HANDS-ON: Everlasting lustre – the Rolex Daytona in yellow gold with green dial (ref. 116508)

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Though the devastatingly cool new steel Daytona is the Rolex chronograph de jour, this year the brand also released new variations of their classic chrono in white and yellow gold. Today, we’re having a look at the reference 116508, in 18 carat yellow gold with a new green dial – a colour combination that no Aussie can resist.

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The reference 116508 is the same 40mm Oyster case, powered by the calibre 4130, accurate to within -2/+2 a day. Indeed, the only difference between this reference and earlier models is the dial. But what a dial. Yellow gold versions of the Daytona are most commonly seen with black or champagne dials – the green is stunning in its sheen and richness.

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Of course, green is a special colour for Rolex, but in this instance it’s a green not like the bright tones of the green Submariner or the mossy green of the new Day-Date 40. It’s a rich colour, somewhere between pine trees and British racing green, finished in a starburst technique that at once complements and contrasts with the case – to stunning effect. Of course, it’s a solid-gold Rolex, so it’s not exactly the most unassuming of timepieces. But then again why should this watch pretend to be anything else? The green amplifies the character of the watch, but not so much as to make it over the top.

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Yellow gold has been out of favour for quite a few years now, with red or pink gold (or Everose for Rolex) being much more fashionable. For many the bright tones of this metal are too brash and too opulent. I think this is a short term view. After all, red gold has been trendy for the last 20 or so years. Yellow gold has been the king of precious metals for the last 6000. I think it’s safe to say that the lustre of yellow gold isn’t going to fade anytime soon.

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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116508 Australian pricing

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, reference 116508, in yellow gold $43,950.

Images by Jason Reekie.

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