Rolex Celebrates 100th Anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Race with New Cosmograph Daytona

Drumroll please: Today, Rolex has unveiled a new variant of the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, created to honor the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance motor race. Manufactured in white gold, the latest iteration of this legendary chronograph watch sports a dial with a classic “panda” layout, with the base being black and enhanced by a sunray-finish and white contrasting counters.

These sub-counters display the sought-after style of the vintage Paul Newman or exotic dials, with distinctive square-shaped markers and tracks. The hands and applied markers are white gold and filled with highly legible and long-lasting Chromalight luminescence.

24 hours instead of 12

The reference 126529LN is powered by an updated version of the self-winding caliber 4131 with a power reserve of 72 hours. The newest “motor” of the Cosmograph Daytona, it was introduced only three months ago in the latest line-up at this year’s Watches and Wonders. Like its predecessor, the caliber 4132 incorporates the Chronergy escapement, Paraflex shock absorbers, and bridges decorated with Rolex Côtes de Genève. In addition, the cut-out oscillating weight in 18K yellow gold is fitted with an optimized ball bearing. Like all Rolex watches, this special version of the Cosmograph Daytona carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.

On the new version of the Cosmograph Daytona, the hours of the chronograph function are counted over twenty-four hours – instead of the model’s usual twelve – as a nod to the duration of the motor race. This was made possible by an additional, patented mechanism made up of seven components, which could be likened to a differential redesigned by Rolex.

This gear reduction system, which in technical terms is called an “epicyclic reducer,” halves the rotational speed of the gear train that turns the 24-hour hand. It could be integrated without the slightest change to the movement’s architecture. The ingenious mechanism simply replaces a transmission wheel, and its operation does not affect the performance of calibre 4132 in any way. To make things even better, the watch is one of the rare Rolex timepieces that is fitted with an exhibition case back that displays many of the brand’s innovations and unique technical features.

The reference 126529LN measures 40mm wide and is 12.2mm thick. It goes without saying that the Oyster case it is water-resistant to 100 meters and equipped with a Cerachrom bezel with a tachymeter scale, here rendered in black ceramic and edged by a fine white gold band. The number 100 in red ceramic is a nod to the race’s anniversary.

The new version of the Cosmograph Daytona is fitted with an Oyster bracelet boasting an Oysterlock folding safety clasp and Easylink comfort extension system, which allows the wearer to easily adjust the length by approximately 5 mm.

Pricing is marked at $51,400.

To learn more, visit Rolex, here.

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