BaselWorld 2016 was the year that a lot of fans of Rolex had been waiting for. Each year there seems to be a phenomenon where by blogs, websites, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds are awash with predictions and rumours about what watches will be released by Rolex and Tudor. For sure there is speculation about what all the brands will unveil at the annual showcase in Switzerland, but the releases by Rolex and Tudor seem to be the most vehement and excitable.
Keep You Guessing
With one or two exceptions, Rolex seem to have a great knack for keeping everybody in suspense until that magical, memorable moment when the windows of the Rolex booth are revealed at lunchtime in the Wednesday. We have been there for this moment for the last three years and this year Rolex finally did it…they updated the legendary Rolex Daytona chronograph.
An Iconic Reference
Whether you are a die-hard vintage Rolex collector, a modern watch enthusiast or just have a passing interest in watches in general you will be aware of the importance of this iconic chronograph. One of the most important and high profile mono-theme sales ever was the Christies Daytona sale in 2013. It was both a celebration of one of Rolex’s most enduring lines and also a turning point in record prices being achieved for certain references.
A Long Wait
Interestingly, it wasn’t a hugely popular watch when it was originally launched. By the time, however, it was re-launched as a 40mm watch, with sapphire glass and an automatic movement it became one of the most elusive watches on the planet, with waiting lists of up to five years and watch dealers selling what watches they could get hold of for significant ‘over-list’ prices. Supply is now not an issue and getting the elusive stainless Daytona is no longer the lengthy ordeal it was…but we believe that is about to change!
The New One
And so to the 2016 iteration of the Daytona. Ever since the introduction of the ceramic tachymetre bezel on the platinum Daytona, people have been waiting for it to released on the stainless steel watch. This year the wait is over and the watch is now available in both white and black dial versions with a black ceramic bezel. There are a couple of subtle changes to the dial too, with a softer matte finish on the tracks of the chrono counters but aesthetically the watch remains faithful to its predecessors…and let’s be honest, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’!
In the Flesh
We were given the opportunity to view the watch at the Rolex booth and we really loved the watch. The white dial really pops and looks very elegant when framed by the black bezel. With the black dial, this watch becomes a serious no-none sense tool watch, whilst retaining an air of superior luxury. This watch is beautiful, no questions. The only problem I can foresee is actually getting hold of one. I have no doubt that the infamous years-long waiting list will rear its head again and the frenzied clamor to get one and the mythical reported sightings in ADs’ windows will again become a part of the Rolex story. Now please form an orderly queue!