1989 Rolex Zenith Daytona (Ref. 16520) Black Mk. I "Floating Cosmograph" Dial W/ Box, RSC Paperwork, & Booklets

$ 68,500

First introduced in 1963 the Rolex Daytona has remained a sought-after stable within the Rolex product range. Designed with professional racecar drivers in mind, the Daytona’s precision chronograph and tachymeter bezel allowed drivers to accurately measure speeds up to 400 kilometers or miles per hour. The release of the Daytona came just after Rolex had become the official timekeeper of the Daytona racetrack and the name evolved as a way for the brand to highlight its connection to the celebrated race.

Early Daytona models featured a manual-wind Valjoux 72-based column-wheel chronograph movement. This was in use until 1988 when Rolex released the ref. 16520 with an automatic “self-winding” movement. Rolex outsourced this moment, utilizing the Zenith 400 movement, originally manufactured for the “Zenith El-Primero.” For use in the ref. 16520, Rolex required approximately 200 modifications to the Zenith movement, which remained in use for twelve years. As a result, Daytonas from this period are commonly referred to as “Zenith Daytonas.” In this reference, Rolex also incorporated more durable sapphire crystals, helping to increase the depth rating to a guaranteed 100m or 330ft.

It’s no secret the Rolex Daytona is beloved by collectors, and that the neo-vintage era of Rolex watches has achieved a status amongst the collector community all its own. So when the pinnacle of both of these categories is represented in such a collectible and rare timepiece, it is truly special. Enter the "Floating Cosmograph" ref. 16520 Zenith Daytona, a truly special early dial variation that belongs to the very first production run of the of the Zentih-era Daytona and with a production run of roughly a single year between 1988 and 1989, or R and L serials respectively. These dial variations are characterized by the "Cosmograph" text that is distinctly separated, or "Floating", from the rest of the text on the dial.

Stock # RLXDT16520L
Brand Rolex
Style Daytona
Model 16520
Serial L5XXXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial  Black Mk. I "Floating Cosmograph"
Millimeters 40
Bracelet Rolex Oyster 78360 Bracelet W/ 503 End Pieces



The impressive case in is very well-preserved condition throughout, showing thick and symmetrical lugs that boast strong dimensions with minimal signs of previous polishing or wear. The original and hyper rare "225" UPH bezel is in excellent condition and retains all of its original factory black enamel. The original Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet retains its original and rare 503 end pieces along with 13 links that show minimal stretch and will fit up to an 8-inch wrist.


The original glossy black Mk I "Floating Cosmograph" Daytona dial is in very well-preserved and beautiful condition, showing only very minor elements of age in the form of some light markings in the 3 and 9 o'clock sub-dials which is common but virtually invisible to the naked eye. The original tritium lume plots exhibit no degradation when inspected under UV light and feature a subtle eggshell color. The hands are luminova service units.


The watch comes with a box, booklets, and Rolex RSC card and service document. The watch is keeping time perfectly, backed by our 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.

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