Introducing The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 126529LN Watch

Rolex's new "Newman Daytona" re-imagining just dropped, here are our thoughts.


We’ve seen lots of anniversaries for watch models in recent years, thankfully, it’s not one of those fashion trends without a cause; these watch models really are old. Or, well, the names are, the watches usually aren’t. A case in point is the Rolex Daytona, which was one of the talking points from Watches & Wonders this year.

I was quite surprised to see this model coming out now rather than in March. I guess the folks at Rolex couldn’t risk letting us have a sneaky peek at some of the latest watches under embargo. For some brands, that’s a possibility, but undoubtedly Rolex saw too many people in March to guarantee security. Once the secret is out, that’s basically it.

The newest piece could be a hot seller for Rolex, but I doubt it, I’ll tell you why later. The watch is physically the same as the other new Daytonas from the year, with a case measuring 40mm x 12.2mm. It also has a black ceramic bezel with the new metal band around the edge of it to protect it from knocks. The dial is where things change the most, the watch gains the newly sized subdials and markers from the other models, but also gains white paint in the subdial, which contrasts the black sunburst-finished dial.

The dial has been designed to evoke the “Paul Newman” Daytonas, which are ever so popular with collectors. To that end, the “panda” subdials come complete with historically-inspired markings. The applied markers of the main dial, and the hands, are made of white gold and have lume applied. Interestingly, this version has a 24-hour chronograph rather than a 12-hour one, like on other models.

Inside the watch is the self-winding calibre 4132, which is based on the 4131 seen in the watches revealed in March. It has the same specifications as those models, a 4Hz beat rate with a 72-hour power reserve. There’s a column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, too. However, what’s most unusual with the 4132 calibre is the patented epicyclic reduction gearset, or planetary gearset to you and me, which reduces the speed of the hour hand’s rotation to one every 24 hours. Rolex introduced this new system without needing to make any other architectural changes to the movement, which is quite a feat. Some of this is available to see through the open caseback, which is another new feature introduced recently.

That last detail may have caught the attention of those paying attention. On the Daytonas we saw in March, only the solid platinum edition had an open caseback; all others had a closed one. Thankfully, this isn’t solid platinum, but it is solid 18k white gold, which is why I suggested it may not be such a hot seller compared to if it were made from Oystersteel. Nevertheless, I’m sure the €42,407/$51,400 price (that’s pre-tax) will be feasible for some.