The Rolex Cosmograph “Rainbow” Daytona has become the talk of the town since a brand new model, the Cosmograph “Rainbow” Daytona Ref. 116595 RBOW, was released at Baselworld 2018. The Rolex Rainbow Daytona collection consists of some of the most sought-after wristwatches in the world. Among the most expensive watches that Rolex has ever crafted, the Rolex Rainbow Daytona series are the grail pieces of many watch enthusiasts and even famous personalities across the world.
Read on to find out more about the Rolex Rainbow Daytona, its specifications and everything it has to offer, as well as the best models available in this collection.
Rolex as a Luxury Watch Brand
What do you think of when you hear the name “Rolex”? For most people, especially watch enthusiasts, it will surely evoke an image of Rolex, the most famous and respected brand of reliable luxury watches. Ever since the brand was first founded in 1905, it has unceasingly captured the hearts of many, both watch fans and the general public, through its extraordinary creations.
Rolex was created by Hans Wilsdorf, who started the company in London at the mere age of 24 years old. Wilsdorf started out as a distributor of watches, but his business quickly expanded, and he started making his own elegant and highly reliable luxury watches. Five years later, in 1910, Wilsdorf produced his first-ever wristwatch. Known for its superb accuracy, this timepiece was awarded the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision by the Official Watch Rating Center in Bienne.
With this achievement unlocked, Rolex began to create more and more highly innovative, trailblazing timepieces. Some of Rolex’s incredible exploits include the ground-breaking development of a self-winding mechanism with a perpetual rotor and being the first brand to create a waterproof watch, a dive watch with a water resistance capacity of 100 meters, the first watch with a full day and date window display, and much more. As a game-changing player in watchmaking history with so many accomplishments under its belt, it is little surprise why Rolex’s watches are some of the most valuable timepieces in the world.
Today, Rolex continues its legacy by producing watches of the highest quality, including the Oyster Perpetual, Sea Dweller, Explorer II, and more. For instance, one of its recent, innovative creations is the Rolex Cellini Moonphase, in 2017. This watch is notable for its moon phase feature, which is able to display the phases of the moon for the next 122 years.
All About Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is easily one of Rolex’s most famous collections. This series of watches were first introduced in 1963. As a collection that consists of remarkable timepieces aimed at motorsports enthusiasts and professional racing drivers, it is little surprise that the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is also frequently referred to as the “Sports Chronograph” by Rolex.
The Cosmograph Daytona watches were named after the famous Daytona Beach in Florida, also known as the world’s capital of speed at the time. Rolex was the official timekeeper in the 1962 Daytona Continental 3 Hour Grand Touring and Sports Car Race, which was held at Daytona Beach.
During this stock car race, Sir Malcolm Campbell, one of the most promising race car drivers, set a new land speed record, and he did so while wearing a Rolex timepiece. Campbell even wrote a letter of gratitude to Rolex, citing the watch’s durability both off and on the track. This acknowledgment from Campbell quickly boosted Rolex’s profile amongst both racers and motorsports enthusiasts. It was this event that led Rolex to turn its focus to the racing industry, culminating in the release of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona lineup in 1963.
In the early years of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona collection, this lineup of watches was actually known as just the “Cosmograph”. It was not until 1967 when Rolex began printing the word “Daytona” on the dial of these watches, simultaneously renaming the series the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.
The early Rolex Cosmograph Daytona models featured bold, chunky appearances. They came with a tachymeter scale on their bezels, tightly screwed-down chronograph pushers, and numeral markers in highly legible typefaces. In 1988, Rolex invented a new self-winding movement for the Cosmograph Daytona. In addition, the dials of these watches were redesigned, with the numeral hour markers giving way to simpler hour indices and contrasting timing tracks.
Today, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona range contains a vast and very diverse range of timepieces, with the brand releasing new and improved variants every few years. Some of the most remarkable models in this collection include the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116500LN and Paul Newman’s legendary Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6263, which was sold at a record-breaking auction price of $17.8 million USD in 2017.
Recently, Rolex has released a new sub-collection of Cosmograph Daytona timepieces: the Rolex Cosmograph “Rainbow” Daytona. More commonly known as the Rolex Rainbow Daytona, these are gorgeous, ostentatious timepieces intended for all the men and women who love extravagant decorative watches that are sure to turn heads.
As of now, there are three Rolex Rainbow Daytona models: the Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow Everose Gold Ref. 116595RBOW, the Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow Yellow Gold Ref. 116598RBOW, and the Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow White Gold Ref. 116599RBOW. Like all the timepieces produced by Rolex, these watches offer impressive performances and excellent features that are worth every dollar you spend on them.
