Rolex's famed Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona is an evocative piece of craftsmanship that was introduced to the world in 1963. Produced in relatively small numbers at first, this stainless steel watch was developed with auto racing in mind, both for professional circuit drivers and amateurs alike. Those in the field of high-performance motor sport lauded the Stainless Steel Rolex Daytona watch for its impeccably accurate chronograph and steel bezel with tachymetic scale. In perfect Rolex form, the watch also boasted the ability to measure average land speeds of up to 400 kilometers or miles per hour, whichever the wearer of the watch preferred. Bringing this type of technology to the market of luxurious and masterful watches was one of the many draws Rolex brought to potential buyers of the watch.
At the time of the watches introduction by Rolex; its notoriety was limited to auto racing enthusiasts and the watch stayed relatively clear of the general public's attention. All it took was for a shift in public perception of the watch was a well known actor to be photographed sporting the Cosmograph Daytona in the mid-1980's, and this Rolex took its rightful place in the history of championed luxury, high-performance watches. That iconic actor was Paul Newman who took a major interest in automobile racing in the early 1970's. In a stunning, but rightfully deserved testament to the Daytona's unmatched quality and function, he was reported to have worn his steel Daytona watch every day, from the time it was gifted to him in 1972, until his passing in 2008. “ The Paul Newman” era Rolex watches are some of the rarest Daytona's released and are highly sought after watches by collectors everywhere. Manufacturing of the original series of the watch by Rolex ceased in the late 1980's, exponentially increasing its value and desirability.
The journey of the Cosmograph Daytona watch from Rolex has seen its continuation in the development and release of a second series favoring automatic movements within the watch. Even with the advent of quartz movements around the time of the original Daytona watches release, Rolex stayed true to the time-tested mechanical watch for nearly 30 years. Innovation beckoned, however, and demand for the now highly recognizable Rolex Daytona watch was skyrocketing. Already existing in automatic, self-winding technology for the Rolex Daytona watch was specifically developed by Rolex for the iconic watch, and a new series was born. Now, the next generation of Rolex enthusiasts can participate in the continuing legacy of the Perpetual Cosmograph watch. From the 2000's model of the watch to the 2009 model of the watch and featuring either steel, stainless steel or 18K gold, many series and combinations of styles are available.
The Rolex Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona watch was born from the influence of high-performance motor sports and the desire to aid drivers in environments where reliability and consistency are paramount. It's in this environment that these watches truly shine. We also cannot ignore how iconic and timeless these watches are. They spanned decades of trends and immense changes in culture, only to come out on the other side just as relevant and robust as they were from when the Rolex Daytona watches first made their introduction. The evolution that led to the automatic, self-winding technology breathed new life into the Steel Cosmograph Daytona watch from Rolex and brought with it a new generation of Rolex lovers not only excited to witness history, but be a part of it.