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Vintage Rolex Daytona (Reference 6262)

Vintage Rolex Daytona (Reference 6262)

Vintage Rolex Daytona 6262

Cheers to a celebrated brand in the horological industry, a status symbol in the world of the elites, and the most prominent Swiss watch brand globally. The Swiss luxury watchmaker founded by Hans Wilsdorf is sought after by everyone, given there are the means to purchase a Rolex. Rolex watches, especially vintage Rolex models, cost a pretty fortune. Both collectors and Rolex fans prefer vintage Rolex. So, if you ask a knowledgeable watch collector, “what watch would you choose if you could only keep one?” They will likely choose a vintage Rolex Daytona.

This choice is because the vintage Rolex Daytona is legendary, distinguished, and extremely fascinating due to its classy and classic design. Also, there are the valuable chronograph complications and the history behind the Daytona series and the Rolex brand as a whole. 

Likewise, it’s one of the most adaptable watches you will ever find. The Daytona (Reference 6262) is a watch made for daily wear and practically any occasion. However, the only issue with vintage Daytona watches is they aren’t easy to obtain. It has been 30 years since the first self-winding Daytona was released, and stainless steel versions continue to be one of the most difficult watches to buy new from authorized Rolex dealers. 

Buying a Vintage Rolex Daytona

a vintage Rolex Daytona

Typically, dealers save the new releases for their best clients. So, if you aren’t one of those special customers, you will be on a long waiting list that ranges from one to five years. Either way, it’s worth the wait. In this post, we feature a special, vintage Rolex Daytona, which is the unique Rolex 6262. This particular Rolex Cosmograph 6262 has a conventional Daytona dial rather than the Paul Newman dial. The best part is, at Diamonds by Raymond Lee, we have pre-owned Rolex 6262 watches for sale, and it’s in excellent condition.

Tracing the History of the Rolex Daytona 6262

Rolex released the first of this historical series of mechanical chronograph watches, the Cosmograph Daytona 6262, in 1963. However, one thing normal watch enthusiasts don’t know is that Daytona is actually a spin-off name of the original Rolex Cosmograph. 

The first Cosmograph was introduced in 1963. It wasn’t until 1965 that they coined the series Daytona. You will notice this as the watches before 1965 didn’t have “Daytona” on the dial. Daytona’s official name got set after Rolex’s famous collaboration with the 24 Hours of Daytona. The latter is a sports car endurance race held yearly at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. To this day, the series has also kept the original Cosmograph name on the dial and in their marketing efforts.

The Source of the Name Cosmograph and Daytona

At the time of the development of this series of mechanical chronographs, there was great media attention surrounding the exploration of outer space. Rolex had a specific interest in being part of this movement. Hence, they registered the name Cosmograph and assigned it to their three sub dial watches that were soon to be released. 

the Daytona 6262 up close

Together, in the early 60s, Rolex dipped their toes in the realm of car racing, which was when NASCAR began gaining mass popularity. Generally, the Cosmograph naturally became nicknamed “Daytona” extensively amongst watch lovers. This happened right before they spotted the name on the dial. Therefore, in the 70s, it officially earned the name Rolex Daytona, and every watch had Daytona placed on the dial. Models of the Daytona from 1963 to the 1980s got produced in small quantities, which made most of them quite unique.

The Cosmograph Journey

1. The Rolex 6239

Although Rolex launched a more modern Chronograph watch in 1955, it wasn’t until 1963 that they released the first chronograph Cosmograph, Reference 6239. The Cosmograph’s main change was an inverse color scheme from the main dial to the subdials. Here is a feature that makes Daytonas so different. The new appearance made for a sportier, more combative look compared to the flush dials that came before it. 

One other big change was the relocation of the tachymetric scale. The usual printed tachymetric scale on the outer board got removed. Instead, Rolex engraved a tachymeter on the bezel with the intention of increasing the readability of the chrono indicators. From 1965 to 1969, they released two other references – 6240 and 6241. 6240 was an Oyster, and 6241 was not.

2. The Vintage Rolex Daytona 6262 from the 1970s

Now, to the feature of this article, the Vintage Rolex Daytona 6262, produced for only a single year, is ultra rare. This vintage Rolex Daytona 6262 was a very similar design to the ref 6239. It had its inverse dial and non-oyster case, push pumpers and engraved bezel. However, the 6262 had a new and improved movement, the Valjoux 727. 

Rolex Daytona 6262 with the Valjoux 727 movement

The Valjoux 727 movement is a manual wind with 727 beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (vph). It has 3,600 more vph than the Valjoux 722 furnished in the Rolex 6239. Most people ask -“What’s the difference between 6262 and 6239?” – well, that’s the answer. 

At the time of its production, it wasn’t a good seller. This explains why it got phased out quickly, dismissed for newer, more advanced references. Nevertheless, the vintage Rolex Daytona 6262 would go on to become one of the rarest vintage Rolex Daytona in history. 

