The 24 Hours of Le Mans is considered one the greatest races in the world, testing the skills and endurance limits of the drivers, who take part in the event. As the official timekeeper for the famous race and also to celebrate its 100th anniversary, Rolex has unveiled a new Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona (Ref. 126529 LN) with the famous Paul Newman-inspired dial and an 18 ct white gold case. This will be a non-limited edition model or a permanent production variant.
Rolex enjoys a very strong connection with motorsports and the Cosmograph Daytona is a prime example of it. Its name refers to Daytona, Florida, often described as a Mecca for racing. The luxury watch brand released the first Cosmograph Daytona after a year of its association with the Daytona International Speedway, as its official timekeeper. Insofar as this year’s Le Mans is concerned, what makes it even more special is the fact that Ferrari has negated its 50-year absence from 24 Hours of Le Mans by defeating the invincible Toyota.
So, what makes the latest Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch truly desirable? To begin with, the new Daytona comes in a 40 mm 18 ct white gold case, which has been redesigned. Even the Cerachrom bezel gets a new structure with a black ceramic insert and is framed by a thin band of 18 ct white gold. The watch also comes with a platinum tachymeter scale, coated in PVD, with a ‘100’ in red ceramic, marking the Le Mans centenary celebrations. At 3 o’clock, the watch gets a screw-down crown with a triple lock and two screwed pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the mechanism.
Then there is the iconic ‘Panda’ dial. It refers to a black sunray dial with white counters — a 24-hour counter at 9 o’clock instead of the regular 12-hour counter, a 60-second counter at 6 o’clock, and a 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock. The hour, minute and the central second hands, along with the hour markers, are crafted from white gold, with luminescent material. Only the hour and minute hands get black lacquer markings.
Powering the Cosmoraph Daytona is an in-house, automatic, self-winding Calibre 4132 with 72 hours of power reserve. Turning the watch over showcases the skeleton caseback; the movement gets Côtes de Genève decorations across the bridges, the polished anglage and a mainplate with perlage. An 18 ct yellow gold oscillating weight can be spotted as well. This Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona also carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, like its previous variants. Finishing the watch is an 18 ct white gold bracelet with polished and satin-finished surfaces. It also sports an Oysterlock folding safety clasp with an Easylink comfort extension link.