Gentlemen’s publication Esquire explores the history of the Rolex Daytona, outlining how the Swiss watchmaker’s creation became the most sought-after commercial timepiece in the world. Worn by everyone from Eric Clapton to Sir Malcolm Campbell (former setter of the world land-speed record), the Daytona has become a grail for Rolex collectors thanks to its scarcity, design and brand prestige.

“On the night of 10 November 2013, a stainless steel wristwatch broke records when it was sold in a Geneva auction room for over $1m (£705,000). This watch wasn’t owned by any great actor, musician or racing driver, nor was it laden with diamonds or gold. It was, quite simply, one of the rarest examples of the most sought-after commercial timepiece in the world — the Rolex Daytona.”

“From its birth to its most recent 50th anniversary incarnation, the Daytona has risen above even its peers in the Rolex family to go beyond being just a collectable watch to the most cherished model of all. To understand why the Daytona has become so desired, it pays to appreciate the three main tenets of collecting that drive value and desirability: great design, brand equity and rarity. All three are more than present in the Daytona.

Read the full piece over at Esquireand for more high-end horological content take a look at the official list of retailers for Hermes’ Apple Watch.

Words by Alec Leach
Freelance Writer/Editor/Consultant

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin