Watch Videos Video: Ceramic Rolex Daytona Hands On Review

One of the hottest, and most talked about Rolex models from Baselworld 2016 was the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, reference 116500LN. This is a black dial Daytona featuring a black Cerachrom bezel in stainless steel, a first for the Daytona family.

rolex daytona

Rolex Daytona with Cerachrom Bezel

One of the best additions to the iconic Daytona, was the addition of the Rolex made Cerachrom (ceramic) bezel. This material is corrosion resistant, virtually scratch proof and the color will never fade. Just like with other Rolex models, each numeral in the bezel features a thin layer of platinum. Did we mention it also comes with a stunning white dial.

Watch the latest review on the Daytona below, on the Govberg YouTube Channel, or read the full transcription below!

Video Review On The Wrist

Reference Number: 116500LN or 116500 LN

By very popular demand, today we’re discussing the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, reference 116500LN. The Lunette Noir, the first of the ceramic bezel, stainless steel Rolex Daytonas. Subscribe to our YouTube channel if you enjoy our videos.

Now, released at Baselworld 2016, this was quite literally the one Rolex enthusiasts had been waiting for. First seen in 2011, the ceramic bezel Rolex Daytona had been reserved entirely for the precious metal variants, variously gold and platinum. However, for 2016, it migrated to the bedrock of the Daytona class, the stainless steel variant. Now, there are two different versions. One with a silver dial, and one with a black dial. It’s the example with the black dial that may be the most striking, simply because of the way it seems to magnify the size and the wrist presence of this timepiece.

Size & Weight of the Daytona

On my wrist, 6 1/3″, 16cm in circumference, you can see that the appearance of increased size is very much an illusion. Same sized case, 40mm across the round of the case, not including pushers, crown guards, or crown. It’s only 12mm thick. You can see that the ceramic bezel, much like the metal equivalent before it, is nicely sloped with a conical profile that allows the watch to easily fit underneath a dress cuff. From lug to lug, it’s more compact than you would expect, approximately 47mm from lug to lug; it’s 51 from solid end link to solid end link across the bracelet.

The watch wears with the same mass you would recognize from the original in full stainless steel. Although ceramic is a bit lighter, there isn’t enough of it on this watch to make a difference in the wrist impression unless you’re talking about the visual impression on the wrist, in which case, the watch has a ton of punch.

rolex daytona

Bracelet Details

The bracelet’s beautifully made, as ever. It’s the three-link Rolex Oyster in this case. You can see that it’s polished on the absolute flanks. Satin finish on its outer edges, and the center links all of polish. Every link is solid, center links, as well as end links. It still terminates in a beautifully finished Rolex, milled-out, Oyster clasp. As ever in the modern era, you get the 5mm easy link adjustment. You can rapidly take in or take out 5mm of length, as activity of heat or cold dictate.

It also features a very robust closure that closes with a reassuring snick and snap, beautifully finished with contrast metal. You can see that the watch, aesthetically, represents a great departure from prior six digit Daytonas because of the way the black dial just seems to flow seamlessly into a single, solid disc of noir with the bezel.

It’s impressive. It’s imposing. It’s powerful.

It’s also wonderfully simple. The fact that so much visual impact can be achieved without gem-setting, without two-tone, without any kind of guilloche gimmick, or bizarre metal finish speaks to just how essential, one might even say elemental, the appeal of this watch really is.

Black Bezel & Lacquered Dial

The tachymetric scale is quite robust here. It is the same technology we’ve seen previously on Rolex Cerachrom bezels, so ceramic, effectively, as indelible as sapphire crystal, designed for long wearing durability, filled with platinum in the fashion of Rolex’s Cerachrom bezel on steel watches, so the platinum itself highly resistant to tarnish, completely resistant to corrosion, and providing a very nice contrast and upscale sheen. The watch has a gorgeous gloss black dial. You can see the shock of red with the Daytona script above constant seconds at 6 o’clock.

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In-House Caliber 4130

Inside, beats the well known Rolex caliber 4130 in its most highly evolved form. It debuted back in 2000 as the first modern era Rolex in-house chronograph. Vertical clutch, column wheel, each a measure of refinement that makes the watch a pleasure to operate, as well as more durable in practice.

The watch also features a parachrom bleu hairspring, which was introduced during the changeover from the 2006 to the 2007 model year. A Breguet overcoil, it resists positional variation and rate, but it also helps to resist magnetism in its bleu iteration. The watch features a full balanced bridge for shock attenuation, as well as a free sprung architecture to the balance. Again, for shock attenuation and for precision in the face of shocks. With a 72 hour power reserve, it has three days of autonomy between full windings, and a very smooth bidirectional winding system underneath the brushed steel case back. All of this with 100m hermiticity, thanks to the screw downs.

Influences & Certifications

In a lot of ways, with the screw down crown, the black bezel and the black dial, this one hearkens back to the mid to late 80’s, the last time the Rolex reference 6263 manual wind Daytona with black bezel was still in the catalog. If I had to say this watch was a tribute in any sense, it would be to the last of the 6263’s, albeit with complete modern specification, capped by Rolex’s latest superlative chronometer standards.

The watch is a COSC certified Swiss chronometer, however as of this year there is a new standard: superlative chronometer. Substantively, that means that Rolex takes the COSC certified movement, cases it up, because COSC is performed on bare movements, not cased watches, and then it tests it to no worse than +2/-2 seconds per day, far in excess of COSC, and, of course, being cased, a completely different class of certification.

This is the highly refined, best of breed, Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, the latest evolution, 116500LN. Visit us in store, in Philadelphia, for purchasing.

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About Tim Mosso
Tim Mosso is a lifelong watch enthusiast and historian. He is an active member of the online watch community and his passion for watches is second to none. As a self-proclaimed watch nut, he loves to bring his knowledge of horology across all different platforms.

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