Anatomy of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona
Ever since their first release in the 1960s, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watches are known for their high-end, high-quality appearances. The Rolex Rainbow Daytona models, in particular, are the epitome of luxury and lavishness.
The cases of the three Rolex Rainbow Daytona variants are each made of solid 18K yellow gold, rose gold, or white gold. Each Rainbow Daytona model also comes with thick slanted lugs and protruding crown guards that are used to protect the watch’s stout screw-down crown. The crown guards and lugs are all embedded with 56 sparkling white cut diamonds that differ in shape depending on their placement in the watch. The diamonds in the crown guards and lugs are cone-shaped, creating a reflective surface that allows light to shine off the watch brilliantly.
Flipping the Rolex Rainbow Daytona over, you can also find a caseback made of gold. As opposed to most watches, which have their details carved onto the caseback, the caseback of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona is completely bare, allowing you to fully admire the solid, gleaming gold surface.
On the right side of the watch’s case, you will see a sizeable crown, with grooved edges that provide wearers with a better grip. Aside from being surrounded by two chronograph pushers, this crown is also equipped with the brand’s Triplock triple waterproofness system, which bolsters the watch’s resistance to strong water pressures and damage. The case and caseback are securely screwed down, protecting the watch’s inner mechanisms from any dust or moisture. Thanks to them, the case of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona has a solid depth rating of 100 meters, so you can wear this watch during adventures like snorkeling, diving, saturation diving, and other such watersports activities.
Dial and Bezel
The Rolex Rainbow Daytona also comes with a chunky, gem-studded fixed bezel, which is made of the same 18K gold material as the rest of the case. Unlike the crown guards and lugs, the bezel is set with 36 colorful square-shaped gems, transitioning from one color to another around the bezel. Starting from red and going down to orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and pink, these precious stones create a veritable explosion of rainbow hues. One model that stands out, however, is the Daytona Rainbow Everose Gold Ref. 116595RBOW. As the latest Rolex Rainbow Daytona release, this watch uses baguette-cut sapphires to form a rainbow gradation.
The dial of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona completes the flamboyant aesthetic of these watches. All Rolex Rainbow Daytona models come with exquisite black lacquer dials that contrast starkly against the gold watch cases. These dials are adorned with either dazzling diamonds or baguette-cut sapphire indices for the hour markers, blunt luminous hands made of 18K gold, and, in some cases, double-digit Arabic numeral markers that are also made of 18K gold.
As chronograph watches, the Rolex Rainbow Daytona’s dial comes with three chronograph sub-dials in different hues, depending on the specific model you are looking at. These sub-dials are made using a crystallization process. This gives them a glimmering, metallic finish unlike any other while also helping them to stand out against the dial.
The Rolex Rainbow Daytona also comes with the brand’s Chromalight display, which is a feature that has been used since the Rolex Sea-Dweller watches. It gives the watch face a strong and stable lume during low-light conditions, which allows for optimal legibility at all times. Rolex’s Chromalight can also work for eight hours non-stop, which is far better than the luminescent materials offered for other wristwatches.
The bracelet of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona is made of the same material as the watch case. In particular, these watches use Oyster-type bracelets with solid three-piece links. However, these are not the usual three-link bracelets you see on other watches, either. The Rainbow Daytona’s bracelets come with highly scratch-resistant ceramic inserts that help hold the links together. This ensures that the bracelet’s links do not come loose, even if they have been worn for decades.
Additionally, all of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona’s bracelets have satin-finished outer links coupled with well-polished edges and center links. This creates a delightful interplay of different textures so that the bracelet of the Rainbow Daytona is just as satisfying to look at as the rest of the watch.
The bracelets are also equipped with Rolex’s Easylink rapid extension system. First patented in 1996, this allows wearers to extend the length of the bracelet by up to 5mm, ensuring it fits nicely around your wrist. Finally, each Rolex Rainbow Daytona bracelet comes with an Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which keeps the strap firmly secured to your wrist. This safety clasp is marked with Rolex’s signature crown logo, adding to the air of refinement that surrounds the watch.
Powering each Rolex Rainbow Daytona watch is the high-precision in-house Rolex Perpetual Caliber 4130. Developed in 2000, this is a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement that is made up of 201 individual parts. It is equipped with a column wheel and a vertical clutch, which help the hands of the watch to function more precisely. In addition, Rolex also offers servicing for the vertical clutch if you ever need it to be lubricated, replaced, or dismantled.
