Rolex Daytona

SKU AS02331
SKU AS02331

Why We Love it

When the hammer fell down at Phillips inagural New York watch auction on October 26, 2017, an exotic dial Rolex Daytona owned by Paul Newman became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction.

While Newman’s Own Daytona might have been exceptional (in provenance), it illustrates the tremendous desirability of the Daytona model in general.

As Rolex’s only chronograph in continuous production, the Daytona occupies a place of privilege in watch boxes around the world. Preference, of course, is given to early variants, such as the exotic dial versions worn by Paul Newman. However, the climate has certainly changed thanks to the recent auction, and “Newman Daytonas” have crept from attainable artifacts into “grail watch” territory—for a certain few who won’t balk at dropping hundreds of thousands - or even millions - of dollars on a watch.

But production of the Daytona didn’t end when Paul Newman strapped on his and took to the racecourse.

To the contrary, Rolex continued to manufacture the Daytona and improve it, adding crown guards and screw-down pushers in the mid-1960s. Though the addition of screw-down pushers might make actually using the chronograph difficult, it was a necessary one, ensuring that the watertight nature of the watch’s famed Oyster case would not be compromised. And in the 1980s, as Rolex revamped its collection of sports watches, the Daytona was not excluded.

As watches like the Rolex Submariner Reference 16800 and Explorer Reference 14270 were given sapphire crystals, so too was the Daytona, which now boasted water resistance up to 330 feet.

And Rolex used a Zenith El Primero unit as a base for the Calibre 4030—the first automatic chronograph movement ever used by Rolex.

The Reference 16520 Daytona ushered in a new era for the model. Consumer demand for it meant that Authorized Dealers couldn’t keep it in stock. Moreover, since Rolex only made these watches for little over a decade, “Zenith Daytonas” have gained a fervent following of their own.

This particular Zenith Daytona boasts a nicely-patinated black Mark 3 Dial, which marks the return of “Officially Certified” to the paragraph beneath the Rolex coronet. At 39mm the case, lightly worn, maintains the slim proportions of the earlier references. The 78390/503B bracelet is a desirable value-add.

Dating from 1996, this Zenith Daytona is one of the later versions, and in a few years will become properly vintage. It’s the perfect compromise—a collectible watch that you can actually wear. Whether for work or for play, this watch will prove the perfect companion as you circle the racetrack of life.

A:S Guarantee


Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.


Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.


We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns


All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Rolex Daytona

Rolex Daytona

Rolex Daytona


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