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Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116508 With Green Dial

The Rolex Daytona has reached legendary status in the watch collecting world and is widely considered one of the most desirable timepieces ever, regardless of being vintage or contemporary. It all started in 1963 when Rolex debuted the ref. 6239. The so-called "Cosmograph" was a chronograph with a tachymeter on the bezel and was originally marketed toward drivers. Fun Fact: Rolex actually referred to this model as the "Le Mans" in early advertisements before it became the official timekeeper of the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

As a result, the Cosmograph would eventually be named the Daytona, and most known models have featured both names printed on the dial. The naming convention and dial text have carried through, even to the modern ceramic Daytona ref. 116500. Vintage collectors have been obsessed with early manual-wind Daytonas like the ref. 6239, 6241, 6263, and 6265, but in recent years, some of that attention has been diverted.

In 1988, Rolex introduced its first automatic chronograph, the "Zenith" Daytona ref. 16520. Based on Zenith's El Primero movement, this Rolex Daytona ushered in a new generation for the model line. While the nickname and base caliber harks back to the original maker, Rolex performed over 200 modifications to the movement, bringing it up to the brand's standard to create the caliber 4030. The collectability and desirability of this Daytona generation seems to grow by the day with more and more collectors paying attention. At the Baselworld fair in 2000, Rolex introduced a new Daytona, the ref. 116520. With the reference came the brand's first completely new in-house movement in over 50 years – a fully integrated, self-winding chronograph for the Daytona – the caliber 4130. Moreover, this caliber 4130 was the Daytona's first in-house movement. Appearance wise, the ref. 116520 is not all that different from the generation that came before it, with most of the intrigue and development here under the hood.

Bringing the Daytona to today's catalog is the ceramic, or Cerachrom if you ask Rolex, era. It all started in 2011 with the ref. 116515, a pink gold variant with a cream or black dial and black bezel. From there Rolex kept collectors on their toes with the platinum ceramic ref. 116506 for the model's 50th anniversary in 2013 and finally the classic ref. 116500 stainless steel black or white ceramic Daytona in 2016. Along with those now legendary steel ceramic Daytonas, the crown also quietly released a suite of metal-bezel, precious metal references, including the yellow gold, green dial ref. 116508 seen here.
This particular Rolex Daytona is a ref. 116508 in solid 18k yellow gold with a stunningly deep and mesmerizing green "Christmas" dial. Watches gain nicknames in the collecting community for a litany of reasons, "Christmas" is a bit more literal than most as this variant plays with a very St. Nick-esque color scheme of green and red. That being said, this reference carries a more popular nickname thanks to a certain guitar playing, G-Shock designing collector – John Mayer. A style icon as much as he is a friend of fashiontourbillon.com, John highlighted this, in his words, "sleeper hit" Daytona in "Talking Watches, Part 2."

"I look at it and I go, 'Did you guys not notice that this just came out?'...if you're out there and you care about what my picks are, the green dial gold Daytona, is still out there, still floating around, and it's the future thing that I think people are going to go 'wait, why didn't we know?'" Mayer said.

That is how the ref. 116508 came to be so tied to Mayer and constantly referred to as the "John Mayer" Daytona.

This particular "John Mayer" Daytona ref. 116508 is in overall clean and excellent pre-owned condition. The 18k yellow gold case and bracelet present in clean condition with a few blemishes on the bracelet clasp as well as some light dings along the left side of the case. It appears the watch was worn very lightly. During our quality control check, any necessary adjustments are made to ensure the watch is functioning as intended.
In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis set up shop as Wilsdorf and Davis in London. In 1908, this company would officially register the name Rolex, and by 1915, they had relocated the brand to Switzerland, where the headquarters remain to this day. Rolex has notched countless firsts in watchmaking, such as the chronometer-certified wristwatch and the first cased wristwatch with water resistance up to 100 meters. The brand also became a ubiquitous force in our culture on the wrist of countless celebrities and as the official timekeeper of numerous sporting events.

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