Rolex Daytona 116508

£36,500 GBP

There's no question that the vintage-inspired stainless Rolex Cosmograph Daytonas were the absolute darlings of the 2016 Baselworld Fair but Rolex released a marvelously brave piece for the bon vivants as well. The brilliant green sunburst dial of this 40mm solid 18 carat yellow gold ref 116508 is simply amazing and sets a perfect table - gold crown at 12, gold hands and baton hour markers with Chromalight lume, white lettering with a minute track to match, and then the sub dials, which are so brilliantly executed they deserve their own conversation. Matching the main dial they're set apart by yellow gold rings, numeral tracks that have been "snailed" with engraved concentric circles, white numerals and hash marks, and red inner rings that match the "Daytona" at 6. They are a symphony, the chef-d'œuvre of the 116508, but they're also functional. To a watch all Cosmographs from the 1963 debut to present have contrasty sub dials to enhance readability, which makes sense given that the Cosmograph was specifically designed as a tool watch for professional race car drivers. Like all modern Daytonas this 116508 also sports the superb caliber 4130 - an in-house, automatic, chronometer-rated, column-wheel chronograph movement - and Rolex's patented screw-down, Triplock crown so it's as technologically sound as it is sartorially daring. There isn't another manufacturer anywhere plucky enough to offer a piece like this. Originally known only as the Cosmograph, the "Daytona" moniker found it's way to the dial in 1964 during the third year of Rolex's sponsorship of what is now known as the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance race. That single word has been quickening pulses ever since. A Rolex is always a good idea and this 116508 is proof-positive that the Daytona continues to define contemporary luxury. It has been relevant for five decades and this gorgeous green statement will take you through the next five, and your children the five after that.

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