We recently received a gently pre-owned Rolex Daytona Ceramic Ref. 116500LN (White Dial) We are clearly geared more towards vintage timepieces here at Craft & Tailored but we were thoroughly impressed by the new Ceramic Daytona as the new Rolex Daytona Ceramic possesses a classic and timeless feel that is reminiscent of the early Daytona references such as the Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 which we absolutely love and adore for its classic and timeless look and functionality.
Here is why I'm not a fan of the "Modern Rolex Daytona" The steel range of the Rolex Daytona from the years 1988-2015 in my opinion completely lacks the character and functionality of the previous variants. In my opinion, a chronograph is a tool watch and not a luxury piece of jewelry. After all, a chronograph is a stopwatch that tells you the time as well... right?! You should be able to start and stop the chronograph function easily and you should also be able to easily read the time and measurement of time elapsed while using the chronograph function of the piece. The first thing you will notice about the design of the Ref. 16500 and the Ref. 116520 is that the stainless steel bezel seems to blend in with the rest of the case making the tachymeter almost completely unreadable. And the sub-dials, hands, markers, and sweep second chronograph hand, all seem to blend together almost at times making it hard to simply read the time don't get me started on actually using the chronograph functions. I am very very particular about how I time my parking meters and boiling pots of water... wait... I don't cook... err uhmmm... I mean how long it actually takes for my pizza or take out to be delivered...
All joking aside when wearing a chronograph I find myself using the features for useful measurement of time, parking meters included. The bottom line is that the modern Rolex Daytona is sterile and lacks any kind of real character in my personal opinion. It really doesn't retain any of the classic elements for the previous variants from the "golden era" and has always been a bit of a "meh" kind of watch for me personally. Generally (not always) when I see a guy wearing a modern Daytona he has a polo shirt on with a popped collar and by the urban dictionary definition is typically someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk or asshole, however, has not reached the glorious level of being a fucker or the uber-elite level of mother fucker... We won't get started on what the uber elite so called "douche bags" of our society have on their wrists.
So you may be thinking... Cameron why if you are such a shit talker and hater of the "Modern Daytona" why do you like this one and why were you so compelled to write an article on this Daytona? isn't it the same watch?
Well, first off fuck you! I'm not a hater and complete shit talker... Ok... Ok... actually I am... But I like to refer to myself as a man who has refined taste and opinion based on my experience which provides me with perspective, which I think counts for something right? The really humorous thing about this is that from a tangible execution perspective its almost the same exact watch as the Rolex Daytona Ref. 116520. From the white gold filled Super-lumiNova markers on the dial, the polished center links on the flip lock style bracelet, to the solid end links. It's even made from 904L stainless steel and uses the Rolex Cal. 4130 movements. All of these elements can be seen in the previous reference. Furthermore, why is this such a big deal and if it's practically the same watch why do I dig it some much?!
Here is why I personally like this timepiece broken down by the ultra-granular specifics. The first thing that clearly jumps out is the black ceramic bezel. Now again, I am really not a fan of the modern Rolex in general, and the sight of a modern ceramic bezel Submariner makes me throw up in my mouth a little every time I see one, but the black ceramic bezel with silver inlaid tachymeter on the modern Daytona Ref 116600LN really changes the entire look and feel of the piece. The subdials seem to now jump off the dial as a result of the black ceramic bezel and provides a good contrast to the otherwise sterile and monochromatic feel and look of the previous variants. The subdials are also more matte in look and feel as opposed to the previous variants that seemed to have a chrome type of metallic feel which would kick out more light and almost make reading the subtitles in the sunlight impossible.
My eye also is drawn into the center of the watch as a result of the updated ceramic black outer bezel and provides me with a border or reference point for telling the time, whereas before I really had to look at the watch when it was on my wrist instead of being able to just glance at my wrist to tell the time. Although I'm not an uber-fan of the center polished links of the oyster bracelet I do feel that it works with the piece and offers a blend between the couture luxury element that is now Rolex and the tool element that the new black bezel and modern feature set offers to the wearer.
" Is this watch really selling over list price on the secondary market?"
The other interesting thing about the Rolex Daytona Ceramic is that the MSRP of the watch from a Rolex AD brand new is $12,500 USD. But on the secondary market, the white dial as a complete set are trading strongly at $16,500 USD and the black dial being a tad bit softer is trading around $15,500 USD.
How can this be?? Why would a watch that retails brand spanking new for $12,500 USD sell "Pre-Owned" at $15.5-$16.5K USD??
Simple answer... Supply meeting demand...
According to insider industry information and watch nerd gossip, Rolex has a 3-year waitlist for the Daytona Ceramic. Rolex is not rushing to fill orders and the consumer is impaitant hence there is a limited supply of the ceramic Daytona's and an intense increasing demand for something that is for all intensive purposes is a "mass production" modern watch. The watch that is not a limited edition, and will be in production for many years to come. So in our expert opinion, from an investment perspective the modern ceramic Rolex Daytona not a good long term investment. We won't get into the details of what makes a good timepiece investment in this article and will save that for another article, but the reality is that with a modern production number of pieces slated to be completed, the supply will eventually meet the demand and the long term opportunity for investment is non-existant as the same holds true for most modern Rolex timepieces. Quite simply the production numbers of each reference are in hundreds of thousands whereas with vintage models the total number of units produced was much smaller and the variant factors such as patina, era-specific differentiators, and technical innovation make the vintage Rolex and collecting or acquisition of vintage timepieces a much more viable and solid long-term investment.
In any case, I really enjoyed the piece while we had it in our inventory for 48 hours. I could actually see myself wearing the white dial variant on occasion which is a weird thing for me to say because I am a vintage watch nerd, dealer, and collector. One who geeks out on all of the little things that make vintage timepieces so unique and fun even from a historical perspective. We were happy to pass this piece along to its new owner and were happy to source this piece for him as one of our valued customers