The Caliber 4130 is a tried-and-tested movement that is outfitted with many high-tech Rolex watch inventions. For instance, the Caliber 4130 was the first-ever movement to hold Rolex’s paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. Manufactured using a paramagnetic alloy, this Parachrom hairspring is ten times more precise than a conventional hairspring. It also bolsters the movement’s resistance to shocks, extreme changes in temperature, and strong magnetic fields, rendering the Caliber 4130 extremely durable indeed. Furthermore, this movement has an outstanding power reserve of 72 hours and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz).
Thanks to the Caliber 4130, all three Rolex Rainbow Daytona models possess the Oyster Perpetual Professional Superlative Chronometer certification. This certification has higher standard requirements for precise timekeeping than even the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), making it a true testament to the Rolex Rainbow Daytona’s accuracy. Users have reported that the Rolex Rainbow Daytona has an average precision rate of +/-2 seconds per day.
The exorbitant prices of Rolex watches are something everyone should be familiar with at this point. This is doubly true of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona, which is so highly sought-after that its price has appreciated considerably since its first release.
As an example, the Everose Gold Rolex Rainbow Daytona initially retailed at $97,500 USD. Today, it can be purchased for approximately $430,000 USD. The Yellow Gold and White Gold models, on the other hand, are slightly cheaper, selling at around $350,000 USD today.
Best Rolex Rainbow Daytona Models
Let us now take a look at each Rolex Rainbow Daytona model in close detail.
1. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona “Rainbow” Everose Gold Ref. 116595 RBOW
First, we have the Everose Gold Ref. 116595 RBOW. As the newest Rolex Rainbow Daytona option, this watch is a great option for all the ladies out there. As its name suggests, this watch comes in a 40mm case and bracelet both made of 18K rose gold. Its 40mm size is quite standard, making it perfect for women’s wrists of all sizes. Affixed to the top of the watch’s bezel is a rose gold bezel decorated with gorgeous, multi-colored gems. The watch case is also embellished with crystal-like diamonds, which are set into the watch’s crown guards and lugs.
The dial of this watch comes in jet-black. It is adorned with colorful baguette-cut indices, luminous rose gold hands, and three chronograph sub-dials for the 30-minute, 60-minute, and 12-hour counters. These sub-dials are made of pink gold crystals, giving them a glittery effect that simply shines in the night.
The Everose Gold Ref. 116595 RBOW costs about $473,999.00 USD
2. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona “Rainbow” White Gold Ref. 116599RBOW
Next up is the White Gold Ref. 116599RBOW, which was previously released in 2012. This watch is presented in a 40mm case and three-link bracelet made of 18K white gold. Its polished silver-tone exterior blends perfectly with the multitude of diamonds peppered on the watch’s crown guards and lugs. In addition, this watch also comes with a fixed bezel studded with rainbow colour gems.
Like the previous model, this watch comes with a black dial. However, it differs in that this dial is furnished with square-shaped diamond hour indices, blunt silver hands, and silver crystal chronograph sub-dials. Arabic numeral minute markers made of white gold can also be found at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, while the 12 o’clock position is occupied by the watch’s crown emblem, also crafted from white gold. The vibrant red of the seconds hand and the chronograph hands helps add to the watch’s flamboyant, striking flair.
The White Gold Ref. 116599RBOW has a price tag of $357,000 USD. It is perfect for men who love a dazzling sporty timepiece.
3. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona “Rainbow” Yellow Gold Ref. 116598RBOW
Finally, we have the Yellow Gold Ref. 116598RBOW, which was also released in 2012. This watch sports an 18K yellow gold case that measures 40mm in diameter, along with a three-link bracelet made out of the same material. On top of the watch case is a fixed bezel that is embedded with 36 rainbow-hued sapphires, giving this watch an especially fancy, lavish style.
The dial of this watch also comes in stark black. Like the White Gold Ref. 116599RBOW, this dial contains square-cut diamond hour markers, gold Arabic numeral minute markers, luminous blunt hands also made of gold, and bright red seconds and chronograph hands. The sub-dials of this watch, on the other hand, are made of yellow gold crystals, allowing them to wonderfully complement the watch’s exterior.
The Yellow Gold Ref. 116598RBOW is priced at about $357,000 USD.
Rolex Cosmograph “Rainbow” Daytona: A Head-Turner Watch for Men and Women
For decades, Rolex has never failed to exceed its watchmaking peers. Every single watch that Rolex has made always comes with something that no one else can offer. The Rolex Rainbow Daytona is yet another example of this. Combining top-notch timekeeping with an absolutely mesmerizing design, the Rolex Rainbow Daytona gives you everything you could possibly want. If you want a watch that you can invest your money in and help you turn heads at your next dinner event, then the Rolex Rainbow Daytona is an obvious pick.
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