The Golden Years: Rolex Marks 100th Le Mans With A White Gold Daytona
Paul Newman, eat your heart out.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is an indisputably iconic race. However, its icon status has been matched, or arguably even surpassed, by the Rolex Daytona—in no small part thanks to it being sported on the wrist of actor (and 1979 Le Mans driver) Paul Newman.
In fact, before christening the chronograph the Daytona and deciding on the cosmograph portmanteau, Rolex toyed with several other names. “This is the new Rolex chronograph. It’s called Le Mans,” reads a 1964 advertisement, proving the icon could have just as easily been inextricably linked with another endurance classic.
Now, great recognises great with Rolex announcing a new Cosmograph Daytona to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Crafted from 18 carat white gold, the centenary edition employs a reverse panda dial—black with white subdials, which recalls the Paul Newman-era ref. 6263—and features a red ‘100’ on the black ceramic tachymeter scale. As is standard for the line-up, the 24 Hours of Le Mans 100th Anniversary edition Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is presented on an oyster bracelet.
The movement gets a Le Mans-specific upgrade; rather than the calibre 4131 that powers the 2023 Daytonas introduced at this year’s Watches & Wonders in Geneva, this edition is equipped with the exclusive calibre 4132.
The calibre 4132 equips the timepiece with a 24-hour chronograph measure (compared to the maximum 12 hours of the calibre 4131), upping the ante to suit the day-long endurance race. The movement also incorporates Rolex’s Chronergy escapement and Paraflex shock absorbers, and features Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges. The cut-out scilating weight is rendered in 18 carat yellow gold, with the movement visible through the sapphire glass case back.
Here’s to another 100.
Approx. $76,300 ($51,400USD); rolex.com
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