Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona – Celebrating 50th Anniversary

Introduced in 1963 by Rolex, the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona line celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013. This legendary model, named after one of most famous racing tracks, has been well associated with the world of motor racing since its birth.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, 1963

Located in Florida, Daytona was actually a broad band of hard-packed sand – a straight flat stretch measuring 35 kilometres (22miles) length. In the early 20th century, it was converted to as one of the legendary sites in the conquest of speed and in motor racing. Between 1904and 1935, the world land speed record was broken 14 times. With its sand tamped down by the Atlantic Ocean, this natural raceway was exceptional. It attracted automobile pioneers and racing enthusiasts from United States and Europe.

Daytona Beach in 1955

The triumphs in the early motor racing adventures made Daytona as the World capital of Speed. In March 1935, a world record was set by British driver Sir Malcolm Campbell in his famous speedster Bluebird – 445km/h (276mph) – just a few months before he broke the 300mph barrier on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. And the man who was to go down in history as the king of speed had been wearing a Rolex OYSTER since the early 1930s.

The tradition of epic motor racing in Daytona persisted on the beach until the late 1950s. It has continued on the Daytona International Speedway, a veritable temple of speed built in 1959 as one of the first Super Speedways in the world. Every year, Daytona hosts 31- races as thrilling and prestigious as the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Daytona International Speedway, 2013

Daytona International Speedway inherited one of the most formidable histories of speed and motor racing, and gave its name to the chronograph Rolex dedicated in 1963 to racing drivers and motor sport enthusiasts: the COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, 1963

An innovative chronograph noted for the excellent legibility of its functions thanks to highly contrasting counters and its tachymetric scale, which was no longer on the dial but positioned on the bezel. Its sporty appearance, as usual for Rolex watches, was the result of functional considerations intended to respond to the wearer’s needs and to make the watch the best instrument for measuring time and speed on the racing track.

For half a century, the COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA has created its own legend. By the mid-1960s, it had become the winner’s trophy at the 24Hours of Daytona; a race inaugurated in 1962 and renamed Rolex 24 At Daytona in 1992. Today, the DAY TONA chronograph is still regarded as the highest honour for the endurance racing drivers, among the best in the world.

Although initially the Daytona race track gave its name to the Rolex chronograph, today the leading competition, which begins the automobile sports season in the United States, is commonly known by the name of its prestigious trophy: “The Rolex”. The COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA is also the Official Timepiece of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The legends like Paul Newman, Scott Pruett and Tom Kristensen were always admired the COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA timepiece. Paul Newman, the legendary Hollywood star and passionate racing driver used to wear a COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA, especially a model with a particular dial which collectors would associate with his name.

Paul Newman with his COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA

Acclaimed by racing drivers and endowed with a prestigious heritage, the Rolex chronograph watches were propelled to the rank of an icon after a new, entirely redesigned and self-winding model was introduced in 1988. The DAYTONA became an unprecedented phenomenon, which has remained undiminished for 25years.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, 1988

In 2000, the COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA’s peerless reputation was enhanced when Rolex equipped the watch with a new high-performance, self-winding movement entirely designed and manufactured in-house.  Calibre 4130, introduced in 2000, a movement with a column wheel and vertical clutch was entirely designed and manufactured by Rolex. Its revolutionary architecture, the fruit of years of research, has reduced its complexity and increased its reliability. A profusion of Rolex innovations, calibre 4130 is equipped with a PARACHROM hairspring with a Breguet overcoil. The hairspring is manufactured from a new alloy, developed and produced by Rolex, which makes it insensitive to magnetic fields and up to 10 times more resistant to shocks.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona,2000

Emblematic of Rolex’s watchmaking know-how and technological prowess, the numerous innovations in this movement allow it to distinguish itself, setting new standards for chronographs in terms robustness, reliability and precision.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona,2004

Rolex continued to enrich the collection with new models featuring innovative materials and technology. In 2011, Rolex unveiled new version of the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in 18ct Everose gold featuring exclusive monobloc black CERACHROM bezel developed in house by the watch making legend.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona with CERACHROM bezel ,2011

The brand also offered the jewellery versions of Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona models.Introduced in 2012, the model featured below is equipped with exclusive bezel entirely set with an array of sapphires in rainbow colours and the exclusive GOLD CRYSTALS counters on the dial.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Jewel Version, 2012

In 2013, Rolex again reinforced its ties with motor sport by becoming one of the principal partners of FORMULA 1. In 2013, with the Anniversary platinum edition, the COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA became the first OYSTER model in the Professional range to be presented in platinum, the most noble of precious metals, with a spectacular monobloc CERACHROM bezel in ceramic.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Platinum, 2013

Fifty years after its creation, the COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA continues to evolve and achieve unparalleled status in the realm of sports chronographs.

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