Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum

It seems that some collectors have a genuine passion for the vintage Rolex Daytonas based purely for aesthetic or mechanical reasons. By contrast, some appear drawn to the models purely for financially speculative motives and it is this group who are somewhat alien to me.

This detailed review of the Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum includes live images and specification details.

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

(Image – ©Rolex/Claude Bossel)

Anyone who attests to having the merest hint of an interest in watches will be familiar with the Rolex Daytona. Its standing in the world of collectable chronographs is without question.

Many will talk about Paul Newman dials. The famous actor of the silver screen was famously seen wearing a Daytona in the early 1970s and the panda like dials have become the darlings of auction houses, around the globe, fetching eye-watering sums.

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

Cosmograph Daytona 1963 (Image – ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer)

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

Cosmograph Daytona 1965 (Image – ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer)

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

Cosmograph Daytona with “Paul Newman” dial (Image – ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer)

Part of the reason for ever increasing auction values is scarcity, especially when models were made in limited runs. A rare Daytona with lemon coloured dial sold earlier this year at Antiquorum, Geneva, for the altitudinous price of CHF 841,300.

Some, who have a predilection for Daytonas, will pay a premium for stainless steel models which have always been in short supply. Other collectors will seek vintage models containing the Valjoux 72 and, subsequently, the modified Zenith El-Primero movement.

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

Cosmograph Daytona 1988 (Image – ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer)

It seems that some collectors have a genuine passion for the vintage Rolex Daytonas based purely for aesthetic or mechanical reasons. By contrast, some appear drawn to the models purely for financially speculative motives and it is this group who are somewhat alien to me.

I don’t buy timepieces as an investment vehicle. I select models because they engage with me emotionally. A watch which employs fine materials and fused with uncompromising craftsmanship will always proffer more appeal than a timepiece which merely offers a good “return on capital employed”.

This preamble brings me to the latest iteration of the Daytona line, launched in 2013, the year the brand celebrates 50 years of its emblematic model. The question many may ask is, “Will it provide a suitable alternative to playing the stock market?” However, I prefer to focus on its many attributes.

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

The dial

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

(Image – ©Douglas Kirkland/Corbis)

The ice blue dial is striking and could easily act as a metaphor for Paul Newman’s legendary piercing blue eyes. This particular dial colour has been featured on other Rolex models in the past and is reserved for platinum models. Indeed, I can recall seeing it used on a very handsome Day-Date II model in platinum a few years ago. However, this is the first time the ice blue tincture has featured on a Daytona and it is simply stunning.

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

(Image – ©Rolex/Claude Bossel)

Three subdials are presented on the main dial. At 3 o’clock is a 30-minute chronograph counter, at 6 o’clock subsidiary seconds features and at 9 o’clock there is a 12-hour chronograph counter completing the ensemble. Unusually, the brand has chosen to frame the subdials with circlets formed of chestnut lacquer. The selected hue is both surprising and brave from a large corporate entity such as Rolex. Yet, I am pleased they have taken the courageous step to push boundaries with this unusual colour scheme.

The hour, minute and central chronograph seconds hands are constructed of 18-carat white gold and feature Rolex’s CHROMALIGHT, a luminous material ensuring long-lasting legibility in fading light.

Applied hour markers resemble small ships sailing towards the epicentre of the dial. They are white gold and, again, incorporate luminous material.

Above the subsidiary seconds display, the “Daytona” name is depicted in red text, typical of several former models.

The case

This is the first Daytona made in platinum, the most noble of precious metals. The middle portion of the case is hewn from a solid billet of platinum and the caseback is hermetically screwed down. Despite the luxurious nature of the case, robustness is conferred.

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

(Image – ©Rolex/Joël Von Allmen)

There is a risk when wearing a chronograph underwater that accidental pressing of the pushers can result in water ingress. Rolex have provided the would-be wearer with peace of mind courtesy of screwed-down push pieces mitigating the danger of accidental operation.

The crown provides further reassurance to those interested in wearing the watch in water courtesy of the “TRIPLOCK triple waterproofness system”.

Chestnut brown appears on the bezel. It is constructed of CERACHROM, a material I have already mentioned on ESCAPEMENT with the gorgeous GMT-Master II, also launched earlier this year. The scratch resistant properties of the material ensure it will retain its showroom-fresh condition for years to come. The tachymeter scale depicted on the bezel is very legible with the numerals and markings employing a thin layer of platinum applied using a PVD process.

The bracelet is solid and weighty. Its intrinsic worth is discernible by its obvious mass.

The movement

The Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum houses the Calibre 4130 movement. It is self-winding and features a column-wheel, typical of the finest chronograph movements.

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

(Image – ©Rolex/Cédric Roulet)

The movement features Rolex’s own paramagnetic and shock-resisting PARACHROM hairspring, complete with Breguet overcoil.

Like many, I have experienced Rolex reliability. They appear to be bullet-proof and it is for this reason they are arguably one of the best know luxury brands in existence.

Timekeeping prowess with Rolex is a given. Each Daytona carries the words “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” on its dial and the movement has been subject to close scrutiny by the independent, Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC).

Conclusion

There are many aspects to the Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum which are new to the Daytona. I may upset traditionalists, but I confess to embracing the continuous development of timepieces. We have seen Rolex repeatedly refine existing models with new enhancements.

Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum - in-depth review

The bracelets today feel more substantial than ever, courtesy of solid links. The EASYLINK rapid extension system makes swift adjustment of the bracelet user-friendly and results in a more comfortable fit.

Some will like the bezels of vintage Daytona models, but I like the tolerance of the latest generation CERACHROM bezels which remain unaffected by UV-rays and shrug off potential scratches.

The isochronism of the latest generation hairsprings, PARACHROM, is unaffected by magnetism, less vulnerable to changes in ambient temperature and remains up to 10 times more accurate in case of shocks than traditional hairsprings.

Progress is an unceasing path most business journals espouse and based on the latest Daytona models I see little reason to argue with the rationale of seeking continuous improvement.

The most controversial aspect of this watch remains the chosen colour scheme. Whilst I would ordinarily describe myself as conservative, I happen to like the Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum, the latest variant of the Daytona from Rolex. My only hope is that this Daytona, presented in the most noble of metals, is selected by and worn by those who can appreciate its many virtues and is not merely snapped up by opportunists who callously crave a further horological investment vehicle.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in platinum
  • Reference: 116506 – 78596
  • Case: 950 platinum; diameter 40.00 mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds; chronograph.
  • Movement: 4130, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 44 jewels; power reserve 72 hours
  • Bracelet: 950 platinum bracelet with folding clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link.

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