The Cosmograph Daytona

The Cosmograph DaytonaThere is perhaps no finer manifestation of the pursuit of greatness than a Rolex timepiece. It represents an ongoing commitment to innovation, horological expertise and the passion of skilled watchmakers. All add up to make the one principle by which Rolex lives: that greatness is a journey that never dies. 

Before transcontinental flights were considered the everyday experience they have now become, before satellite broadcasting, and long before the cellular telephone, Rolex was perfecting the world's most accurate stopwatches. In 1963, with the 6239 model, Rolex launched a new line called Cosmograph. The revolutionary design of the Cosmograph allowed the measurement of speed in units of time through a stopwatch function recording elapsed time. It would not be until 1965, however, that the name "Daytona" was added to the dial as a tribute to the great Florida race, the "world centre of speed". 

In 1971, the Triplock winding crown was also added for further protection. While the Daytona is strictly speaking a chronograph - deriving from the Greek "chronos", time, and "graphis", writing - the essence of the Cosmograph was that the tachometer unit measurements of time, initially 300 and now 400, were engraved on the bezel and not on the dials. These neutral units can be used to determine speed in either kilometers or miles. 

Rolex put the full force of its research capabilities behind the development of the Cosmograph Daytona. Inside the elegantly designed casing, the Cosmograph Daytona is a masterpiece of watchmaking with its 4130 chronograph caliber movement, conceived and assembled exclusively by Rolex in 2000. 

Rolex's association and long-term support of the Le Mans 24-Hour Race and its American cousin, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in the 1950s, helped create the iconic image the Cosmograph Daytona enjoys today with race professionals around the world. Paul Newman famously received a Cosmograph Daytona from his wife, Joanne Woodward, with the inscription "Drive Slowly, Joanne" engraved on the case back. Newman may not have known exactly what was inside his Cosmograph Daytona when he reportedly wore it in the film Winning, but as an actor who was often judged by his arresting looks, he knew that there is nearly always more to an object of beauty than meets the eye.