DAYTONA 116520 - by STEFANO MAZZARIOL

Here's the first news of 2021!!..
We have the privilege of presenting to you, in our blog, some of the articles that Stefano Mazzariol has written for his online library (www.mazzariolstefanolibrary.com.)
An enormous collection, certainly the most complete on the web, with articles, high quality photos and impressive details relating to dials and references.
We asked Stefano if he would like to share with us some of the studies he has done on references and dials.
here is the first dedicated to 116520, all you need to know about this reference..and in the end, you will find the sweatshirt inspired by this article.
ENJOY THE READING
Luke of ICDV

Study on the Rolex Daytona ref. 116520: history, the Marks and evolution - Mazzariol Stefano Library
Let's talk today about the Rolex Daytona model that took the place of the iconic reference 16520 that went out of production in 2001, the Daytona ref. 116520, the sportsman destined to become the new dream of modern collectors, which has now entered the Olympus of vintage since 2016, the year of its production exit.
The 116520 was already presented in 2000 as evidenced by the date imprinted in this Japanese booklet.
As proof that the ref. 1165** was already marketed at the end of 2000 we show you the guarantee of this gold model ref. 116528 serial A96**** year 2000.
The hallmarks of the Daytona 116520
The Daytona 116520 was the first watch to mount the 4130 caliber entirely made by Rolex, with the new parachrom hairspring (from 2000) which will become blue in 2005 as we will see later. In all models of this reference, the glass is engraved with the Rolex crown at 6 o'clock.

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Born in a context of economic crisis, 116520 remained sold at list prices for many years and only in recent years has it begun to follow the trend of 16520.
In fact, just think that a 116520 used in 2009 could cost around 7,000 , today the same watch can cost around 15,000–18,000 , approximately 200% more (June 2019 estimate).
From 2001 to today, I have had the opportunity to study many specimens that have allowed me to be among the first to recognize the marks of the Daytona 116520 thanks also to the precious help of my friend Pino from Orologi & Passioni.
In my opinion, the differences in the dials are really minimal and have no influence on the "added" value of the watch. I would focus, to find a particularity, more on the first models, with the first superluminova dials and slim hands, no longer available as spare parts and then backwards to the last mirrored chromalight APH compax.
Let's see in detail how to recognize them.
The thickness of the characters is never an element to be taken into consideration. The dials were in fact made by hand with silicone molds and a different pressure exerted by the operator or the wear of the cliché could affect the thickness of the writing paint and the quality. It is therefore possible to come across dials belonging to the same Mark with different thicknesses.
The parameters that come into play are the alignment of the lettering, the circles of the compaxes, the length of the notches on the small parts with the Swiss Made lettering, the fonts used.
Here we will try to provide you with the simplest and most immediate method possible.
As with the other Rolex models, the dials for 116520 were also produced by Stern, Beyeler and Singer.
And now let's get into the details.
STERN was the manufacturer of the special dials, ie stone and diamond dials (the back is marked ROLEX 1).
The dials produced by BEYELER have the back with the Rolex 2 engraving.
Manufacturer SINGER marks Rolex dial back 3.
MK1, MK2 and MK3 share the long narrow hands inherited from the predecessor model ref. 16520 and its variations in gold (16523 and 16528).

Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 ser. F3657** with slim hands (which we can find from the P serial to the medium-high F serial in the Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3).

From medium to high F onwards the spheres are wider

Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 ser. Z6974** with large balls.

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From 2000/2001 to 2005 the MK1, Mk2 and MK3 dials coexisted at the same time, so there is no direct correspondence between the mark and the year of production.
MK1
The Mk1 dial is certainly the rarest, as indeed happens for all the first series and we can find it mounted from 2000 to 2005 on the P, K, Y, F, D serials.
Years of production: from 2001 to 2005.
The back of the dial bears the initials "Rolex 2" which identifies the manufacturer Beyeler

 

As can be seen from the macro, in MK1 the P of Perpetual remains to the right of the red alignment line.
The O for Rolex is aligned with the L for Officially and the M for Cosmograph

Alignment of lettering in MK1

The Daytona writing is marked and not very graceful.
The counter at 3 o'clock in the Mk1 dial is made up of 11 circles (we only have to count the rounded parts).
Written Swiss Made: note the E for Made: it is not pardoned and is distant from the minute track notch.
We superimpose the Swiss Made inscription between a Mk1 and a Mk2.
As you can see the writings are staggered, they don't match. This is the test to do whenever we are in doubt about the mark of a 116520 dial.
The first 116520 models with the P,K,Y and F serial numbers with the MK1, Mk2 and Mk3 white dials could turn to cream (sometimes even tending towards green).

