In 2017, Rolex introduced a new version of the classic Cosmograph Daytona in yellow gold with a champagne-colour dial and black subdials. Rolex has its own foundry and so can personalize the colour of its gold according to the proportions of metals in the alloy. The watch is 40 mm in diameter, with screw-in caseback, and screw-down crown and pushers, helping ensure a 100-metre waterproof rating. Rolex is, I think, the only watchmaker that uses the term “waterproof” instead of water-resistant. It’s a powerful claim.
The Oysterflex bracelet in elastomer with a flexible plate of titanium-nickel alloy combines comfort and strength. The clasp comprises the Easylink rapid extension that enables bracelet length to be increased by 5mm.
The layout is impeccable. The subdials are spaced so that they are all legible, with the chronograph minutes and chronograph hours subdials just above the centre line, and the continuous seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The seconds scale at the edge of the dial is divided into fifths of seconds, while the movement offers a precision of an eighth of a second. There is Chromalight luminescent paint on hour and minute hands, and on the hour markers. The tachymeter scale is on the bezel, in Cerachrom, a material with high scratch resistance and a high resistance to ultra-violet light.
The calibre 4130 movement has a column wheel and vertical clutch, an arrangement that minimizes friction, ensures smooth pusher action, and gives total precision when you start the chronograph – without the momentary flutter that sometimes occurs with a horizontal clutch chronograph. The balance spring is in Parachrom, a blue Rolex alloy that is not affected by magnetic fields. The balance wheel is fitted with gold Microstella nuts that are used to adjust inertia and therefore regulate oscillation frequency. It is a very stable form of regulation. The balance runs at 4 Hertz. Power reserve is a generous 72 hours – enough to get from Friday evening to Monday morning. The movement is COSC-certified (max -4/+6 secs per day deviation) and then Rolex runs its own Superlative Chronometer testing, which requires a precision of max -2/+2 seconds per day deviation. Even though the movement is invisible to the owner, it is carefully finished, with satin-brushed, circular-grained or snailed bridges, mirror-polished screw heads and bevelled bridge edges.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in yellow gold, reference 116518LN, costs €25,650.
Read about the 2016 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in steel here.
More details from the Rolex website.