The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is the perfect watch for the board room or the racetrack. Expect to pay between £3,250 and £5,200 for the basic stainless steel model, and triple that for models made of gold. It is a self-winding automatic watch that is waterproof to 100 meters, and its chronograph function is ideal for measuring elapsed time or speed. Its timeless style will last for generations.
The Daytona's Construction
Most stainless steel watches are made of surgical 316L steel, which is very good. Rolex goes a step beyond this, using 904L steel, it is both super corrosion resistant and highly polishable, which is why a Rolex shines like no other. Its bracelet is very easy to size adjust, using screws instead of pins. It is actually made of 100 moving parts that conform to the wrist with smooth edges that never snag or pinch the skin. The bracelet also has the Easylink system which lets you make a further adjustment when your wrist expands due to exercise and high altitudes. Rolex watches were originally intended to be a working man's watch and its construction is shock resistant, antimagnetic and water resistant. It achieves water resistance through its triplock system winding crown. You must first turn the watch crown counterclockwise until it releases from its seal. The watch crown will then pull out to let you either wind it or set the time. When complete, you must apply gentle pressure to it and turn it clockwise until it screws back into the case to protect it from dust and water. The Daytona caseback is hermetically sealed and only an authorised Rolex service person will be able to open it.
The Daytona's Movement
The movement of the Daytona has changed over the years, it currently uses a 4130 calibre in-house movement. It is made of 290 parts which is much less than other Swiss chronograph movements. Its smaller size is efficient and precise and lets it fit into to the relatively small 40mm case. Note the size difference between the Daytona and the Tag Heuer Aquaracer. The watch movement also contains a Parachrom hairspring. This device protects the movement from magnetic fields and protects it from shock. On the front dial are the words, "superlative chronometer officially tested." This means the watch has undergone two weeks of testing under extreme conditions to meet Swiss standards. This process is standard for every Rolex with chronometer function.
Using the Chronograph
The chronograph function can be first and foremost used as a stop watch. To start, press down on the button above the crown. To stop, press the top button again, and to reset press the button below the crown. The chronograph can also be used as a large second hand if you synchronise it to begin with the small second hand at six o'clock of the dial. It can also be used to calculate speed, which is a little more complex. It utilises the units per hour scale that is engraved in the bezel of the watch. For example, suppose you have taken 50 seconds to travel 1 mile. Looking at the dial you can then determine your speed to be 72mph. Average speed times can also be determined using further calculations.
- Rolex Daytona owners manual