The Vintage Rolex Daytona 6262 in Details

a. Vintage Rolex with a Black Dial

This vintage Rolex Daytona 6262 has a black dial with silvered (albeit cream-ish) subdials. Both “Rolex Cosmograph ” and “Daytona” are in white lettering. The hour markers are long, faceted luminous rectangles placed at the 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11. You also find seconds, minutes, and hour hands with lume. The minute and hour hands feature strong corners, and the seconds hand is slim to a pointed arrow that extends all the way to the edge of the dial.

b. The Paul Newman Daytona or the Conventional Daytona

You will notice that when compared to a Paul Newman Daytona, this dial’s color extends to the edge of the dial. All Paul Newman Daytona watches have a seconds chapter ring, of an inverse color, on the outer board of the dial. Furthermore, the conventional Daytona seen here has a metallic dial, unlike the Newman’s fully printed and inked dial.

c. Into the Subdials

As with all vintage Rolex Daytona watches, it has three sub registers – constant seconds, 30 minutes, and 12 hours. The main markers on each subdial have a distinct squared, blocky appearance, making them clearly visible from a distance. Additionally, the subdials are carved with subtle, evenly placed circle grooves. The grooves start from the center and stop about 2/3rds of the way up to the edge.

d. T Swiss T Tag

The vintage Rolex Daytona 6262, like the later ref. 6264 has a “T Swiss T” mark at the bottom of the dial. The mark means the dial contains luminous tritium in the indices. This emits less than 7.5 mCi. More so, it means that the watch is Swiss.

e. Contrast and Legibility

Original Daytonas, like this reference 6262, all had single-color dials with contrasting subdials. Most commonly, a black dial with silver/white subdials or a white dial with black subdials. The contrast really makes the dial pop, and it increases legibility tenfold.

f. Outsourcing the Dials to Singer

A noteworthy point to make here is that Rolex didn’t make the dials themselves. They outsourced this to a company called Singer. That is a common practice in the horological industry at the time. Singer made their mark on the back of the dial by impressing their brand name, always in the same place.

g. Pump Pushers on the Vintage Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Daytona 6262 isn’t an Oyster. Oyster cases use screw down pushers and will have the words “Oyster” on the dial. Instead, Rolex Daytona 6262 embraced the push-down (Pump Pusher) buttons, and as you can see, the reference 6262 here has the originals perfectly intact. This makes it even more appealing to the serious watch collector. 

In addition, due to the watch using pump pushers, it is not as waterproof as an Oyster case. The screw down pushers of an Oyster case provides enhanced water resistance. However, screw down pushers were introduced in 1965 with the 6240 reference. Still, the pump pushers weren’t completely phased out until 1972. This explains why the reference 6262, created in 1970, still has the pump pushers. The last Daytona reference utilizing the pump pushers was Rolex 6264.

h. The Steel Bezel on the Reference 6262

The stainless steel bezel has a tachymeter engraved into the bezel. This comes in place of the chapter ring that you see on Paul Newman Daytonas. The tachymeter on the bezel gets calibrated for 200 units per hour and is best for car-racing drivers. A tachometer scale helps to calculate a speed based on travel time. Also, it helps to measure distance traveled based on speed.

i. Vintage Rolex Daytona Cased in Steel

The Daytona reference 6262 features a more petite size case, at 37mm diameter. True to its nature as a vintage watch, this was the style of the day back in the 60s and 70s. Here, you get a tonneau-shaped, water-resistant case, albeit not as resistant as Oyster cases. This is because of the pump pushers, as mentioned above. 

Vintage Rolex Daytona 6262 cased in steel

The case is a complete product of corrosion resistant stainless steel. It was produced to last as it got created by an alchemist. The dial comes covered by an acrylic crystal. On the back of the case, you will find a blank caseback, as are all Daytonas. The only exception is the specially stamped 24 Hour Daytona version. We like the clean caseback as it is more comfortable. Also, it won’t leave markings on your skin, as some case backs with engravings do.

On the inside, the caseback gets stamped with the correct number of 6262. We make this point because some of the reference 6262 models have 6239 stamped on their caseback. This is because Rolex used leftover case backs from the ref 6239 on many of the vintage Rolex reference 6262 watches. Still, on the interior of the case, the then-new and improved movement is more distinctive. 

j. Powered by the Valjoux 727 Movement

The Valjoux 727 features a caliber 727 nickel-finished lever movement. It has 17 jewels and maintains 21,600 beats per hour. This is a substantial improvement from the previous model’s caliber 722. The Valjoux 727 is a manual movement, so you need to wind it daily manually. Here is one aspect many watch buyers of the day didn’t enjoy. 

That drawback, along with the pump pushers instead of screw down pushers, forced Rolex to sell the 6262 at a significant discount. If you took advantage of that and still own a Rolex Daytona reference 6262, it surely paid off incredibly. 

Presently, vintage Rolex Daytonas with the Caliber 727 are very rare and extremely collectible. More so, this movement is extraordinarily reliable and accurate. Should an Armageddon ever take place, this is the movement you would want on your wrist as you struggle for survival.

k. Braced with an Oyster Bracelet

This particular Rolex reference 6262 has its original stainless steel 78350 bracelet with 14 links and 571 end links. It is still in excellent condition. The clasp is too. It is still stiff from factory tolerances and always works without fail.

Get the Rolex Reference 6262 at Raymond Lee Jewelers, Boca Raton, Now

Overall, we are pretty lucky to have a Rolex reference 6262 in such fantastic condition. You can also share in our luck. Currently, this vintage Rolex Daytona 6262 is on our list for sale at our retail jewelry store, Raymond Lee Jewelers in Boca Raton. 

Moreover, the watch is unique in its entirety and is in excellent condition. It comes with the original box. Are you interested in getting one of your own? Please, contact us via the contact form on our site. Also, you can stop by or make an appointment with one of our Rolex specialists anytime.


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