Rolex "Zenith" Daytona

Rolex "Zenith" Daytona

You already know the Daytona story, so we won't go regurgitating it yet again.  We've yet to meet any collector or enthusiast who doesn't desire one for their collection, and for good reason.  Rolex's brilliant motorsports chronograph is a winner in any variant, vintage or modern.  And while current ones admittedly don't generally do as much for us as a nicely-aged example, this one might be the exception to the rule.

What you're looking at is a Reference 16520 Cosmograph, affectionally known as the "Zenith Daytona" due to its internal automatic chronograph mechanism that is based on the world-famous high beat El Primero movement. For those who may not know, Rolex didn't actually offer an in-house automatic chronograph movement in the Daytona line until 2000, and since leaving the manual-winding Valjoux based movements on which they were founded in 1988, relied on Zenith to provide the internals for their flagship chronograph. 

"Zenith Daytonas" were made for a little over a decade, and have already become incredibly desirable by collectors. With near-perfect proportions, the 16520 has become an icon unto itself, and this particular example is as good as they get!  With only light signs of wear, this example features a white dial with black rings circling the subsidiary registers, evoking just the right amount of "panda" to be a nod if not an outright homage in our minds. Manufactured near the end of the model run in the late 1990s, this model has an "A" Serial and features all of its original kit, including booklets, guarantee paperwork, inner and outer boxes (with original tissue!) and hang tags. 

It has been speculated by many that the Zenith Daytona - particularly the white dial models - may be the single greatest modern Rolex with a huge potential for appreciation.  

We're not going to suggest otherwise.


Steel Oyster case is approximately 41mm (excluding the crown). Rolex Reference 16520. Calibre 4030 Automatic Chronograph Movement by Zenith. Circa 1999.

Overall condition: Case is in excellent condition, never polished, and shows only light, normal signs of wear from occasional use. Dial and hands are as new. Steel bezel shows only faint signs of wear. Case back retains original factory sticker. Original pushers and Rolex-signed Trip-Lock crown.

Includes original steel 20mm Rolex Oyster bracelet (78390/503B) and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

Also includes original inner and outer boxes, owner's manual, warranty card, and hangtags - even the original tissue paper from the packaging!

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