Rolex Daytona 116520 ser. P8143 **

Comparison with 116520 ser. P9262** with white dial (no cream)
THE MOVEMENT
The 4130 caliber mounted on the new ref. 116520 was introduced in 2000. It is made up of only 290 elements, far fewer than a traditional chronograph. It is also equipped with the Parachrom spiral spring, thinner than a hair and made of a highly stable paramagnetic alloy based on niobium and zirconium. This spiral spring is unaffected by magnetic fields and has shock resistance up to 10 times higher than a normal one. It has been blue in color since 2005 and is a Rolex patent (Parachrom Blue).
The document confirms that the Parachrom hairspring has indeed been incorporated into the caliber 4130 since the beginning of 2000, but also points to the fact that for the first five years, the hairspring was not blue in colour. In 2005, the Blue Parachrom version of the hairspring was introduced, with a proprietary oxide coating, which improved the stability and speed of the original Parachrom hairspring.

White Parachrom

Parachrom blue

The graphics of the movements of the Daytona ref. 116520 have changed during production.
Below we show you the evolution of the movements from the first series with the P serial, up to the end of the alphanumeric series.

serial number P53**** year 2000

serial number F36**** year 2003

serial number Z95**** year 2007

serial number V46**** year 2008

serial F52 alphanumeric year 2011

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904L steel
In the kit of some Rolex watches marketed from 2005 onwards in Italy, it is possible to find this card which identifies the type of steel used by Rolex to make the watch.
It is a particular superalloy called OYSTER STEEL, belonging to the 904 L steel family used mainly in the space and chemical fields, difficult to work due to the low carbon content, but which boasts exceptional resistance to corrosion and gives a particular shine.
Oyster Steel is a 904L steel alloy developed specifically by Rolex for its watches.
The low concentration of copper makes Oyster Steel a highly stainless material even in extreme conditions and allows the Rolex watch to remain as new over time.

GUARANTEE
The Daytona 116520 mark 1 has a perforated Rolex guarantee of the type inherited from the previous ref. 16520 as shown in the example below.
This type of paper guarantee accompanies the Daytona 116520 up to the year 2002, serial K included.
From serial Y to serial D of 2005 the guarantee is different but always paper and perforated (we will talk about it later).
BOTTOMS
Internal caseback of a P serial. The reference of the caseback for 116520 is 2100.

External caseback of a 116520

The stamp on the caseback in the first series is green with the reference 116520 and the gold-colored Rolex crown, in the style of the old reference 16520.

SERIAL AND REFERENCE
In the first series, the reference and serial number are engraved inside the lugs

BANDS
First series bracelet with closure defined as "SHORT" ref. 78490. The Rolex logo on the flip lock is centrally positioned. We find this bracelet mounted from 2001 to 2008 on the P, K, Y, F, D, Z and M serials.
The links of the first series bracelet ref. 78490 have the joint cylinder as seen in the photo.

The closure is equipped with a quick adjustment system for the length of the bracelet as described in the kit booklet.
BOX
Box supplied with Daytona 116520 from 2001 to 2005 approx.
The Rolex box and document holder have the same graining as the leather
the document holder has the code 101.40.55

the sealing wax tag

the green tag

Extract from the 2002 Rolex Price List
The selling price of 116520 at the time was
5,944 including VAT

Rolex calendar ref. 116520 year 2001-2002

 

Extract from the R20 spare parts catalog of 2003, here you can read all the technical characteristics of the spare parts of 116520.
Extracts from the 2001 Japanese Evolution Catalogue
In 2000, the first special dials mounted on the gold version were presented at the Basel fair.

