Submariner specially designed for deep-sea diving.
Rolex Daytona – New Features
New dials were introduced, expanding the range in the early years. One special version would become famous as the so-called “Paul Newman” dial, since the renowned American film star – who was also a racing driver and an icon of masculine style – regularly wore a Daytona with that particular dial. Its design increased legibility of the chronograph functions under difficult race conditions.
It was characterized by the printed seconds track around the dial on a band of the same contrasting colour as the three counters. The graduations, in certain cases, were inscribed in red. The counters themselves were differentiated by squares on the markers for easier reading of tracked time. The Cosmograph was part of a long Rolex tradition.
The brand launched its first chronographs with counters in 1933, which were often equipped with other functions on the dial such as a tachymetric scale for measuring speed, a telemetric scale to track distance, or a pulsometer to measure heart rate. The first chronograph equipped with a waterproof Oyster case appeared in 1939. From its launch, the Cosmograph also featured the Oyster case invented by Rolex in 1926 – robust and waterproof thanks to the screw-down case back and winding crown – as well as a solid metal bracelet.
The watch had a manually wound mechanical movement reputed for its reliability and precision. No brand had yet been able to overcome the technical hurdle of producing a self-winding chronograph.