The evolution of Rolex Daytona is an enduring hot topic. However, there are still some incomplete or even unknown mysteries about its research, such as the so-called ‘Solo’ dial-Daytona watch, the dial is only printed with ‘Rolex’ (Rolex), without ‘Cosmograph ‘(Cosmometer type), there is no’ Oyster ‘, and there is no’ Daytona ‘(Daytona). So where did the “Solo” dial come from, and why was the model designed?
First, we must understand the evolution of the Daytona dial
The printing of dials by Dayton is a slow and gradual process. The printing of the dial was originally a look, developed under the designation ‘Daytona’. Then, Rolex-branded chronographs began to come with ‘Oyster’ cases, and the dial printing evolved again. And all this happened within a few years, so in many cases, the dial was the same when it was born, and later a word was printed, just like the early Oyster Paul Newman ‘RCO’ or ‘Oyster Sottos’. These examples show that ‘Oyster’ was added after the ‘Rolex Cosmograph’.
‘RCO’ Daytona is the best example of Daytona dial evolution
There are many “missing links” in the world of Daytona. The dials have several characteristics of a recognized dial model, and some are taken from other dial models. There are ‘Swiss’ dials, there are ‘Swiss + underlined’ dials, and there are ‘T-Swiss-T’ dials, all of which are in a small range of serial numbers. There are several different models of antique Daytona watches on the market today, from the common 6239 and 6263 to the rare 6264 and 6240. In my opinion, 6240 is the most interesting.
Serial number: No. 923xxx with ‘Swiss + underlined’ dial
Serial number: No. 1,04x, xxx, with ‘T-Swiss-T’ dial (without underline)
I still think that in the Daytona family, the early 6239 ‘Swiss’ dial watches were the most fascinating branch. At that time, they were also called ‘LeMans’. It was not clear what concepts were built around this series . When it comes to a single model, the 6240 is a better example. The screw-in buttons, the black bezel, and the 6240 set the tone for what we know today as Daytona. In addition, 6240 is also the original ‘Oyster’ Daytona, which is of great significance, because waterproof is the symbol of quality that Rolex advertises. The serial numbers are from No.1,2xx, xxx to No.1,6xx, xxx, 6240. They are equipped with various dials. Most of them do not have the words ‘Oyster’ and ‘Daytona’, but ‘T-Swiss-T’ at 6 o’clock. Here are the two most commonly recognized dial types:
6240 ‘Big Daytona’
6240 ‘Small Daytona’
With reference to the above, it can be seen that some of the dialton’s evolutions-6240 RCO-are currently known to exist in less than 10 pieces, and whenever they appear in auctions, they can always achieve excellent results. There are also ‘T-Swiss-T’ or ‘sigma’ logos on the bottom of some ‘RCO’ 6240 dials, but by comparison, they are not so widely recognized. If you want to pursue pure 6240, the above two dials are the right way. Of course, this is not to say that the 6240 with the ‘RCO’ style dial is not right, just that non-oyster dials with earlier screw-in watches are more meaningful.
In May 2016, a 6240 “RCO” watch sold 281,000 Swiss francs
Now, all full-spec 6240s should be equipped with MK1 bezels and MK0 brass buttons (as shown below), but most have lost one of these features. In my opinion, it doesn’t make any sense to buy a 6240 without defining characteristics-without the MK0 button, the individual is not very interested in the 6240.
6240 with rare ‘Solo’ dial
How much does the ‘Solo’ dial know?
Take the liberty to say that in the (often) less transparent antique Rolex collection, the correctness of the dial of the 6240 is about as vague as you can imagine, so there is the 6240 ‘Solo’ watch and its Study and explore. So far, we have seen dials with different shapes, with or without different text, which is particularly evident in the Daytona in the early 1960s. The thinnest and rarest of all Daytona dials is the ‘Solo’ dial-nothing but ‘Rolex’. For any antique Rolex, the company neither confirms nor denies the origin of the dial. That is to say, the earliest 6240 may indeed be born with this dial. The serial numbers of 6240 ‘Solo’ watches currently accepted on the market are between No. 1, 2xx, xxx and No. 1, 4xx, xxx. They always appear from time to time, but few people really take them seriously.
In May 2015, a 6240 ‘Solo’ watch sold 245,000 Swiss francs
In May 2015, a 6240 ‘Solo’ watch was auctioned for 245,000 Swiss francs at the Geneva auction, and the success of this auction strengthened the concept of the 6240 ‘Solo’. After that, the market seems to be looking for these watches, and we have seen more of them, whether at auctions or elsewhere.
But does the 6240 ‘Solo’ really make sense? For some, it is, for others it is not. Many dealers and fashionistas believe that the ‘Solo’ dial was originally used for 6238 after-sales service. However, I personally don’t think so, why is the single-color dial (6238) printed with the speedometer scale replaced by the two-color dial (‘Solo’) without the speedometer scale? There’s no point.
6239 had a ‘Solo’ dial
I believe the ‘Solo’ dial was originally for the 6239. In fact, I don’t just believe, I can say that I know, because there is a Rolex advertisement. Details of the watch are depicted on the advertisement. The Rolex Daytona Chronograph, stainless steel oyster case, 17 jewels, black and white dial, chronograph accuracy of 1/5 seconds, stainless steel bracelet, tax only $ 210. In December last year, an early 6239 ‘Solo’ watch was auctioned at the Fletcher Hong Kong auction. This watch with replacement bezels and hands does not seem to have attracted much attention, with a transaction price of less than $ 100,000.
In December 2015, an early 6239 ‘Solo’ watch was auctioned for US $ 96,727 at the Fine Artes Hong Kong Auction
Paul Newman tells us that the Pump button watch with a special dial is not as sexy as the Oyster Daytona with a special dial. So it is likely that at some point, the dealer came up with the idea of putting the ‘Solo’ dial into the 6240 case. Personally, the 6240 ‘Solo’ is more charming than the 6239 ‘Solo’. But don’t get me wrong, I did not say that the 6240 ‘Solo’ watch is not original, it is important. We must keep in mind how Rolex operated that year, and how the production and assembly of linear assembly lines became unregulated. During the assembly process, if there is such a dial, and the watchmaker just needs it, then everything happens naturally, but these are guesses, and we can’t assert this.
As mentioned earlier, the 6240 is indeed a fascinating watch, arguably one of the most important watch models in Rolex history. The 6240 ‘Solo’ watch on the market is just a nuanced corner of the antique Daytona world, compared to the grand overall. I look forward to a more detailed understanding of the 6240 ‘Solo’ watches in the future, and I hope that more and more people will know their existence over time. So, the question is, according to the current understanding, compared to the two, would you buy a 6240 ‘Solo’ watch instead of Paul Newman? This is an interesting choice, and of course a more low-key choice, but before we can conclude that the 6240 ‘Solo’ is an original Rolex, is it too risky to choose the former? (Photo / text watch home Xu Chaoyang)