So, in summary, these are the features of the Daytona 116520 MK1:

Serial: P, K, Y, F, D.
Years of production: from 2001 to 2005
Dial manufacturer : Beyeler
Balls: narrow and long (slim) up to the low F serial. From high F onwards wider spheres.Written alignment: P for Perpetual and O for Rolex not aligned.
Swiss Made lettering: notches corresponding to short 28 and 29, long 27-minute mark. And of Made moved to the right of the 28 minute mark.
Compax rims: 11
Luminous material: Superluminova (green color).
Guarantee: perforated paper.

mk2
At first glance, the two dials would appear to have the writings with different fonts and alignments.
To show you that this is just an optical error induced by the black / white contrast, we use Photoshop and superimpose them.
As you can see the alignment of the lettering is perfect.

As you can see, the O for Rolex lines up with the letters below and cuts the P for Perpetual. The font used is serif.
The Daytona lettering in the MK2 is pardoned.

counters
Note the particular shape of the number 1.
As seen before the thickness of the characters can be different and optically deceptive from white to black.
We superimpose the counters of the two photos to show you that they both belong to the MK2. As you can see the overlap is perfect.

Let us now observe the shape of 3. Large and flattened.
Now let's count the raised circles of the compax MK2
There are 10 rims, one less than the MK1.
Alignment of written Swiss Made
As can be seen from the macros, the E of Made is very graceful with a rounded "back" and rests almost on the 28-minute mark.
The minute notches have the same characteristics as the MK1s: the notches corresponding to 28 and 29 minutes are short while the notch at 27 minutes is long.
The guarantee is perforated paper: for the P and K serials we find the old guarantee in green, for the Y, F and D serials the new perforated paper guarantee appears like the one below, where the type of metal of the watch is indicated with to punch .

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Example of serial warranty F

From 2002 until 2007 the 116520s had this type of sticker on the case back: green with Rolex hologram and black reference under the crown and transparent top sticker with red side stripe.

Extract from the Rolex box code table
So, let's summarize the features of the Daytona MK2 :
Serial: P, K, Y, F.
Years of production: from 2001 to the first half of 2005.
Dial manufacturer : Beyeler
Balls: long and narrow (slim) up to low F serial, wide balls for high F.Lettering Alignment: The Rolex O is aligned with the leg of all letters below it.Swiss Made lettering: notches corresponding to 29 and 28 minutes short, notch 27 minutes long.Compax circles: 10
Luminous material: Superluminova (green color).
Guarantee: perforated paper.

mk3

Cutout of the dial of the Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 ser. D of 2005 with large balls.

The Mk3 dials were manufactured by Singer. The back of the dial bears its initials: "Rolex 3".
I show you another MK3 white dial unassembled to allow a better evaluation of the writings.
Alignment of lettering
In the Mk3 the lineup is reminiscent of the Mark2. The O for Rolex cuts through the P for Perpetual and is aligned with the letters below.
The font used is serif and thin.
Written Swiss Made : in the Mk3 the notches on the minute track recall the previous marks. The E of Made, on the other hand, seems to be "sitting" on the 28 minute mark.
The Daytona lettering in the MK3 is very graceful.
Embossed circles in the MK3 counter, there there are 11 of them as in the Mk1.

So summarizing the MK3 features:
Serial: P, K, Y, F, D.
Years of production: from 2001 to 2005
Dial manufacturer: Singer
Balls: long and narrow (slim) from serial P up to low F. Wide spheres from high F to D.Lettering alignment: The O for Rolex cuts through the P for Perpetual and is aligned with the letters below.Swiss Made lettering: notches corresponding to 29 and 28 minutes short, notch 27 minutes long.Compax rims: 11
Luminous material: Superluminova (green color)
Guarantee: perforated paper

 

THE RINGS
The Mk1, the Mk2 and the Mk3 mount the same type of ferrule according to the serial number.
The first series bezels (P serial) are exactly the same as those mounted on the last 16520.

Bezel mounted on a 116520 serial P5386**, year 2001.

