Call to mind the classic Rolex Cosmograph Daytona replica watches—perhaps the 116520 or the Paul Newman Daytona—and you’ll visualise a luxury watch with a metal bracelet.
There are five Daytonas with leather bracelets: the Rolex Daytona 116515LN is one of them. At first, the black crocodile leather look is a shock. But then you stop to think about the purpose of the Daytona (it’s right there in the name)—and suddenly leather begins to make sense. And that’s why the first thing that jumps out when you look at a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116515LN is the strap. And that’s why the first thing that jumps out when you look at a luxury fake Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116515LN is the strap.
There’s a reason Paul Newman loved the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. Newman was a diehard racer whose performance on the track was almost as legendary as his performance on screen. His last role was as the voice of Doc Hudson, an ageing race car, in Pixar’s charming automotive movie Cars. And his luxury Rolex watch of choice is linked by name to the Daytona 24 endurance race: a 70-year old Newman was on the winning team of the Daytona 24 in 1995.
You see, the Cosmograph Daytona isn’t a sports watch. It’s a drive watch, built for timing laps and calculating speed as the most powerful cars in the world charge around the Daytona circuit. Yes, it shares the essential DNA of the luxury sports watch (the chronograph function), but at heart it is built to sit at the side of the track while cars blast by in a blaze of glorious thunder. Its legendary tachymetric scale (on the Daytona 116515LN, it’s engraved in rose gold on a black Cerachrom block) is still the clearest and most beautiful you’ll find on any luxury watch. Its chronograph counters resemble the dashboard dials of classic racers.
A leather strap and luxurious case material—the Daytona 116515LN features a rose gold case, 40 mm in diameter and water resistant to 100 m—are perfect for a watch so intimately associated with racing and driving. Leather recalls the seats and trim of the vehicles the Daytona was made to time. Rose gold indicates the power and prestige associated with these thoroughbred beasts. Yes, the reality of the pit lane is all about the roar of a V12 and the smell of oil. But the status and expense of racing mean that gold is just as at home here as steel.
From the clean, uncluttered dial, which has remained basically unchanged since the Daytona was released in 1963, to the precise operation of the chronograph actuators, this is an all-time classic and a collector’s favourite. You can search far and wide, but you will never find a racing watch as classically designed, as straight-up sophisticated, as the Rolex Daytona. It’s a luxury classic Rolex copy watch with history built into its every line.