Rolex “The Full set Floating white Daytona ref. 16520”

Year of issue: 1988
Reference number: 16520
Condition: mint
Status: sold
Dealer country: Monaco
Price in EUR € n/a


Extraordinary example of Rolex Zenith Daytona ref. 16520, manufactured in 1988 and sold in 1989. Preserved in exceptional condition the present specimen is one of the earliest examples of Zenith Daytona, featuring the sought-after R serial number which indicates that the watch was produced in 1988, the year of the launch of this historical reference. It features the early bezel graduated to 200 units per hour and the inverted 6 in the hour register.  Moreover, the “Cosmograph” signature is suspended below the four lines of the text above it appearing as if it flows.  Produced for a very short time, it represents one of the rarest and most collectible configurations of Zenith Daytona. Accompanied by its Original Rolex Guarantee and Rolex booklets. For the Daytona's 25th anniversary, Rolex surprised the public at the 1988 Basel fair by introducing the first self winding chronograph model in its history. The newly launched reference 16520 was powered by a derivative of Zenith's El Primero calibre, substantially modified by Rolex. It was the first Daytona to be equipped with a sapphire crystal and a new larger diameter of 39mm. The launch of the 16520 was an immediate success and elevated the Daytona to its current mythical status. Case n.: R786xxx Cal.: Automatic, cal. 4030 Diam.:  39mm Box & Papers: Original Rolex Guarantee and Rolex booklets Manufactured in: 1988


Corrado Mattarelli


Birth of a Horological Icon Timepiece  The myth around the iconic Rolex Daytona has spread around the world recent years. Always has the Daytona model been attached to motor racing, at first Rolex called their new Cosmograph the “Le Mans” and little later to “Daytona” when Rolex started to sponsor the well known U.S. speedway.
Cosmograph: a name that was to be the forerunner of great fortune. Actually, the choice of the name proved to be neither easy nor expected. Whilst Rolex on the one hand flirted with the car-racing world, on the other hand it could not remain unaware of the vast media attention, which at that time was surrounding the conquest of outer space.