Review: Rolex Daytona 116520
Table Of Contents
Review: Rolex Daytona 116520

Review: Rolex Daytona 116520


A Brief History of the Rolex Daytona 

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The Rolex Daytona is named after the town on the east coast of Florida, USA, which developed into the world capital for speed in the early 20th century.  All through the 1930s, Rolex was developing sports watches that could do amazing things such as survive underwater as well as keep reliable time in extreme temperatures. 

Starting in 1955, Rolex produced a small number of watches that were designed to measure speed and distance.  Using a tachymeter for speed and a telemeter for distance, three subdials on the watch helped calculate accurate results.  In 1963 the Cosmograph Daytona was introduced,  aimed specifically to aid professional racing drivers. 

It’s incredible to consider now, but when the official Daytona was first introduced in 1963, it wasn’t popular.  There are stories about dealers who refused to stock the watch because they couldn’t sell them!  All that changed when Paul Newman was photographed wearing the Daytona watch - a gift from his wife -  in the early 1970s.  

Of course, these days, watch enthusiasts don’t always wear a Daytona for measuring speed and distance, but rather because of its iconic style and history.  The Rolex Daytona reference 116520 was first introduced in 2000.  It was discontinued in 2016.  


A closer look at the Rolex Daytona 116520

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This iconic Rolex Daytona 116520 stainless steel watch comes with either a white dial or a black dial.  In both cases, the subdials match the dial colour.  The stainless steel bezel on the Rolex Daytona 116520 has the tachymeter scale engraved on it.  

With a diameter of 40mm, a depth of 12mm and a lug width of 20mm, the Rolex Daytona 116520 is a comfortable watch to wear.  The stainless steel bracelet is the popular Oyster.  

There are three subdials: 60 seconds at 6 O’clock, 30 minutes at 3 O’clock and 12 hours at 9 O’clock.  The crystal is scratch resistant flat sapphire. 

The Rolex Daytona 116520 is waterproof to 100 metres (330 feet). 


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The first ever Rolex-made automatic calibre 4130 powers the Rolex Daytona 116520.  This calibre was introduced in 2000 and it has a power reserve of 72 hours. 



Rolex Daytona 116520 Specifications 

Case diameter


Main materials

Stainless steel  


Stainless steel, Oyster bracelet 


3 subdials 


Black with steel rimmed subdials, or white with black rimmed subdials. 


Calibre 4130


Stainless steel with engraved tachymeter 

Water Resistance

100m (330ft) 

Is the Rolex Daytona 116520 a good investment? 

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Like most discontinued Rolex watches, the Rolex Daytona 116520 is likely to be a great investment.  Paul Newman’s wife reportedly paid $300 for the watch she bought him.  It sold for $17.8 million in 2017.  

At the time of writing, pre-owned Daytonas can be bought for around £21,000 to £39,000.  The price will of course depend on the age and condition of the watch for sale.  The overall trend in Rolex prices is upward and has been for many years.  

While some models have a very slight increase in value over time, the Rolex Daytona 116520 is one of the most outstanding performers.  This means that buying a Rolex Daytona 116520 is likely to be an extremely good investment. 


The Rolex Daytona 116520 is one of the most famous and popular Rolex watches.  With a vibrant pre-owned market for this reference, it makes owning this watch well worth the effort and the cost.  The return on the investment could be more than rewarding over the long term. 

If you are looking for a Rolex Daytona 116520, or if you have one to sell, please contact the team at Chrono Hunter.



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