Always thought that only Fender can randomly shuffle decks and necks of radically different classic guitars and get away with that? Think again! At Baselworld 2011 trade show Rolex has updated its Daytona collection with the new Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona (ref. 116515LN) model that combines their signature Everose-alloy case with a black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. And, yes: thanks to the winning combination of colors and textures, it does look fantastic!
As the rest of the family, the new Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona is equipped with the Caliber 4130 automatic chronograph movement. Done solely in-house, the caliber is COSC-certified as a high-grade chronometer and is guaranteed to gain or lose no more than 2 seconds per day. But, of course, its main feature is a high-precision column-wheel chronograph functionality that allows you to time different events with the accuracy of up to 1/8th of a second. Making its first appearance more than a decade ago in 2000, the mechanism replaced the well-known Zenith 4030 high-speed chronograph movement.
Although this mechanism doesn’t feature Zenith’s signature 36,000 vibrations per hour balance wheel frequency, it is still considered a superior choice not only because of Rolex’s extremely thorough in-house quality control process, but also thanks for its use of antimagnetic Parachrom spring and more than adequate 72 hours of power reserve, which makes it more practical to those who have at least three timekeepers in daily rotation on their wrists.
Also (while I am not fond of that) some people like to actually feel the massive oscillating weight of the cal. 4130 doing its job behind (sigh) the solid case back cover.
The movement is neatly packed inside a monoblock Everose case 40 mm in diameter. While more massive than an average ‘historic’ Rolex, the timekeeper is whole two millimeters smaller than this year’s Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. If your wrist is on a skinnier side, it may look just a bit too massive to be worn comfortably, mainly due to relatively long lugs. Well, watches with a certain presence about them are still popular among enthusiasts and casuals alike, so I think the size of this is not going to be a problem for nine potential buyers out of ten.
As far as general styling goes, the only change to the familiar design seems to be the black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. Practically scratch-proof, the bezel has the standard tachymeter graduation first engraved and then deposited layer by layer with rose gold vapor.
The model will be available in two versions differing only in finishing of their dials. The first one will sport a chocolate brown dial and the other one will come with an ivory-colored face.
Both versions will be equipped with 18-karat rose gold hands filled with luminous substance. However, the chocolate brown dial is the most appealing since its gold Arabic numerals are treated with black PVD striking a sweet chord with the piano-black ceramic bezel.
No info on pricing yet, but it is clear that the 116515LN won’t be cheap*.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
See also: Chopard L.U.C Lunar Big Date chronometer
* UPDATE ON PRICE: In Europe the 116515LN will be offered at a minimum recommended street price of €26,400. While far from being “affordable” for a normal enthusiast, it is actually only a tad more expensive than a similarly specced high-grade chronograph (i.e. one with a combination of a medium-sized rose gold case, ceramic bezel, and a COSC-certified mechanism) would set you back in normal circumstances.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116515LN specification
Price: €26,400 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 4130, 44 jewels, 28,800 vph, 30.50 mm in diameter, 6.50 mm in height, COSC-certified chronometer, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Signed and numbered
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Power reserve: 72 hours
Case: Everose gold
Bezel: Black Cerachrom ceramic
Size: 40.00 mm
Dial: Ivory or Chocolate Brown
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with an 18-karat Everose gold folding clasp and safety catch
Back: Screw-down with Rolex fluting