Category: Company News

How to spot a Rolex “Zenith” Daytona

The Rolex Daytona first appeared in the early 1960s with a hand wound Valjoux movement but in 1988 they redesigned it. They increased the size from 37mm to 40mm, replaced the plexiglass glass with sapphire crystal and incorporated a heavily adapted Zenith El Primero 400 movement, which was reputedly the first automatic chronograph movement originally produced back in 1969.

Between 1988 and 2000 all Daytonas incorporated this adapted Zenith movement until in 2000 Rolex finally produced their own in-house designed and built automatic chronograph movement for their collection of different Daytona models.

So without removing the back how can you easily tell the difference?

“Zenith” Daytonas use a Caliber 4030 movement with a 54 hour power reserve and incorporate a five digit reference number (165xx). The Rolex designed movements have a Caliber 4130 movement which because of its increased size of mainspring barrel have a 72 hour power reserve and a six digit reference number (1165xx).

However, an even easier spot the difference is to look at the dial. The 12 hour counter is located at 6 o’clock and the running seconds at 9 0’clock on a “Zenith” Daytona whereas the in house Rolex movement Daytona has these two dials switching positions. Both feature the 30 minute counter at the 3 o’clock position.

On the earlier “Zenith” Daytonas from 1988 to the early 1990s, the 12 hour counter, at the 6 o’clock position, features an upside down number 6. These are called “inverted 6” dials. To be honest I’m not sure why they have this inverted 6.

Whichever Daytona you fancy they are without doubt a great looking watch and a timeless classic.

If you require a valuation of a Rolex or any other make of watch for sale, probate or insurance purposes then contact us on info@antiquevaluations.co.uk or on 07812 518557.

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