This is a watch review that I have been dreaming about for years since I founded the Watch Review Blog in 2015 and I have been dreaming of owning this watch for years. Well, the day has finally come.
Introducing my very own Rolex Daytona 116500 with Black Dial – my personal ultimate grail watch. Forget all the haute horology pieces from Patek, Audemars and Lange for a moment, because this particular Daytona reference trumps them all for me.
The Rolex Daytona 116500 is something you can wear and dress up every day in any situation. It’s sporty, solid like all Rolex watches, perfectly proportioned to size and weight, looks brand new and ages with wear. In fact, I can’t think of another watch that executes on these points as well as the stainless steel Daytona.
If you’ve been following WRB closely, you may have noticed a slowdown in content creation over the last few months as we moved into a new office space that took some time to set up and get used to. Aside from my recently acquired lifetime grail, this is the first time I’ve actually sat down and put together a meaningful review of one of my personal watches.
The good news here is that I have about 3 months to spend with the watch before starting my review. When I received an incoming email from my favorite Rolex authorized dealer this Spring 2022, my dream watch was assigned to me and ready for collection. I couldn’t quite believe it, it was a watch I thought I would never be able to afford – at least not at retail price. I confirmed pickup of the watch the next day and began making arrangements for the 6-hour day drive from Montreal to Toronto. I would like to give a special thanks to this Rolex authorized dealer, especially the store owner and manager who helped make this happen.
While in Toronto the other day, picking up the watch and sizing it was so surreal, it felt like 10 hours to watch the sales representative stroll from the back of the store to our sizing desk holding the Daytona in the box for 10 seconds. , a small moment that is now forever ingrained in my memory. The watch was sized and all stickers were removed, payment was made and I was now part of the official Rolex Daytona owners club. As many of our readers already know that I buy my watches to wear, the new 116500 never left my wrist for a few weeks after purchase, while my Submariner 114060 and Air-King 114200 sat alone in their ownership. Watchpod® cases.
Time tested ideas
Fast forward 3 months from today, I now have a solid collection of experiences and memories wearing the new Daytona. I’d say this watch is hyped for a reason, it’s perfection – period. We could dive into the details of this watch and compare it to other chronographs and sports watches all day long, it just comes out on top and aces all categories. Where the Speedmaster can’t offer you’re getting extreme water resistance, a slim case that 99% of all automatic chronographs can’t deliver, a watch that looks incredible on the wrist no matter what you’re wearing, and a movement with a fascinating history, and the list goes on. What you’re getting with this watch is the perfect package, and after three months of owning it that explains the inflated aftermarket prices, it’s quite a bargain at its current retail price.
One thing I noticed beyond the aesthetics, specs, and history of this piece was just the prestige that the Daytona name carries. It was the first watch that made me feel very conscious about my wrist, I was immediately more aware of who was looking at my wrist and was generally a bit more cautious when wearing it. It’s not a loud watch by any means, especially the black dial version but it’s very noticeable due to its chronograph shape. If anyone knows what Daytona is, they definitely won’t miss it when they see it.
Given how easily the polished center links scratch compared to the brushed links on the Submariner, I had very fine hairline scratches on the bracelet after the second day of use. After a few weeks it has all but leveled out and is now less visible than it was at first.
Wearability and aesthetics
Comfort on the wrist is a 10 out of 10, the lightest of this steel variant. As mentioned earlier the sizing is also perfect and the watch has all the curves and bevels in all the right places, it feels very elegant but sporty at the same time. I don’t know why but I get a cool Hugh Hefner hot tub vibe from this watch, it feels like a magazine cover on the wrist and begs to be worn when you take it off and hold it for a moment. I’m looking forward to testing out the Jubilee bracelet and a leather band or two, which could really change the personality of this watch.
The bezel and dial are also black, with the bezel looking thinner in person than in most photos. The conical slope of the bezel is actually more obvious but can occasionally be picked up in a well-timed photo. The watch can feel busy at times due to the intricate engraving on the bezel and the full dial with three sub-dials and multiple lines of text. No room is left on the dial, but it’s done in a way that works and is part of the appeal of this modern variation.
The Daytona is very unique in the Rolex line-up, being one of the few models to retain the classic case shape without switching to supercases as seen in the Blackie Submariner and GMT Master II variants, with Zenith style hour and minute hands at the same time. It has a size of 40 mm which allows it to be worn smaller than other sports watches in the Rolex catalog. There’s so much going on with the Daytona that I’m pulling it out of a drawer to look at and admire completely at random, its superior design execution so intriguing.
Movement and performance
Most of you already know the racing history behind Daytona and its association with Paul Newman so I won’t bore you with that front. The movement has a lot of story in the 116500, which originally used Zenith movements, and with its final conversion to an in-house Rolex movement, this variation currently houses the caliber 4130 with a 72-hour power reserve. 4130 features a paramagnetic blue parachrome hairspring oscillator, chronograph function accurate to an amazing 1/8Th One second! Let’s be honest here for a moment, the chronograph function isn’t used much for your average watch collector, I’ve only used it a few times in the three months since I’ve owned it to watch the central chronograph hand glide. across the dial.
Guys, I think you understand that I am on cloud nine with this watch, as are most owners. It is very difficult to buy from an authorized Rolex dealer, but if you also like this watch I advise you to try it. There are many watches that serve as temporary replacements, but you’ll always be drawn back to wanting this iconic chronograph.
I will update this review with photos, video and new feedback as I continue to wear my favorite new watch in the collection – Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN with Black Dial.