The Rolex Daytona 116503, with its distinctive Champagne coloured dial, is one of the most popular and sought-after Rolex models.
If the Daytona doesn’t quite hit the dizzy heights of the Submariner’s desirability, it’s very much an iconic watch.
The Paul Newman Rolex that went for a cool $17.5 million at auction was a Daytona. This is a name for watch that’s in a league of its own.
Main Design Features of the Rolex 116503
In Oystersteel and yellow gold, the 116503 combines essential qualities of elegance, reliability and durability.
It has a black dial, with hour markers in gold applique. The display is Chromalight. This is Rolex’s patented photoluminescent material that keeps the watch legible even in the darkest, most demanding conditions.
The central sweep of the second hand is accurate to one-eighth of a second. Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protects the dial. The material that gives the Rolex 116503 its Champagne nickname is Yellow Rolesor. This is a combination of Rolex Oystersteel and yellow gold. Rolex has used Rolesor on its watches since the 1930s.
The Oyster bracelet on the 116503 is made of Rolesor, complementing the bezel and reiterating the visual Champagne theme. The watch sits securely on your wrist with its Oysterclasp fastening. To get your perfect fit, there’s an Easylink 5mm extension link included.
This watch is waterproof to 100 metres or 330 feet.
How the Rolex Daytona 116503 Keeps Time
This contemporary Champagne model comes equipped with the Rolex 4130 calibre movement. Compared to a standard chronograph, there are fewer components, causing less friction and making the movement that much more reliable.
The 4130 is a certified Swiss chronometer. This is a quality only the very highest precision timepieces can possess. To be certified in this way, a watch must pass the rigorous tests of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
Practical Luxury with Precision Timekeeping
In a similar way that the Submariner was originally a diver’s watch, so the Daytona has its origins as a racing driver’s tool.
With its easy, one-press start and stop controls, the Daytona is designed to help racing motorists time their performances and hone their tactics for the track. The model’s name comes from the Florida city and racetrack that became associated with NASCAR.
As far back as the 1930s, racing drivers in the know were wearing Rolex watches. The notable racing motorist Sir Malcolm Campbell wrote to Rolex to thank them for the durability of their watches.
This was someone who held the world land speed record several times during his career and was the first person in a car to reach 300mph. Therefore, it was logical for Rolex to go deeper into motorsport with their watch designs. Rolex gave its 6239 Cosmograph the Daytona nickname officially.
Paul Newman filmed his racing movie, Winning in 1968. The Rolex Daytona featured prominently throughout. This helped to seal its reputation in the eyes of the public. And it boosted its desirability.
The first yellow gold Daytona appeared on the market in 1992. The fully in-house movement, calibre 4130, came in 2000. Over its evolution, there have been subtle changes to the Daytona’s design, making it easier to read in low light.
It’s an example of a design that began life as a specialist bit of kit for racing professionals and has gone on to become an iconic timepiece.
Why Choose a Rolex Daytona 116503?
Okay, so you’re not Paul Newman. But by investing in a Rolex Daytona, you’re becoming part of something bigger and connected to a whole history of practical luxury.
Rolex isn’t a brand that jumps into things. It makes considered and careful changes to its models to update them.
Therefore, the Daytona you buy and wear today has an awful lot in common with the watch that Paul Newman owned. You can even claim something in common with the early model that Sir Malcolm Campbell wore.
That’s a sense of living history and brand credibility that you can own for yourself. You can’t say that about too many brands.
Vintage Daytona watches are ultra-collectable, but what’s to say that the Rolex 116503 Champagne watch you wear today won’t be just as desirable to collectors in the future? A Rolex is the ultimate status symbol. Not because it’s showy, but because it means something.
Where Can I Buy a Rolex Daytona 116503?
If you’re looking to buy a Rolex 116503 Champagne, please get in touch.
We specialise in sourcing watches and we stock a desirable selection of luxury and prestigious timepieces, including Rolex Daytona watches.