1976 Rolex Daytona (Ref. 6263) Black "Big Red" Sigma Dial W/ Box & Papers
Rolex first introduced the Cosmograph in 1963 in steel, 14k, and 18k yellow gold with a design that was solely focused on automobile racing. The Units Per Hour bezel allowed for the tracking and measuring of average speed and lap times making for a truly useful tool for racing drivers in the 20th century. Rolex, being the same marketing powerhouse back then as they are today, knew the American market would be their most effective demographic as racing in America was on the rise in the 60s-70s. Effectively, in 1964 the Rolex Cosmograph was branded “Daytona” after the famous race The 24hrs of Daytona, and the rest is history.
The Daytona saw its first major update in late 1969 when Rolex decided to bring their Oyster technology to the Cosmograph. Accompanying the "Oyster" text on the dial, the case crown was upgraded to a 7mm trip-lock crown, and the most significant upgrade was the introduction of the screw-down chronograph pushers which is a function we still see today in the modern Daytona offering from Rolex. While the case size of this new model was the same as its predecessor at 36mm, the larger crown and more robust pushers greatly increase the watch's wrist presence.
The "Big Red" Daytona dials are the most popular and iconic of the non-exotic dial variants amongst the Oyster-case Daytonas. Of the Big Red Daytona dials, the most rare and coveted are the very elusive Sigma dial variants. Sigma dials are more commonly seen in the Datejust and Day-Date models, however the design characteristic made its way into the Daytona family for a brief period during the mid 1970s and the few examples that remain are exceedingly rare. A Sigma dial is a Rolex dial named for the letters printed at the bottom of the dial below the 6 o'clock marker. Most Rolex dials are commonly marked with “T Swiss T,” under the 6 o'clock marker, however, a Sigma dial is marked “σ T SWISS T σ.” This signifies the use of gold components within the dial.
|Dial||Matte Black "Big Red" Sigma|
|Bracelet||Rolex 78350 Oyster Bracelet W/ 571 End Pieces|
The excellent case has been previously polished with the top right lug showing evidence of slightly more polishing than the three other very thick lugs, however this aspect does little to affect the aesthetics of the watch overall. The case exhibits very gentle, yet expected signs of use throughout. The original Mk III black acrylic bezel is in exceptional, near perfect condition with no cracking, damage, or age present. The case retains its original Mk II crew down pushers as well as the trip-lock Rolex-signed crown. The slightly later Rolex 78350 Oyster bracelet with 571 end pieces retains 12 links that show no stretch and will fit up to a 7 1/4-inch wrist.
The matte black "Big Red" Daytona Sigma dial is in overall very impressive condition as the dial itself being in virtually flawless condition with no actual damage present. The white sub-dials exhibit very minimal and gentle age, which is most prominent in the 3 o'clock register. The tritium lume plots have aged to a deep golden coloration, under U.V. light inspection the lume plots mostly remain present though there is degradation throughout with the 4 and 6 o'clock lume plots exhibiting the most lume loss. The original tritium hands match the lume patina perfectly with no degradation present when inspected under U.V. light. All of the hands and sub-dial hands are original to the watch.
The watch comes complete with its original Rolex guarantee paper, and a Rolex box. The watch was recently serviced and is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.