Cosmograph Daytona

A watch born to race

The Cosmograph Daytona, introduced in 1963, was designed to meet the demands of professional racing drivers. An icon eternally joined in name and function to the high‑performance world of motor sport. Fifty years after its creation, the Cosmograph Daytona remains in a class of its own among sport chronographs.

Cosmograph Daytona



The Daytona’s design is an exercise in perfectly mastered symmetry. With its techymetric scale, its three counters and its pushers, the Daytona was designed to be the ideal instrument for measuring elapsed time and calculating average speeds on a perfectly legible display – while remaining the most elegant of Rolex’s sports watches.

The Cosmograph Daytona was designed as a high-precision personal timing tool for drivers in endurance races. The central sweep seconds hand allows an accurate reading of 1/8 second, while the two counters on the dial display elapsed time in hours and minutes. Thus, drivers can accurately map out their track times and tactics without fail.


Calibre 4130’s performance stems particularly from the use of a vertical — instead of lateral — clutch to activate the chronograph. This new solution functions on the principle of two discs, one above the other, which work together by direct friction contact and offer significant advantages — extremely precise starting and stopping of the perfectly smooth-running chronograph seconds hand as soon as the pusher is pressed;

and the capacity of the chronograph to function for long periods of time with no negative impact on the precision of the watch.



The Cosmograph Daytona is equipped with calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical 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 the movement’s reliability.

It also saves space, making it possible to house a larger mainspring and thereby extend the power reserve from 50 to 72 hours.

Start, drive, stop

At Rolex, form and function work in harmony. The Daytona’s chronograph functions are activated by pushers that screw down like the winding crown when they are not in use, guaranteeing waterproofness to 100 metres. One press to start, stop or reset the chronograph produces a crisp, clear click that was perfected using the most advanced technology.

Rolex watchmakers also perfected the mechanism to suit the ideal finger pressure on the pushers, and engineered it to provide an instantaneous and accurate start to the timing without sacrificing reliability.

Evokes a historic place
The Cosmograph Daytona is inextricably linked to the world of motor racing. This chronograph allows drivers to measure elapsed time and read average speeds on its trademark tachymetric bezel.

The watch evokes a place — Daytona, Florida — where passion for speed and racing flourished in the early 20th century, a place whose name is logically assumed. As a result, it embodies the historic and privileged bonds between Rolex and motor sport, which was strengthened in 2013 by the brand’s entry into the world of Formula 1 racing as Global Partner and Official Timepiece.


The kings
of speed


Daytona Beach

From 1903 to 1935, the hard-packed sand beach in Daytona, Florida became famous worldwide as the perfect place to beat speed records. No fewer than 80 official records were set there, 14 of which were for the fastest speed in the world.


“Vital seconds”


The first Cosmograph Daytona

Piquing interest around the world, such motor sport exploits soon led to Daytona being known as the world capital of speed. The tightly run races culminated in March 1935 with a world land speed record of 276 mph (445 km/h)

set by British driver Malcolm Campbell in his famous Bluebird. He went on to break the 300 mph (482 km/h) barrier a few months later, but on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.


The Cosmograph Daytona continues to evolve

Since the early 1930s, the man who would go down in history as the king of speed had been wearing a Rolex Oyster. Thus, the first Rolex Testimonee in motor sport was already closely tied to Daytona.

Rolex became Official Timepiece of the Daytona International Speedway, and, to emphasize the brand’s connection to the American race track, Rolex gave its new model the name Cosmograph Daytona.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, commonly known as “The Rolex”, marks the opening of the international motor sport season. The race tests the ultimate limits of man and machine for a complete 24-hour cycle.

Every Rolex
Tells a Story

Sir Jackie Stewart


the Cosmograph Daytona

in Store

Nothing beats experiencing first-hand the meticulous details, the balanced weight, the comfort and simply the feel of a Rolex watch.

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