‘Beach’ 116519 Rolex Daytona
The opulence and excess that was profuse to the early 2000s has a place. And that place is nowhere but the dial of a 116519. For all their reputation as a notoriously conservative watchmaker, when Rolex let their hair down they really know how to let their hair down. This has been demonstrated many times, but perhaps none more spectacularly than the the low production series of Daytonas that would go on to be named the ‘Beach’ dials.
The series consisted of four boldly colored dials: two mother of pearl dials in yellow and pink, turquoise lacquer, and this outrageousapple green chrysoprase. All were cased in white gold and made available to friends of the brand or VVIP clients. Everything about this aesthetic screams excess. However, one detail of these, often overlooked, screams the loudest to me: what is surely one of the most bizarre straps ever to grace Rolex. This is full matching lizard leather, a bold choice which would not be repeatable today.
What the Stella dial does for the Day-Date, a beach dial does perhaps even moreso for the Cosmograph. The bright hue is one thing. But then the white gold Roman numberals are just something you don’t see very often on sports watches, perhaps only other precious metal Daytonas come to mind. Inside remains the in-house 4130, from just after the Zenith years. Very little could celebrate the arrival of that calibre with the panache of these dial combinations. Production numbers are not known but are certainly not high. This is bolstered by the current market, which has seen a groundswell even more dramatic than steel Daytona values. Everything about this 116519 is attractive, except perhaps the market. If you’re hunting one today, that truly is a beach.
This example sports a full case, likely untouched. Its dial is clear with all printing crisp two decades on. The strap and clasp are correct and original. It comes without box and papers best I can tell, but from a well-regarded Swiss retailer.
Find this Beach Daytona here from K2 Luxury listed as POA.
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