Once again Rolex introduces revolutionary changes not only in the way watchmaking is carried out, but also in the way that it is conceived. The company truly invents a new market segment, years ahead of the competition, which is destined to grow rapidly in the 1990s and reach its peak in the new millennium.
Previously, bejeweled chronographs are not part of the standard collections of most watchmaking companies. However, they are made-to-order pieces that are mostly crafted by external jewelers who mount the gems on normal production models. This all changes with reference 6269 and reference 6270. Even if produced in very small numbers, they are nevertheless genuine parts of the Rolex standard production and feature in their catalogues alongside other Daytonas. It seems a subtle detail, but this is a momentous shift in the marketing strategy of the watchmaking industry.
Subsequently, the automatic Daytona has been produced in different jewelled variations. While they are no longer the forerunners of the 1970s, they nevertheless maintain high collectible appeal, both because of their rarity and their mesmerizing beauty.
In 1997 a new model is introduced, reference 16519, the first Daytona in white gold with a crocodile strap. There are many variations of dial available, and the case can be enriched with precious stones.
Further evolution of this model is reference 16589, the first white gold chronograph graced by an enchanting bezel with baguette cut diamond.
The case of these models has the same dimensions of that of steel Daytonas, but the lugs are modified so that they can incorporate a leather strap.
This reference 16589 is not only an extremely rare piece to be found on the market, but it also shows this alternative case construction. The juxtaposition of the bright white case and shiny diamond bezel with the pitch-black dial is nothing less than spectacular.