Bezel mounted on a 116520 serial P9262**, year 2001.

ring mounted on serial number Y8501**, year 2003

bezel mounted on serial number F7544**, year 2005

MK4 and MK5
2006 is an important year for the Daytona 116520 because it marks the introduction of the serial number engraved on the flange and the end of paper guarantees.
We find the Mark4 from the medium-high D serial (2005) up to the low Z serial (2006) always with large balls.
The serial goes from having a letter + 6 digits to having an alphanumeric code of 7 digits/letters. The letters can be only one or more.
The example below shows a 2004 F serial and an alphanumeric with only the initial letter F, which could be mistaken for a 2004 watch when instead it is a 7-digit/letter alphanumeric from 2011.

Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 ser. F365701 of 2004

Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 alphanumeric serial engraved in the flange F5287155 from 2011

The dials classified to date by collectors as MK4 and MK5 actually represent the same mark, as they are graphically identical.
For convenience, those mounted on cases without flanges are indicated as MK4 and those mounted on cases with engraved flange Mk5.

Mk4 dial fitted to a 2007 M serial 116520 (no Rehaut)

Mk5 dial fitted to a 2008 V-serial 116520 (Rehaut)

Lettering alignment in Mk4 and MK5
As can be seen from the two macros, the O for Rolex is aligned with the P for Perpetual and the O for Cosmograph. The red line touches the right edge of the E of Superlative and cuts the L of Officially.
The main feature of the Mk4 and MK5 dials is that they have the notch corresponding to 27 minutes (and obviously also the symmetrical one at 33 minutes) as low as the one at 28 and 29.
In the previous marks we remember this notch instead, it was long.
The Daytona writing is not very graceful and has thin characters
There are 10 Circles in relief of the Compax

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THE RINGS

Ring mounted on 116520 Mk4 serial D0229** year 2005

Ring mounted on 116520 Mk5 serial Z6974**, year 2007.

Ring mounted on 116520 MK5 serial M1196**, year 2008.

Bezel mounted on alphanumeric 116520 F52871** from 2011

The Rolex guarantee is on paper until 2006 with the medium-low Z serial.
Since 2007, the new Rolex Card has been on the market with the medium-high Z and M serial numbers.
Depending on the country of marketing, the card may be different, usually the cards are written in French, the Cards for the American market are written in English.

Its Rolex guarantee card in use until 2015.

To recognize if the card is original it is necessary to check the two underlining lines with a magnifying glass: in fact they are not real lines but very small and close characters.
The lines read: ROLEX INTERNATIONAL GUARANTEE INTERNATIONAL GUARANTEE ROLEX

Furthermore, original cards of this type can be recognized by the Rolex hologram that appears when the card is subjected to UV light

Card in natural light

Card under UV light

Summary the MK4 features are:
Serial: D, Z low
Production years: 2005 /2006
Spheres: wide.
Lettering alignment: The O for Rolex is aligned with the P for Perpetual and the O for Cosmograph. The red line touches the right edge of the E of Superlative and cuts the L of Officially.
Swiss Made lettering: notches corresponding to 27, 28, 29 short minutes.
Compax circles: 10
Compax colour: bronzed
Luminous material: Superluminova (green light)
Warranty: paper until 2005. Since 2006 Card.

Mk5

Serial: High Z, M, V, G and alphanumericYears of production: from 2006 to 2013

Spheres: Large spheres.
Lettering alignment: The O for Rolex is aligned with the P for Perpetual and the O for Cosmograph. The red line touches the right edge of the E of superlatives and cuts the L of Officially.
Swiss Made lettering: notches corresponding to 27, 28, 29 short minutes.
Compax circles: 10
Luminous material: Superluminova
Guarantee: Card.

From the end of 2007 to 2008, the stamp on the case back becomes transparent with the writing 116520 in black.

The dials produced until 2014 glow with a green light induced by the luminous material Superluminova.
From 2009/2010 the new bracelet with LONG closure ref. 78590 without cylinder inside the links. The crown is no longer central to the Flip lock but moved downwards.

In these bracelets the Rolex logo engraved in the clasp is finished in black and the central finish of the clasp is sand blasted.

 

Photo of a 2014 alphanumeric Daytona 116520

From 2008 to the end of production, the sticker on the case back is transparent with a green segment on the side.

