Since its humble beginnings in 1963, the Rolex Daytona chronograph has evolved from a functional timepiece to a coveted status symbol. The introduction of a self-winding movement in the late 1980s marked a turning point, propelling the Daytona into the realm of one of the most important sports watches of the 21st century.
Today, the Cosmograph Daytona stands out as one of the most diverse models in Rolex’s Professional Collection, boasting over 60 different variations. From 18k yellow, white, or Everose gold to two-tone steel and gold, full stainless steel, and the pinnacle of opulence, solid platinum, the choices are extensive. The Daytona Rainbow, however, transcends the ordinary, representing a super rare off-catalog collection that pushes the boundaries of luxury watchmaking.
Rolex Rainbow Daytona: An Exclusive Marvel
Beyond the publicly available Daytona models lies a collection shrouded in secrecy. These off-catalog watches, exemplified by the Rainbow Daytona, are ultra-exclusive pieces characterized by extravagant designs and produced in incredibly limited quantities. While the exact number of Rainbow Daytonas remains undisclosed, their scarcity only adds to their allure.
Despite their bold aesthetics, some of these exclusive Rolex watches, such as the Leopard Daytona ref. 116598 SACO, were ahead of their time. The Rainbow Daytona, however, has found its place in the present era, commanding prices three times higher than its already staggering retail value.
Rolex Rainbow Daytona: A Closer Look
Reference Numbers: 116598RBOW, 116599RBOW, 116595RBOW
Case Diameter: 40mm
Materials: 18k Gold (Yellow, White, or Everose Gold)
Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, 12-Hour Chronograph
Dial: Black or Diamond Pave w/ Crystal Gold Registers and Baguette-Cut Sapphire or Square-Cut Diamond Hour Markers
Bezel: Fixed, 36 Baguette-Cut Rainbow Gradated Sapphires
Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)
Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
Movement: Rolex Caliber 4130
Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet
The Rainbow Daytona’s distinguishing feature lies in its bezel adorned with 36 multicolored gems, meticulously selected for uniformity in size, shape, and color. The Everose gold version takes this precision a step further, mirroring the shade of the baguette-cut sapphires with its hour markers.
Rolex Rainbow Daytona: A Masterpiece Movement
Beneath its extravagant exterior, the Rainbow Daytona remains true to its roots as part of the Rolex Daytona collection. Powered by the in-house Caliber 4130 movement, Rolex’s self-winding marvel, the watch maintains the Daytona’s legacy as one of the finest mass-produced chronograph movements. The vertical clutch ensures precise starts and stops, while the Parachrom hairspring enhances resistance to magnetism and temperature variations.
Rolex Rainbow Daytona: Price and Rarity
Upon release, the Rainbow Daytona models ranked among Rolex’s most expensive watches. However, their value has surged on the pre-owned market, with prices nearly tripling since their launch. The Rainbow Daytona commands a starting price of over $250,000, with the diamond pave dial Everose gold version reaching double that amount.
Celebrities and the Rainbow Daytona
Celebrities with flamboyant tastes have embraced the Rainbow Daytona. Notable figures like Post Malone, John Mayer, Adam Levine, Kevin Hart, Mark Wahlberg, and Miley Cyrus adorn their wrists with these vibrant timepieces. From the sports world, Patrick Mahomes, Anthony Davis, and Antoine Griezmann showcase their affinity for the Rainbow Daytona.
The Rolex Rainbow Daytona represents a departure from Rolex’s traditional conservatism, allowing the brand to explore extravagant designs with unmatched artistry. While not for everyone, these watches exude sophistication and fun, making them a unique addition to any collection for those with the confidence and means to indulge.