For a while now, the end game for a lot of vintage watch collectors have always been ‘vintage Daytona’. Mythical, scary, and eye-wateringly expensive, the very utterance of the term vintage Daytona is enough to get the attention of the most hardcore collectors. Partly branding and partly due to its status as the pinnacle of Rolex, even till this day, the Rolex Daytona is the hardest watch to get at a Rolex AD, with waitlists going for years and only clients with a history of buying allowed to even be considered a place in the queue.
With vintage, it is the same story but both trickier and more rewarding at the same time. With a plethora of variants from the 6239, all the way to the 6265 and even more dial variants from something as recognizable as Paul Newman’s to murkier details such as underlines, double Swiss’s and Mk 1 pushers, vintage Datyonas have always been scrutinized and studied, ridiculed and admired.
While there are plenty of nitty-gritty details that are important for collectors to know, at the end of the day, the main appeal of the Daytona is that it is just a downright good looking watch. Sized at 36mm with its iconic three sub-dial layout, it is a hard watch to study, but an easy one to appreciate. A collector friend of mine once said: ‘Once you go Daytona, you never go back’, referring to vintage ones of course. It’s easy to see why, as on the wrist there is nothing quite like it, with its elegant proportions and sporty presence. While there are other chronographs of the era that look similar, somehow, Rolex just got the little things right. As Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe famously said: ‘God is in the details.’
This particular example is a reference 6265, a reference that would be considered one of the last ‘true’ vintage Daytona references. While steel is all the rage, I have to say that in 18k gold, it just might be one of my favorite watches of all time. There is a certain charming contradiction with a vintage gold sports watch. Much like how a gold Royal Oak or Nautilus projects itself, the gold vintage Daytona is no different. Furthermore, old gold tends to be warmer, less shiny, and much, much cooler, allowing the wearer to make a statement without being ostentatious.