Insider: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Oysterflex Bracelet ref. 116518LN, 116519LN and 116515LN. Hands-on Review and How to Size the Oysterflex.

Just released in March at Baselworld 2017, the new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with Oysterflex bracelet is available in three different 18K gold case options. While reference 116518LN sports an 18K yellow gold case, reference 116519LN is fitted with an 18K white gold case and lastly reference 116515LN with an 18K Everose case. While all three new models are fitted with the same black Oysterflex rubber strap, the look of each of them is very unique and extremely sporty.

Things You Need to Know

The new Rolex Daytona with Oysterflex Strap ref. 116518LN, 116519LN and 116515LN are fitted with 18K gold cases measuring 40 mm in diameter like all the other modern Daytonas. Reference 116515LN is made of Everose gold which is Rolex's proprietary patented 18K pink gold alloy that is actually cast in its own foundry. Rolex is the only watch manufacturer out there with its own foundry for precious metals. This special alloy —with a mix that includes some platinum— was introduced by Rolex in 2005 and since then, it is being used for all Rolex Oyster models in pink gold.

All three new Daytonas on Oysterflex strap feature the black cerachrom bezel that matches the black registers on their dials simply flawlessly. 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 Dial

The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona on Oysterflex Strap is available in three different dials matching the color of their gold cases. Reference 116518LN features a champagne colored dial with black registers, reference 116519LN a steel colored dial with black registers and reference 116515LN a pink dial matching the hue of its Everose gold case also with black registers. The dials, which are fully designed and manufactured in-house, feature ultra-bright chromalight luminescent material for great readability at night or in low-light situations.

The Oysterflex Bracelet

While Rolex calls it Oysterflex bracelet, this is in reality a high-performance elastomer strap with flexible metal blades in its core. First introduced with the Rolex Yacht-Master, the Oysterflex bracelet was developed and patented by Rolex using a high-performance elastomer overmoulded over a flexible titanium and nickel alloy metal blade. To provide higher resistance, the metal blades are located within the areas where the strap connects to the case and to the clasp.

For enhanced comfort, the inside of the Oysterflex bracelet is equipped with a patented longitudinal cushion system that stabilizes the watch on the wrist to prevent it from turning around and maintaining centered on the wrist. The cushion system membrane is extremely smooth to the touch and very comfortable.

Matching the respective case metal, the black bracelet/strap is equipped with an 18K gold Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening. Unfortunately this clasp doesn't feature the Easylink system link that allows the wearer to extend the last link. However, micro-adjustments are still feasible by moving the solid link throughout the three small holes on the interior of the clasp.

How the Fitting of the Oysterflex Strap is Done

We've said it before on our hands-on review of the Yacht-Master Everose and we'll say it again. While this rubber strap is extremely comfortable, nice and well crafted, the biggest design flaw is the fact that the Oysterflex bracelet cannot be sized to a precision fit. Unlike other rubber straps that get adjusted via holes or simply cut to the exact length, with the Oysterflex, one needs to get fitted for the right strap size while purchasing the watch at an authorized dealer. Not only this prevents the owner from making additional adjustments after the purchase, but it makes it also impossible to have anyone other than the owner to borrow the watch or try it on. Additionally, this is a big issue and something to keep in mind if you want to purchase this watch in the secondary market.

So here is how it works. There are six different sizes in total for the Oysterflex strap segments —one is missing in our picture.

The code for the strap segments is 350501. Underneath this code, you will find a set of two-letters that start with the letter 'E'. The second letter on that code, dictates the length of the strap segment —from 'C' to 'H'. Since there is no 12 or 6 o'clock side on the Oysterflex, the strap segments can be used on either side of the case and two different sizes of segments are usually combined —shorter at 6 and longer at 12— to get the best fit and to keep the clasp centered on the bottom of your wrist.

The measurements are approximate and based off the Yacht-Master Oysterflex codes which as far as we know are the same for the new Daytona on Oysterflex: EC-4cm/1.57" , ED-4.5cm/1.77", EE-5.5cm/2.16", EF-6.5cm/2.56", EG-7.75cm/3.05" and EH-9.0cm/3.54". i.e. A typical combination on a Yacht-Master 40 on a 7.5" wrist would be an EE at 6 and an EF at 12 o'clock.

The Movement

Powering the new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116518LN, 116519LN and 116515LN 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.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, all three new Daytonas on Oysterflex wear true to their size and with very powerful wrist presence. While all three models are very nice, our favorite is the understated 18K white gold reference 116519LN followed by the 18K yellow gold reference 116518LN. If you like watches on rubber straps, these new Daytona references were all that was missing for this model's lineup.

Sticker Price $28,800 USD for 18K white gold, $27,500 for 18K yellow gold and $28,800 for Everose gold. For more info on Rolex click here.