Top 3 Rolex Racing Watches

Jurica Krajacic
Jurica Krajacic
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In the racing world, accurate timekeeping is essential. A millisecond can change the whole outcome of the race. That is why Formula One, NASCAR, and Moto GP take this very seriously. Nowadays, brands like Rolex and Omega are dominating the racing industry with their highly accurate timekeeping.

History of Rolex and Motor Sports

Motorsports and Rolex watches have been linking together for over 100 years. In 1902, with the launch of the first-ever Daytona races, Sir Malcolm Campbell wore an iconic Rolex Oyster. In this race, he broke the land speed four times. These record-breaking accomplishments changed the racing world forever. To honor that day, Rolex named their racing watch Rolex Daytona. So, Rolex Daytona is the first-ever Rolex racing watch in history.

In 1932, Rolex was able to link with the racing industry successfully. At Utah, Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the 300mph mark for the first time. This event was held in 1935, and he wore the Rolex Oyster watch with pride for this history-making occasion. Also, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch was inspired by the classic Oyster watch.

Rolex Oyster Chronograph Model No. 6234 – Pre Daytona

Photo Credit: Artnet.com

Rolex produces this model from 1954-1961. With three sub-dial configurations and a matching case, this Rolex Oyster Chronograph Model is a classic timepiece. This model runs on the Valjoux movement introduced before the Original Daytona model, which was the main reason it was called a Pre Daytona. Even Enzo Ferrari wore this Pre-Daytona model.

Specifications

  • Model – 6234 Pre Daytona
  • Case Diameter – 36 mm
  • Dial Color – Black or Silver
  • Case – Gold or Steel
  • Movement – Manual, Valjoux 72A movement
  • Price – Over $30,000

First-Ever Rolex Daytona

Photo Credit: Hodinkee.com

After the Pre Daytona models, in 1963, Rolex released the first-ever Daytona model. This new Daytona model was indeed a racing watch. It came with Valjoux 72 movement and a three-dial design.

After the Pre Daytona model’s success in the racing industry, Rolex made this first-ever Daytona model for the racing world. First, this model was called Rolex Le Mans. But, to inspire the racing community, they change the name to Rolex Daytona. This name change was made official in 1964.

The Daytona model received a mixed reaction from the general population during its launch. Hence, it took some time to make its mark on the racing world. In 1983, Paul Newman started to wear this watch. It was a gift from his beloved wife. With this, the popularity of Rolex Daytona grew remarkably. This Paul Newman’s watch was later auctioned for $17.8 million in 2017. This watch is considered to be the rarest Rolex Daytona watch in history.

Since then, the popularity of the Rolex Daytona watches has never dropped. It was the go-to watch for most of the race drivers in the modern world. Currently, Rolex produces roughly one million Daytona watches per year. And for a qualifying client, he will have to wait for 1-3 years on the waitlist to buy these precious watches.

Evolution of the Rolex Daytona Watch

After 20 years, the Rolex Daytona model has been recognized as a racing watch by the racing world. This watch was the first generation of Daytona watches. In 1988, Rolex released the Daytona Model 16520. This watch is equipped with automatic movement from Zenith. It was the second generation of Daytona watches. So, most people know this model as Zenith Daytona. This watch received good feedback upon the first release with a 38-40mm case diameter and sapphire crystals.

Until the year 2000, Rolex followed up with this 16530 model. At the beginning of 2000, they release the Rolex Daytona Model 116520. This third-generation watch is equipped with an in-house movement. This watch was far better than the earlier release and an excellent choice for racing.

Top Rolex Watches for Racing

If you are looking for a Rolex watch, here are some of the best options for you.

3. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona – 2021 Model 116519LN

Photo Credit: Robbreport.com

Specifications

  • Model No – 116519LN
  • Gender – Men’s
  • Case Diameter – 40 mm
  • Material – 18 ct White Gold
  • Caliber – Rolex 4130
  • Dial Color – Black and Meteorite
  • Case – Oyster
  • Bracelet – Oysterflex
  • Movement – Self-winding
  • Water Resistance – 330 feet

Features

  • Chronograph accurate to 0.125 second
  • Superlative Chronometer certified
  • Center hour

2. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona – 2021 Model 116505

Photo Credit: Rolex.com

Specifications

  • Model No – 116505
  • Gender – Men’s
  • Case Diameter – 40 mm
  • Material – 18 ct Everose Gold
  • Caliber – Rolex 4130
  • Dial Color – Black and Meteorite
  • Case – Oyster
  • Bracelet – Oysterflex
  • Movement – Self-winding
  • Water Resistance – 330 feet

Features

  • Chronograph accurate to 0.125 second
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire
  • Superlative Chronometer certified
  • 72-hour power reserve

1. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona – 2021 Model 116518LN

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Specifications

  • Model No – 116518LN
  • Gender – Men’s
  • Case Diameter – 40 mm
  • Material – 18 ct Yellow Gold
  • Caliber – Rolex 4130
  • Dial Color – Black and Champagne color
  • Case – Oyster
  • Bracelet – Oysterflex
  • Movement – Self-winding
  • Water Resistance – 330 feet

Features

  • Blue luminescence with a long lifespan
  • Chronograph accurate to 0.125 second
  • Superlative Chronometer certified
  • Bidirectional self-winding

Famous Race Drivers that wore Rolex Watches

As we discussed earlier, the history between Rolex and motorsports is over 100 years old. In 2013, Rolex became the official global partner for Formula One. Here are some of the famous race drivers that wore Rolex watches during their races.

  • In 1904 and 1935, Sir Malcolm Campbell wore a Rolex Oyster watch for his record-breaking performances.
  • Sir Jackie Stewart won Formula One three times between 1966 and 1973. He wore a Rolex Daytona model for these races, and his nickname is Flying Scot.
  • 23 Grand Prix winner Nick Roseberg is a long-time Rolex wearer. He wears these Rolex Green Dial Submariner models for all his races.
  • FIA World Endurance Championship winner Mark Webber brought his first Rolex GMT Master in 2009. When he won the Endurance Championship, he proudly wore this Rolex watch.

The Bottom Line

So, what is the key takeaway which you have got from this blog? Well, if you are looking for a racing watch, Rolex is the best choice for you. With its rich history and popularity, Rolex has become one of the most iconic brands in the wristwatch industry. Rolex will undoubtedly hold its position in the near future without any concerns.

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