Today, the Rolex 116520 Daytona is considered one of the most famous watches in the world, and the model has become almost synonymous with the Rolex brand itself. However, for most of the series’ history, Rolex’s iconic chronograph did not have an internal movement. With the introduction of the reference 116520, that all changed.
While not aesthetically different from the previous generation of stainless steel Rolex Daytona watches, the ref. 116520 represented an important step forward for the collection. The Rolex Daytona 116520 is no longer in production, but still offers all the benefits of Rolex’s current in-house chronograph movement, and may only represent the best value for money of all the different models of the Daytona’s steel models.
-Case diameter: 40mm
-Material: stainless steel
-Functions: time with running seconds, 12-hour chronograph.
-Dial: Black or white with illuminated hour markers
-Baffle: fixed, stainless steel with tachymeter scale
-Movement: Calibre 4130
-Water resistance: 100 meters / 330 feet
-Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet
First introduced in 1963, the Rolex Daytona is the brand’s line of chronographs inspired by the world of motor racing. While it was by no means Rolex’s first chronograph, the introduction of the Daytona marked the first time Rolex had a tachymeter scale engraved on the bezel, rather than printed along the periphery of the dial. Today, one of the iconic features of the Rolex Daytona is the external tachymeter bezel whose roots can be traced back to ref. 6239 – the first Daytona of 1963.
Although automatic chronograph movements first appeared in 1969, it wasn’t until 1988 (a full 25 years after the Daytona was introduced) that Rolex chronographs finally received self-winding movements. By the 1980s, quartz and even digital watch movements had matured, making the Rolex Daytona’s hand-wound movement particularly dated. Although a self-winding movement was finally available, the first self-winding Daytona was a significantly improved version of the Zenith El Primero movement.
It wasn’t until 2000 that the replica Rolex Daytona finally received an in-house movement, making it the last Rolex model to be powered by an off-the-shelf movement. With that in mind, when Rolex finally introduced its own in-house Caliber 4130 movement for the Daytona, the collection acquired one of the best mechanical chronograph movements ever made. For the past 20 years, Cal. reliably powering the watch. The 4130 can be found inside every modern Rolex Daytona watch.
Over the course of the cheap Rolex Daytona, the collection has expanded to include an increasing number of dials and metal options. Today, it remains one of the brand’s largest and most diverse watch collections, although it is still only available in a single case size. Although there was a time in the 1970s and 1980s when Rolex Daytona watches lingered on dealers’ shelves, today they are among the world’s most famous and recognizable luxury timepieces.