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MK6 APH DIALS
From 2010 until the end of production, the APH dials were also marketed, so defined because the last three letters of the Cosmograph writing on the dial are detached.
The 116520 produced from 2010 to 2013 with and without APH dial had Superluminova as luminous material and the counters were "bronzed".
Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 alphanumeric F52871** from 2011. Detached APH dial, bronze compax, luminous material Superluminova.

Alignment of lettering

The O for Rolex is aligned with the O for Cosmograph. The P for Perpetual remains to the right of the red line.

The Daytona lettering in the MK6 APH is different from the others.

The compasses are bronzed and made up of 11 circles.

The E of the Swiss Made Lettering resembles that of the Mark 4 and 5 but in the MK6 APH it is much closer to the letter D.
Notch 27 of the minute track is low like notches 28 and 29 as in the previous mark.
Features of the MK6 APH:
Serial: alphanumeric
Years of production: from 2010 to 2013
Spheres: wide.
Lettering alignment: the O for Rolex is aligned with the O for Cosmograph. The P for Perpetual remains to the right of the red line.
Swiss Made lettering: notches corresponding to 27, 28, 29 short minutes.
Compax rims: 11
Luminous material: Superluminova
Guarantee: Card.
MK6 APH BIS
From 2014 until the end of production, the dial switches to Chromalight luminous material which lights up blue/light blue and the indexes become mirrored.

Rolex Daytona 116520 NOS serial 064J92** from 2014 Mirrored indexes, Chromalight luminous material.

On the dial the Daytona writing has become more marked and graceful compared to the first APH series

Although the second hand blocks our view, we can still see that the alignment is different.

The Daytona lettering in the MK6 APH BIS is serif and thick.
The circles of the counter are still 11 and the characteristics of the Swiss Made writing have not changed compared to the MK6 APH dial.

In 2016, the bracelet clasp changes from a sandblasted to a polished finish and the Rolex writing is no longer highlighted in black.

MK6 APH BIS features:
Serial: alphanumeric
Years of production: from 2014 to end of production 2016.
Spheres: Large spheres.
Lettering alignment: the O for Rolex is aligned with the E for Superlative and the L for Officially.Swiss Made lettering: notches corresponding to 27, 28, 29 short minutes.
Compax rims: 11
Luminous material: Chromalight.
Guarantee: Card.
Mk7
From 2014 to the end of production you can find models with a non-APH dial like the example below.

Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 alphanumeric 5P82N8** from 2014 NOS
The dial has a graceful font and mirrored counters.

The O for Rolex is aligned with the O for Cosmograph from the left side. The other letters are cut out except the E for Superlatives.

The Daytona lettering in the MK7 is ungraceful and unmarked.

The circles of the compass are 11

Unlike the APH dials, in the MK7 the 27 minute mark is long while the 28 and 29 minute marks are short.

MK7 Features:
Serial: alphanumeric
Years of production: from 2014 to end of production 2016.
Spheres: Large spheres.
Lettering alignment: The O for Rolex is aligned with the O for Cosmograph from the left side. The other letters are cut out except the E for Superlatives.
Swiss Made lettering: long 27-minute mark, short 28- and 29-minute mark.
Compax rims: 11
Luminous material: Chromalight.
Guarantee: Card.

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THE RINGS

bezel mounted on alphanumeric serial from 2011

Bezel mounted on alphanumeric serial from 2013

bezel mounted on alphanumeric 116520 2016 end of production

The latest 116520 models produced in 2016 are accompanied by the new Rolex guarantee card. Since 2015, the sealing wax tag has also changed from red to green, to indicate the extension of the watch warranty from 2 to 5 years.

Summary of dial graphics
Ultimately I believe that the quickest and easiest way to recognize the mark of a Daytona 116520 dial is to analyze the shape and position of the E for Made, observing the length of the minute track 27 notch and evaluating the Daytona writing.

Price increase table from 2009 to today (June 2019) referring to a complete second hand 116520 in excellent condition (indicative table).
..and now go and see the new "DAYDAY" GRAPHICS inspired by the world of DAYTONA..the two queen references, 16520 and 116520.