Last Saturday, I attended this locally organized watch party with my colleague Daan, with about 50 watch enthusiasts and collectors. While I was there, news about the new Rolex Daytona, celebrating the 24 hours of Le Mans. Surprisingly, no one seemed to really care about it. Everyone was too busy enjoying the plethora of vintage and modern fake watches they could touch and try (along with cold beer). But the photos are crazy, and I keep seeing the new Rolex Daytona “24 Hours of Le Mans” on my feed.
To be honest, it’s a Daytona that I don’t hate. I’m not a big fan of the Daytona for all the reasons mentioned here on Fratello in the past (the subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock aligned above the center gear are the most important issue I have with the watch). But, objectively speaking, it’s not a bad-looking watch. It actually gives me some Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday “Tribute to Alaska III” vibes.
The new Rolex Daytona ref. 126529LN is in 18k white gold, and it has a new movement in addition to a new dial configuration and a red ceramic “100” in the tachymeter scale. Inside this new 40mm diameter Rolex Daytona is their 4132 movement. It is a variation of the 4131 movement, with the 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock replaced by a 24-hour counter. Of course, it’s a tribute to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and with this particular Daytona, you’ll be able to time the entire race for next year. Well, if you can buy one before the next 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Rolex Daytona 126529LN was launched out of the blue during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In typical Rolex fashion, nothing was shared in confidence and not leaked beforehand. This was a massive surprise for everyone. However, it was soon realized that the watch might only be for a lucky few, just like most other Daytona watches. The regular stainless steel Daytona currently retails for €15,100 but is almost impossible to get.
I think it’s interesting that Rolex is making more of these specials than ever before. While Rolex will not be able to meet the demand, it is interesting that they are taking these opportunities to develop something unique. As mentioned, I’m not a big fan of modern Daytona. Nonetheless, for other enthusiasts, it is a good chronograph that ticks a lot of boxes. For many, it is even considered a Holy Grail watch. The new white gold replica Rolex Daytona celebrating the 24 Hours of Le Mans may have become their new Holy Grail watch.