Existing as perhaps the most highly coveted timepiece ever, the Rolex Daytona is steeped in history and mechanical excellence like few other watches are. Thanks to their association to Paul Newman, the famed actor, and race car driver, the first-generation Daytonas have become an incredibly sought-after commodity, and the current third-generation variants seem to be just as hard to purchase too.
Constructed of 18kt yellow gold, the ref. 116528’s case comes in a familiar 40mm size and features a polished case and bezel. Found inside the case, however, is perhaps one of Rolex’s most defining movements, the inhouse chronograph caliber 4130.
Having outsourced the movement manufacturing for both previous generations, the current generation of the Daytona marked a big change for the Genevan giant as they made the step into producing their own chronograph caliber. Known for their complexity and difficulty to produce this was no easy feat and the chronograph cal. 4130 took Rolex 6 years to develop. Taking over from the Zenith El Primero based cal. 4030 meant the new cal. 4130 had big shoes to fill.
Improving on the cal. 4030 in just about every way, the 4130 comes with the Rolex-standard free-sprung escapement with a handmade Breguet overcoil hairspring constructed of Parachrom blue, allowing for greater resistance to temperature variations and magnetic fields. Featuring just 201 parts – a 60% reduction from the cal.4030, the cal. 4130 was built from the ground up to maximize efficiency and reduce servicing needs. Chronometer-spec as standard, the cal. 4130’s even features a ceramic ball bearing winding system to maximize the conversion of the wearer's wrist movements into watch power, to be exact this system is 68% more efficient than that of the cal. 4030.
While all of these technical improvements are impressive, let's not beat around the bush- a gold Rolex Daytona is always going to be a statement piece. This 116528 has an insane presence on the wrist, it just feels special and has something that its steel counterpart lacks.
Here I have a 2009 z-serial full set ref. 116528 that even still retains its caseback sticker, alluding to just how well it has been taken care of in the past 11 years. Compounding on this very fact is this example’s case is extremely sharp and blemish-free. While there is practically no end to the ref. 116528’s aesthetic beauty, or mechanical excellence, Rolex has effectively distilled everything that makes the Daytona the legend that it is and put it into one modern and extremely exclusive package that deserves to be in just about every collection out there.