Hands-On With Rolex Daytona 116520 In Steel With Black Dial Men's Replica Watch

The Rolex Daytona 116520 Replica has been with us for over 16 years, from its debut in 2000 until its replacement, the part-ceramic 116500 (hands-on here) debuted in 2016. The steel Daytona has not only been a rare bird that Rolex men's replica has often made extremely difficult to obtain, but also an icon among luxury chronographs. I had one around for a couple of weeks and, not too long after starting to wear it, I asked myself the question: is the steel Daytona a real replica watch lover's replica watch? Has it aged well? Has it retained its magic, or has its fame made it let its guard down as competition became fiercer every year? Lots of questions on my mind, so I set off seeking answers.


There's a saying in Hungarian that, in direct translation, goes like "it's coming out my elbow by now." Although, come to think of it, I am not quite sure how this scientifically questionable saying caught on, the Daytona's history at this point may very well be coming out your elbow too – you have heard it so many times.

If you have no friends and want to make sure it stays that way, try and meet new ones in hotel lobbies, or on the internet, mocking everything, all the time. Alternatively, just learn these numbers and use them often at public gatherings: 6239, 6240, 6262, 6269, 16520, 116520. There are more of these Daytona references, but these shall already suffice to keep decent and fun human beings from spending too much time around you, should you talk about these frequently. The emphasis is on not calling everything by its reference all the time like a total douche – and not on being ignorant about replica watch history.

Although Rolex has been producing chronographs since at least the thirties, the Daytona's history can actually be traced back to the fifties, when Rolex made a few chronographs which they at times rather unimaginatively titled "Chronograph." The five lines of boasting on replica watch dials was but a mere dream at that point. Rolex appears to not really want you to know much about these ousted models – not one pre-Daytona chronograph is in their otherwise really quite detailed history page, nor is one in their yet more detailed history page on their press-only site.

In a nutshell, the so-called "pre-Daytona" history that you may want to know is the fact that the Cosmograph name Rolex registered as early as 1955, and that the reference 6238, introduced in 1961 (some sources say 1963), was a solid-looking Cosmograph that didn't yet have the Daytona name added to it. What Rolex does want you to know is the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona reference 6239 from 1963, the first "proper Daytona." It was nicknamed "Daytona" after Rolex's association with the Daytona International Speedway began in 1962. Still, to date, the full name of the Daytona is Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona.


Let us leap into the future, leaving the rest of Rolex Daytona history – filled with weird, fascinating and rare references – to you to research, and get straight to the Rolex Daytona reference 16520. Notice the 5-digit reference as opposed to the modern variants' 6-digit number. Introduced in 1988 and in production until 2000, the 16520 is often referred to as the "Zenith Daytona" as it was equipped with the Rolex 4030 caliber, a movement based on the Zenith El Primero that Rolex modified mainly by fitting a different escape wheel and hairspring, and by dropping its operating frequency from the El Primero's famed 5Hz to 4Hz. Before 1988, Rolex Cosmograph Daytonas used hand-wound, Valjoux-based calibers.

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