But how to approach this watch, perhaps the most famous in the world while everything has been said and repeated since the presentation of its latest version during the 2016 edition of Baselworld? Maybe just by taking a step back.
I must admit that when I discovered it in March, I immediately fell under her spell. Basically, I’m a fan of Rolex. For a simple and good reason: because I do not know a brand that offers such homogeneity of quality. You take two random watches that have just been produced, you can be pretty sure they will work the same way. The requirement, the attention to detail, the manufacturing process, the state of mind turned to efficiency, all these elements forge the reputation of Rolex. Yet that is not enough. The quality is assessed over time but it takes a spark at the base for a watch to seduce. And I found this sparkle in the new Daytona steel black ceramic bezel.
In fact, there is a kind of balance that is created with this watch that offers several paradoxes thus making it exciting. The first of these paradoxes concerns its visual rendering. On the one hand, it exudes a sense of refinement and elegance accentuated by the superb rendering of the Cerachrom bezel. On the other hand, the finish of the case (not to mention the polished and brushed alternation of the bracelet) gives it a more exuberant and ostentatious side. I really like this opposition because the watch seems to constantly move from one universe to another.
The second paradox concerns its atmosphere. The black bezel plays on this point also an important role. The Daytona 116500LN appears at the same time inspired by the models of the past because of the color of this telescope but it is resolutely contemporary. The finish, architecture and performance of the 4130 movement, the perceived quality leave no doubt: it is indeed the result of the latest developments of Rolex.
The third paradox comes to my mind by observing the two models of this vintage 2016. My point of view has evolved since Baselworld. At the Salon, the white version immediately seduced me because of the contrast between the bezel and the dial. I found it more elegant than the black version that seemed to me more sporty. And then … my point of view has changed. I saw the two watches side by side a few days ago and my heart leans clearly for the black. Initially, I found it … too black! And now I particularly appreciate his discretion, the strapping of counters and the fact that this dark dominant reduces its perceived size. I now believe that the black version is the most elegant and the white version, the most sporty and relaxed. I also think that the black version is less boring in the long run. A true 180 degree turns of my feelings that proves that this watch is more subtle and more complex than it suggests.
The last paradox is related to the clientele of Daytona. This chronograph screwed pushers is resolutely masculine and the myth around this watch only reinforces this state of affairs. But Daytona is also one of the favorite Rolex ladies. Its balance, its comfort, its versatility seduce many women and the latest models with black ceramic bezel do not break the rule. I also find that the black version is ideal on a female wrist because of the feeling of diameter more contained. And as I love women who wear men’s watches, I can only rejoice at the power of attraction that Daytona exerts on women!
A multi-faceted watch, the 2016 Steel Daytona proves to be a success. I finally explained why from elements that can be perceived as subjective. After all, the perception of the aesthetic, the emotion that a watch arouses is criteria that can vary considerably from one person to another. It may be wrong for me but I left out the objective qualitative points such as the Superlative Chronometer certification, the performance of the 4130 movement at the appreciable 3-day power reserve and which is equipped with a hairspring. Parachrom antimagnetic, the effectiveness of the clasp Oysterlock … It is finally an ultimate paradox. The seriousness of the design, the rigor of the manufacture, the impeccable technical characteristics, yet essential to the pleasure of wearing daily appear almost anecdotal face charm and seductive power of a mastered and timeless design. We have to face the facts, Rolex hits the mark once again and the 2016 Steel Daytona is at the height of its reputation.