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Watches - Expert's Pick

Pre-Owned Rolex Daytona Ice Blue

For the latest in our Editor’s Pre-Owned Pick series, we push the boat out with the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116506.

While I run this column for watches I would consider buying, it would be dull if there wasn't a little fantasy from time to time. The Rolex Daytona Platinum was first listed at around £55,000 at current exchange rates, but you won't find one first or third hand for under £45k. Needless to say, this is way out of my pay grade. In fact, the only people I can see that own one are Michael Jordan and Michael Bublé. But if I were shopping in this price range, and providing Rolex isn’t selling it exclusively to Michaels, then the Daytona “Ice Blue” would be right at the top of my list.

rolex daytona platinum ceramic 116506

The Rolex Daytona was immortalised by Paul Newman, who took a shine to it in the sixties and wore it so often that he even had a particular model named after him (read more on the Rolex Daytona history here). Nowadays it is, quite simply, the most iconic watch on the planet. Challenged only by its brother, the Submariner. So when its 50th birthday came around in 2013, Rolex aficionados were waiting for something special to happen. It did. Although it was nothing like what people were expecting.

Any Rolex expert would have predicted a design based on the original model, the Ref. 6239, with its black dial and white sub-dials. Instead, Rolex threw a curve with an updated version of the most recent model made entirely from platinum and decked it out with a ceramic bezel. Said bezel was very much in line with what Rolex lovers were hoping for. Ceramic has become an increasingly favoured choice this century for its texture and its resistance to scratches and decay. But platinum was a blow because it meant that this watch was only going to the wrists of the elite.

rolex daytona platinum ceramic 116506

But the selling point, and what makes it my fantasy pick, is its awesome ice blue and chestnut brown colour combo. Rolex has used this shade of blue before, on a Day-Date platinum and even a President stainless steel, and it has always looked as sharp as a Savile Row suit, but whoever decided to add the brown deserves a watchmaker’s Oscar. For me, the only thing that disappoints about Daytonas usually, is their ubiquity. Other than that I don’t think you can do much better. So to have a version that only two people called Michael have, which boasts a colour-combo watch Oscar, would mean all my watch needs are fulfilled. And yes I’m perfectly happy with the fact that it’s also made from the most impressive metal out there.

Being carved from platinum means the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116506 is heavy on the wrist, just over 285 grams to be precise, which feels very satisfying and acts as a constant reminder of its sheer value. The bracelet, also platinum, is chunky but smooth and very comfortable. It also comes with Rolex’s smart quick-extension device, which means you can immediately adjust the bracelet size by 5 mm. This is useful on warm days or after exercise when your wrist can be a little inflated.

rolex daytona platinum ceramic 116506

The hour, minute and chronograph seconds hand are made from white gold and are filled with Rolex’s homemade substance that glows in the dark for (according to Rolex) as long as eight hours. The ship-shaped hour markers are also white gold and equally luminous. The movement is the faultless Rolex 4130 with the Parachrom hairspring.

rolex daytona platinum ceramic 116506

Check out my other top pre-owned watch picks here.

For more information, price and pictures, visit our pre-owned and vintage Rolex watches page.

Note: This article was originally published on the 9th July 2016. Links and information have been updated where possible.