116509 Sodalite Rolex Daytona
Rolex have been doing unique dial or metal Daytonas for as long as Cosmographs have been not in the cosmos. However, in 2000, the manufacture released their very first in-house automatic Daytona utilizing the calibre 4130. Shortly thereafter, as something of a coming out party, the precious metals alternatives went a bit mad. The white gold 116509 saw an expansive evolution of racing dials, ‘beach’ colors, even grossular rubellite, and this: the highly-collected 116509 Sodalite, sans diamonds.
Sodalite is in fact a waxy crystalline mineral with a royal blue and white vein structure. The material previously made appearances in Rolex’s special offerings, but only in the Datejust and Day-Date lines. Sodalite entered the Daytona line in the ref 16519 which utilized Zenith movement and was only sold on leather deployant. For a full bracelet, this latter 116509 is the only sodalite Daytona reference. These ‘special’ Daytona have been a feature of Rolex’s unadvertised catalogue for some time, often made available to VIP clients or friends of the company.
This is a sport watch in the same way that Bentley’s Continental Speed is a sports car. It can do all the sporting things, but performs them with total opulence in an air of relaxed power. And, just like the Bentley, I generally prefer sporting watches without diamonds. Believe it or not, it is actually far more difficult to find this dial without diamond indices—which is exactly what we have here. And it’s sodalicious.
This example has seen wear for certain, but has not been abused. Its case is full and sporting a moderate level of surface wear. The same can be said of the bezel, which has a concentration of relatively light scratches around the 90 of the tachymeter scale. Its dial is unmarred, as one would hope. No lume to degrade either. All is well, I like my watches worn and not abused. This slots perfectly in that category. It even comes with a full set, from a well-regarded Swiss retailer.
Find this Sodalite 116509 here from Vintage Watches Zermatt for 93250 USD.