The Daytona (officially called the Oyster Cosmograph Daytona) has become an iconic watch for Rolex mainly due to the association with Paul Newman. This legendary actor actually sported this timepiece in a 1969 film called the “Winning.” In fact, Paul Newman watch netted a staggering when $17.7-million at a Phillips auction in 2017. Ultimately that is why enthusiastic collectors scour the second-hand market looking for mint condition pieces. Certainly, it is one of my favourite models due to the sporty aesthetic.
Recently a story circulated through all the world’s media outlets about a US Air Force veteran David who appeared on the Antiques Roadshow. The gentleman called David had purchased a Paul Newman style Rolex Daytona in 1974 for $345 (a month’s wage) and was curious to know the current value. Interestingly he had bought the watch with the intention of saltwater diving. However, like most people that invest in expensive watches he had a change of heart. In fact, his Rolex Ref. 6263 never saw the light of day and has remained immaculately preserved for over 40-years. For that reason, it estimated this timepiece could fetch between $500,000-$700,000 at auction.
A couple of days ago I received a press release from a company called Label Noir. The business is owned by Emmanuel Curti and is located in Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland. Essentially they specialise in customising Rolex watches for exceptionally wealthy clients. There are a few other others like, Titan Black, MAD Paris and Blaken that have achieved some interesting results. However, nothing as exclusive as the Daytona Skeleton (116520 LNSK010-01), which in my opinion is pretty extraordinary.
The concept of Label Noir is similar to companies that restore and upgrade classic vintage automobiles for discerning customers. In this instance, a client wanted a skeletonised version of his cherished Rolex Daytona. This involved stripping each individual component and removing as much material as possible (without compromising the integrity of the movement). Edges were artistically softened and satin-finished with a SuperMattLight technique. As an indulgent finishing touch the steel rotor was replaced with an open-worked platinum alternative. This is perfectly showcased via the sapphire crystal exhibition case back.
Personally I love the art of skeletonization and that is why Daytona Skeleton