Undeniably Rolexes’ crown jewel in their modern sports watch offering, the Daytona has become synonymous with horological investment and exclusivity. The only chronograph that they offer, the Daytona was the model to pioneer the Rolex waiting list, long before the Batman, Hulk, Pepsi, etc experienced the phenomenon.
Tracing its roots to 1963, the Daytona was released within an extremely competitive landscape as other brands like Heuer and Breitling dominated the chronograph space. Following the first generation of the model, produced from 1963 to 1988, Rolex upgraded the Daytona to the second generation, which they offered until 2000. Powered by a heavily modified Zenith El Primero movement, the second generation Daytona merges an incredibly iconic movement with a still increasingly iconic aesthetic making for the perfect collector's piece.
It is interesting to note that as the first generation Daytonas such as Big Reds, Paul Newmans, John Player Specials, etc all skyrocket in value, the Zenith-era Daytona is still a great value proposition considering today’s market. While future values are never guaranteed, the Zenith Daytona is placed to perform exceedingly well in the next few years as collectors snap these models up as the recognise their potential future values, and icon status within the horological arena.
Here I have a U-serial Zenith Daytona ref. 16520 from 1997. Offered in exceptional condition, this ref. 16520 comes with a gorgeous black dial and creamy subdial peripheries. As the Zenith Daytona continues to climb in value and overall appreciation from the community, this is the series best suited to capitalize on any movements within the market, making for an exceptional collector's piece as both, a model to wear and appreciate in value.