M126529ln 0001 2302jva 002
Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex releases this year’s most desirable Daytona to mark centenary of the Le Mans 24-hour race

White gold model with a Paul Newman-style reverse panda dial has collectors hammering the phones of their local authorised dealers.

Rolex has sprung a surprise new version of its Cosmograph Daytona to mark the 100th anniversary of Le Mans.

And it is arguably the most exciting edition to hit stores in this, the 60th birthday of the famous racing chronograph.

It arrives in 18ct white gold with a Paul Newman-style reverse panda dial and a slight tweak to the gearing of the usual calibre 4131 (introduced earlier this year) that turns the 12 hour chronograph sub dial into a 24 hour counter in honour of the legendary full day and night race.

Paul Newman is not only forever associated with the Rolex Daytona, he was also a passionate endurance motor racer and came second overall in the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing first in his class with co-drivers Dirk Barbour and Rolf Stommelen in a Porsche 935.

M126529ln 0001 2302jva 001
Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Reference 126529LN.

The altered movement gets a new reference, the calibre 4132, and there is also a change to the black Cerachrome bezel with the number 100 picked out in red.

Rolex collectors will be particularly excited by the Paul Newman-style reverse panda dial, which they liken to the look of the highly desirable vintage Daytona 6263.

Vintage rolex 6263 daytona black dial
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 6263 (picture courtesy Bob’s Watches).

“White gold, a PND-derived dial layout, the special bezel, AND a new iteration of their chronograph movement that is tied directly to the 24 Hours of Le Mans? As commemorative editions go, this one’s about to hit the rev limiter,” says Hodinkee’s lead editor James Stacey.

M126529ln 0001 2302jva 005

Paul Altieri, CEO of major Rolex watch trading company Bob’s Watches and a passionate collector of the brand is equally tickled.

“Rolex does it again releasing a new model Daytona over the weekend to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Le Mans race. Take my money now,” he urges.

“I love the Panda dial is it harkens back to The vintage days of the model 6263. What a sensational release. It is expected to be a permanent addition to The Crowns line-up, but good luck getting your hands on one of them.”

M126529ln 0001 2302jva 003

As with the upgraded Daytona’s unveiled to mark the 60th anniversary of the timekeeper at Watches and Wonders this year, the movement is on show via a sapphire glass case back.

Rolex had already announced the creation of special edition Daytonas to be given to the category winners of this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race, but this white gold version of the watch enters Rolex’s core collection priced at £43,300.

It goes on sale from July 1.

Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *