Rolex Platinum Daytona: A Review of the 50th Anniversary Cosmograph Daytona Watch

Since 1905, Rolex has consistently come up with well-crafted, prestigious timepieces that continue to leave watch connoisseurs in awe. Take, for example, the highly-coveted Rolex Cosmograph Daytona M116506. Also known as the Rolex Platinum Daytona, this handsome piece is made with top-notch quality and exudes an unparalleled excellence that only this particular Swiss luxury watch brand can offer. 

Let us get to know more about the Rolex Platinum Daytona as we dive into its roots, its specifications, and everything it has to offer. 

A Brief Overview of the Rolex Platinum Daytona

Closer View of the Rolex Platinum Daytona Ref. M116506 Dial and Crown
Image by: Rolex

The Rolex Platinum Daytona hails from the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona collection. First released in 2013, it was a 50th anniversary piece meant to commemorate the launch of the first Cosmograph Daytona watch back in 1963. The Rolex Platinum Daytona was also a pioneer in its own way, as the first-ever Cosmograph Daytona piece to be crafted entirely from platinum.

Built to cater to every racer’s needs, the Cosmograph Daytona series is Rolex’s luxurious lineup of professional racing watches. If you are familiar with this collection, then you might already know some of the famous Rolex timepieces that it houses. This includes some of the most expensive Rolex watches ever made and crowd-favorites such as the Rolex Panda and Rolex Rainbow.

Given the prestige of the Cosmograph Daytona range, you can expect the Rolex Platinum Daytona to possess the same amount of quality and sophistication as the aforementioned, esteemed timepieces. 

A Closer Look at the Rolex Platinum Daytona

Case and Caseback

Front View of the Rolex Platinum Daytona Ref. M116506

Aside from being an exquisite anniversary timepiece, another huge draw of the Rolex Platinum Daytona is that it is crafted from one of the rarest and most expensive metals on Earth: platinum. This lavish platinum watch weighs in with a case that measures 40mm in diameter and 12.4mm in height. With these proportions, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is well-suited for wrists of all sizes. 

The Rolex Platinum Daytona also offers a rather significant heft on your wrist, as it weighs over 280 grams. This is because it is made from platinum, which is 60% heavier than gold. Although this watch does sit on the heavier side, this just means that you get to feel the actual, substantial weight of its platinum build. As a result, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is a great choice for folks who love robust timepieces that are sturdy and well-built. 

The Rolex Platinum Daytona’s case is also completely polished, which gives it an extraordinary luster that can be perceived from every angle. If you enjoy watches with a distinct, glorious sheen, then this aesthetically-pleasing timepiece is an excellent pick.  

On the underside of the Rolex Platinum Daytona, you can find a solid caseback that is also made out of platinum. Unlike the rest of the watch case, this caseback has a sleek brushed finish. It is also tightly screwed down, ensuring that no moisture or dirt can enter the Rolex Platinum Daytona. 

Bezel 

The tachymeter bezel is one of the most important parts a racing watch should possess. As such, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is duly equipped with a platinum bezel that bears a chestnut brown Cerachrom insert. This is an in-house creation that is completely scratch-proof and corrosion-resistant. In addition, compared to traditional bezel materials like aluminum or plain ceramic, Cerachrom does not fade over time and is unaffected by the damage from UV rays.

This brown Cerachrom insert is marked with a tachymeter scale, with the numerals and graduations carved in. They are filled with platinum, so the tachymeter scale has a silver tone that blends well with the chestnut brown of the Cerachrom insert. 

Crown and Pushers

Crown and pushers of the Rolex Platinum Daytona Ref. M116506
Image by: Rolex

On the right side of the Rolex Platinum Daytona, you will find a screw-down crown surrounded by two chronograph pushers. Crafted from platinum, these components are embellished with a lovely polished finish, enhancing the charismatic look of this chronograph piece.

The screw-down crown is designed with sharp and wide ridges, so wearers have a better grip when turning it. On top of the crown is a beautifully embossed image of Rolex’s iconic crown emblem, which adds to the premium look of this watch. Under the crown logo are three embossed dots, signifying that this timepiece is equipped with the brand’s Triplock waterproof system. Thanks to this system, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is water-resistant up to depths of 100 meters. This allows it to survive when used in water adventures like swimming and recreational diving.  

Meanwhile, the two chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock are separated by two polished crown guards. These pushers control the watch’s chronograph functions, which can be used together with the tachymeter bezel to measure the speed of a moving object. Like the crown, these pushers are tightly screwed down. This ensures maximum protection of the Rolex Platinum Daytona from the entry of moisture or dust. 

Dial

Dial of the Rolex Platinum Daytona Ref. M116506
Image by: Rolex

The most eye-catching part of the Rolex Platinum Daytona is easily its exquisite dial. This dial comes in a stunning ice-blue color. It is treated with a beautiful sunray finish, which creates a metallic, shimmering effect when viewed from different angles. 

The dial is ornamented with applique hour indices and slender platinum sword hands. All of these components are generously coated with Chromalight. This in-house luminous pigment glows a vibrant neon blue in the dark. It makes sure that wearers can read the Rolex Platinum Daytona’s face at all times. Rolex claims that its Chromalight can last for up to eight hours, which is double that of other materials used for luminosity.

As a chronograph watch, the Rolex Platinum Daytona’s dial is also filled with three sub-dials for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. These ice-blue sub-dials are outlined with rings of chestnut brown, which wonderfully complement the watch’s bezel. 

A layer of sapphire crystal protects the Rolex Platinum Daytona’s dial. This type of watch crystal is both highly scratch-resistant and shatterproof, offering the dial excellent protection.

