116520 ‘Panna Dial’ Rolex Daytona

This is the next Patrizzi. It’s not often I get to say that, so let me elaborate. Osvaldo Patrizzi was first to clock a change in some 16520 Zenith Daytona dials, where subdial rings would turn a taupe golden tan with sun exposure. Watch collectors adore a good defect. We also adore a cream or ‘panna’ dial. So when a specific serial range of 116520s started turning warm in tone a few years ago, a very attentive few Rolex enthusiasts started paying very close attention. This is the panna dial Daytona, a cream chronograph that is going to get seriously attractive in the coming decades.


This is like buying a cream dial 16550 in the year 2000. The tone is currently biege, but moving in one direction. It’s fairly rare today to see a panna dial Daytona that has gone truly cream at a glance. Most are just a slight off white. But the fact that we’ve seen some hard-worn examples with practically yellow dials means we have things to look forward to. These changes have only been observed in P, K, and Y-series serial numbers, the first two years of production (2000-02). It didn’t take Rolex very long to notice the defect this time around. The change is a reaction to sunlight, so the more hard-worn this dial is the more beautiful it will become.


The 116520 also happened to debut the calibre 4130, the first fully Rolex born movement to power the Daytona. Zenith movement Daytonas are collectible currently, and that romance is understandable. But the first of anything has a way of becoming significant in time. The indices are a little wider but there’s no tritium to be seen. The case is still the same thin-wearing 40mm. Neo-vintage, a form of tropical dial, a first of its kind, and it has a nickname . . .what else is there to hold this thing back? I can’t wait to see how the majority of these age in the coming years. Jus how significant they will be to the community remains to be seen. But if history is any indication, this is one to watch churn.


In terms of panna, this example is just starting. It’s in the correct range, toward the end. The case is full, bracelet is great, and nothing appears out of place. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded London retailer.

Find this Panna Dial 116520 here from The Vintage Watch Lad for 23000 GBP.