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Rolex Daytona Ref. 116518 'Jimmy John's' In 18k Yellow Gold

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 seem 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 "John Mayer" green dialed Daytona. One year later, in 2017, the Daytona range was updated again this time with the Oysterflex options receiving a facelift in three different gold variants.
The reference 116518LN was one of the facelift Oysterflex options released at Baselworld in 2017 by the crown. With a case executed in 18k yellow gold and a matching dial main plate, this iteration of the Daytona showcases the ability for Rolex's chronograph to execute contrast to perfection. The way the gold hues work throughout against the black Cerachrom bezel and matching black tone sub-registers is stunning in the metal. Furthermore, the decision to offer this reference on an Oysterflex offers a compelling everyday, easy-wearing choice for the customer who does not want the flash and opulence of a full gold bracelet Daytona. This is about as subtle as you're going to get in a yellow gold watch from Rolex.

Serving sandwiches freaky fast on an instantly recognizable, fresh-baked French bread, Jimmy John's operates more than 2700 locations with a presence in all but seven U.S. states. Don't know why you just read a sentence about Jimmy John's in a fashiontourbillon.com product description? Well, if you haven't seen the caseback that would make sense. This isn't just any Daytona ref. 116518LN, this is an example engraved by Rolex USA for the great sandwich maker, yes, the same one, Jimmy John's.

Similar to the relationship Domino's has been able to build with Rolex over the years, and the resulting engraved Oyster Perpetuals from the vintage era, Jimmy John's has more recently reached a level where factory engravings are executed onto watches ordered for gifts or celebrations. The reason that a yellow gold, Oyserflex Daytona was ordered by the sandwich store is unclear but what we know is that there is a unique engraving on the caseback here and the papers state the purchaser as none other than "Jimmy John's."

This particular Rolex "Jimmy John's" Daytona ref. 116518 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 scratches throughout the case. It appears the watch was worn very lightly. The caseback engraving is very crisp and unpolished. The Oysterflex strap is fit for a 7.75 to 8-inch wrist. A smaller Oysterflex section can be sourced from a local Rolex boutique. During our quality control check, any necessary adjustments are made to ensure the watch is functioning as intended.
In 1905, a watchmaker named 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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