Bracelet

Full View of the Rolex Platinum Daytona Ref. M116506

The Rolex Platinum Daytona is accompanied by the brand’s signature three-link Oyster bracelet. Also built from platinum, this bracelet is garnished with two different types of finishes, creating a striking interplay of textures. 

You will observe a lovely polished finish applied to the flanks and the center links of the Oyster bracelet. The shoulder links, on the other hand, are done with a satin finish. This combination of matte and glossy looks gives the Oyster bracelet a very sophisticated aesthetic. 

The Rolex Platinum Daytona’s bracelet also comes with a platinum folding clasp, which has an additional safety flap called the Oysterlock. This safety deployant clasp provides another level of security to the bracelet, making sure that it is firmly fastened to your wrist.

Movement

Movement of the Rolex Platinum Daytona Ref. M116506
Image by: Rolex

The Rolex Platinum Daytona runs on an in-house Rolex Caliber 4130. It is a self-winding chronograph movement that is held together by 44 jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It also boasts a stellar power reserve of up to 72 hours. As such, you can leave this timepiece on standby for approximately three days without having to constantly wind it. 

The Rolex Caliber 4130 is also very durable, as it is equipped with the brand’s advanced Parachrom hairspring innovation. This improves the movement’s resistance to shocks and extreme temperature variations. 

Price

Given that Rolex generally offers their timepieces at high prices, you can already expect that the Rolex Platinum Daytona is priced at an exorbitant range. In fact, it comes at a whopping price tag of approximately $178,749 USD. As an investment watch, this sought-after piece is surely worth purchasing because its value will appreciate easily in the coming years. 

Alternatives to the Rolex Platinum Daytona

1. Breitling Navitimer Ref. AB0138241C1P1

Front View of the Breitling Navitimer Ref. AB0138241C1P1

For an ice-blue dial watch that comes at a more affordable price than the Rolex Platinum Daytona, check out the Breitling Navitimer Ref. AB0138241C1P1. This Breitling piece is presented in a 43mm stainless steel case and a black alligator leather strap, which elevates the timepiece’s suave style. The underside of this strap also comes in a bright yellow hue, adding a more playful vibe to this serious timepiece. A thick black tachymeter bezel is also placed on top of the watch face. 

The icy-blue dial of this watch is adorned with rectangular applique hour indices and slim sword hands, along with a red seconds hand that adds a touch of vivacity to this watch face. It also contains three sub-dials in black, for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. 

This Breitling Navitimer watch is powered by an in-house Breitling Caliber 01. It is a self-winding movement fitted by 47 jewels and has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). When fully wound, the Breitling Caliber 01 can last for an outstanding 70 hours. This watch also has a water resistance capacity of 30 meters, allowing it to survive any splashes or showers. 

For a chronograph piece that can also double as a good-looking dress watch, you can get the Breitling Navitimer Ref. AB0138241C1P1 for $9,100 USD.

2. Omega Speedmaster Ref. 324.30.38.50.03.001

Front View of the Omega Speedmaster Ref. 324.30.38.50.03.001

If you want a more rugged blue dial watch, then you might like the Omega Speedmaster Ref. 324.30.38.50.03.001. This Omega watch utilizes a professional all-stainless steel build, which includes a 38mm case and a matching three-link bracelet. With its compact case size, this Omega watch fits best on men with more slender wrists. 

Protected by a layer of sapphire crystal, the watch’s blue dial is decorated with applique hour indices, thin sword hands, and a circular date aperture at 6 o’clock. Also arranged on the dial are submerged, ellipse-shaped chronograph sub-dials that add a very unique look to this timepiece. This dial goes well with the watch’s tachymeter scale, which is fitted with a sky-blue aluminum insert. 

Ticking inside this Omega Speedmaster piece is an in-house Omega Caliber 3330. Held together by 31 jewels, this automatic movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a 52-hour power rating. It is protected by a screwed-in caseback, which also gives the watch its 100-meter depth rating. 

The Omega Speedmaster Ref. 324.30.38.50.03.001 retails at $5,279 USD. 

3. Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDL063

Front View of the Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDL063

Steering away from Swiss watchmakers, we will now check out an offering from a renowned Japanese watch brand: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDL063

This watch comes from Seiko’s impressive roster of dive watches, the Seiko Prospex collection. As such, it has a superb water resistance capacity of 200 meters. It is packed in a chunky 44.5mm stainless steel case, coupled with a rugged black rubber strap. This is an apt and hardy combination that can take on any of your deep-sea conquests and diving needs. On top of the watch case, you can find a shiny blue ceramic bezel, which bears an elapsed time scale. 

The dial of this watch also comes in rich blue, complementing the bezel. It is furnished with hour markers in various geometric shapes and thick sword hands, along with a small date complication between 4 and 5 o’clock. The hands and indices are all coated with the brand’s in-house LumiBrite material, which lights up the watch face in the dark. Three black chronograph sub-dials also fill the dial, for the 60-second, 60-minute, and 24-hour counters. 

This watch is operated by an in-house Seiko Caliber V192. This is a solar-powered movement that can be charged with any source of light. As an efficient quartz movement, it also has a top-notch precision rate of +/-15 seconds per month.

Seiko is known for its affordable prices, and the Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDL063 is no different. This watch has a very budget-friendly price tag of just $626 USD. 

Final Thoughts

As an anniversary piece, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is a meticulously crafted and highly-regarded watch in the world of horology. With its rare platinum build, this timepiece radiates a truly charming and unusual appeal. If you are on the hunt for an elegant racing watch that will surely stand out in the crowd, then you should definitely consider the Rolex Platinum Daytona. 

All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. 

Photo credits: Rolex.

Want to learn about the type of watches worn by one of the most powerful people in the world? Check out our article about Joe Biden’s Watch Collection!

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