Insider: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Cerachrom Bezel ref. 116500LN. Hands-on with the Hottest Watch of the Summer of 2016, Already Selling Above Retail.

Released less than three months ago —on March 16, 2016— at Baselworld 2016 as we reported here, the new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with Cerachrom bezel ref. 116500LN quickly started to arrive at the Rolex authorized dealers throughout the U.S. Just within days from its arrival, the frenzy caused by collectors trying to get their hands on this new watch, is already pushing its price outside the ADs as high as $22,000 USD —that's close to 70% above retail. Clearly one of those situations were supply and demand are dictating the final value of the watch. For sure, this watch lines up to be the hottest watch of the summer of 2016 and perhaps of the year. This black dial version is also the one that was recently given by Rolex to legendary Formula One driver Sir Jackie Stewart. Since his watch bears a special engraving by Rolex, maybe we should start calling the black dial version of the new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with Cerachrom bezel ref. 116500LN the Sir Jackie Stewart.

This new version of the Rolex Daytona, marks one of the biggest 'facelifts' the Cosmograph Daytona has undergone since its launch in 1963. Before lending its name to one of the most iconic watches in the world, the city of Daytona, Florida has been the birthplace of speed motor racing since 1903 and one of the places where most land speed records have been broken. For the very first time and as one of the longest awaited launches, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is now fitted with a black cerachrom bezel. A bezel that echoes the black plexiglas bezel of the 1965 Daytona ref. 6240/6241. A black bezel that brings the best out of the ultra sporty racing design of this reference.

The Dial & The Cerachrom Bezel

The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Cerachrom Bezel ref. 116500LN is fitted with a 40 mm case in 904L stainless steel and available in either black dial or white dial with a new monobloc black cerachrom bezel with tachymetric scale. Some of the advantages of this cerachrom bezel include resistance to corrosion, scratchproofness and being unaffected by UV rays. The cerachrom bezel is initially made of white zirconium dioxide powder and then mixed with pigments that give it the desired final color —in this case black.

The resulting paste is shaped by a high-pressure moulding machine that creates a blank black bezel. After several firings at temperatures exceeding 1,500 degrees Celsius, the bezel hardens and reveals its final color.

A third step involves precision machining using diamond tools to cut the tachymetric scale and give the bezel its final shape and size.

Afterwards, the full bezel is coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD process —Physical Vapor Deposition— in order to fill the engraved numerals and graduations. Lastly, diamond polishing removes the platinum from the bezel surface, while the platinum coating on the numerals and graduations remains. This last step is what gives the cerachrom bezels its extremely lustrous appearance.

This new cerachrom bezel features the tachymetric scale for measuring average speeds of up to 400 miles or kilometers per hour. Additionally, this monobloc Cerachrom bezel is made in a single piece and holds the crystal firmly in place on the middle case, ensuring waterproofness.

The Movement

Powering the new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116500LN is the in-house Rolex calibre 4130, an automatic chronograph movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture, a composite of Rolex technology, was completely re-engineered: the number of components for the chronograph function was reduced significantly, thereby enhancing its reliability. The robust chronograph is engaged by a mechanism with a column wheel and vertical clutch, allowing an instantaneous and extremely precise start. The oscillator, the true heart of the watch, has a blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It features a Rolex overcoil, ensuring its regularity in any position. Calibre 4130 is equipped with a self-winding module featuring a Perpetual rotor and offers a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.

The Bracelet

The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116500LN is fitted with the now traditional Oyster bracelet with polished center links. The bracelet is very solid in construction and is fitted with the folding Oysterlock safety clasp and with the Easylink system. This system, allows the wearer to extend the last link on the bracelet by 5 mm for when those wrists start to swell up with the heat and humidity of the summer.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and extremely comfortably.  While during Baselworld 2016 we felt that the white dial version was better looking we think that the black dial version is sexy as it gets. Whether you pick the white dial or the black one, you just can't go wrong wearing the new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Cerachrom Bezel ref. 116500LN as your summer watch this year.

Sticker Price CHF 11,800 Swiss Francs. For more info on Rolex click here.