The Rolex Daytona Exhibition debuted at VivoCity Central Court B, Singapore in early October, where it thrilled the public for close to a week. The exhibition, presented by watch retailer The Hour Glass and Rolex, attracted more than 5,000 visitors over the course of six days. If you ever wondered why exactly the Rolex Daytona watch is such a big deal with collectors, this was the perfect place to find out.
First off, there’s the name of the famous watch itself, which is not simply the Rolex Daytona, although it has come to be known as the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. For example, the star of the showcase was new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in 904L steel fitted with a Monobloc Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic. We first encountered this version of this star timepiece at BaselWorld earlier this year and it was great to see it get its due from the Singapore public as well. Visitors at the exhibition here were able to chart the evolution of the Cosmograph Daytona over the years, through a series of panels and interactive displays.
We’ll get to that history in a moment but first, feast your eyes on one of the world’s most sought-after timepieces, in the flesh, so to speak.
To revisit this history, briefly, the watch made its debut in 1963 to accompany the motor races at Florida’s Daytona Beach; today Rolex is of course the title sponsor of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a 24-hour endurance race. When it was introduced, the Cosmograph Daytona was powered by a hand-wound Valjoux movement, which the brand-that-wears-the-crown stuck with until 1988, when it famously opted to introduce Zenith’s El Primero movement (with significant adjustments, as recounted here). Finally, in 2000, the current in-house calibre 4130 debuted and that’s what the current model still uses.
The Hour Glass held a private cocktail reception on October 5, to celebrate the launch of the Rolex Daytona Exhibition. Some 270 guests at the event enjoyed the evening entertainment accompanied by champagne and canapes.