1996 Rolex Daytona (Ref. 16520) "Zenith" Mk. IV Patrizzi Dial

First introduced in 1963 the Rolex Daytona has always been the most sought after chronograph. 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 their connection to the celebrated race.

Early Daytona models featured a manual-wind Valjoux 72 column wheel chronograph movement. This was in use until 1988 when Rolex released the Ref. 16500 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. 16500, Rolex required approximately 200 modifications to the Zenith movement, which remained in use for twelve years. As a result, Daytona’s 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.

This specific example has the added appeal of the coveted “Patrizzi” dial. This name refers to a discoloration of the sub-dial rings – a result of an organic varnish that allowed the silver elements of the dial to oxidize over time. Although this could be seen as a manufacturing error by Rolex at the time, Patrizzi Daytonas have become highly collectible today. A stunning example of this evolutionary period of the Daytona, this is a statement piece built for generations of use.


Stock # RLXDT16520-96
Brand Rolex
Style Daytona
Model 16520
Serial T8XXXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Black (Mk. IV Patrizzi dial)
Millimeters 40
Strap Rolex Oyster 78360 Bracelet W/ 503B End Pieces



The previously lightly polished case shows little signs of wear, retaining even and thick lugs. The bezel remains in excellent condition with no enamel loss and slight wear. The original Rolex 78360 oyster bracelet w/ 503B end pieces and retains 11 links remains unpolished and exhibits very slight stretch from use. The sapphire crystal is free of any scratches or blemishes.


This stunning black Mk. IV Patrizzi dial is in excellent vintage condition, subdials have taken on a highly desirable color change to a light golden coloration referred to as "Patrizzi". The tritium lume plots and hands have been inspected under U.V. light and remain fully intact and show no lume loss or degradation. The original tritium hands have been inspected under U.V. light and show no degradation.


None. The watch is running at COSC Spec but extended service history is unknown