FAP 6263 Rolex Daytona
You should always read the caseback, but also know what you’re looking at. There’s the famous story where Dr Jim Norton, driver of the Porsche Cayman team which won the GX Class at the 2013 24 Hours of Daytona, brought his Daytona to a Tampa jeweler to be told it was ‘likely’ a fake because of the engraving. If you see a gold Speedmaster with a red bezel, it might just have an astronaut’s name on the back. Or, if you received a Submariner from Chris Rock, it might read ‘Thanks for your help, Mother Fucker’. But most significant caseback engravings are military; ‘Fuerza Aérea del Perú’, (FAP or Peruvian Air Force) appears on some of the most significant military watches of all time and these are the the only known examples of military issued Daytonas. Peru’s Air Force had style.
Actually, I find it slightly laughable just how much style the Peruvian Air Force had in the ’60s. Where the UK military made due with a few Subs and the US was telling its crew to buy Tudors, Peru ordered Pre-Daytonas, Subs, Seamasters, GMT-Masters, Speedmasters, Railmasters, and this. Some officer in charge of an equipment budget must have been a watch guy. I like to imagine they also had their flight jackets made by Prada, with Porsche Design sunglasses, all supported by the President’s embezzled powder fund. This is pure speculation, to be clear, the purest white speculation. The Fuerza Aerea Del Peru utilized Rolex chronograph references from the 6238 until the 6263/5, in what is estimated to be 700-800 examples (though that estimate has always been a very rough guess). Their inner caseback will also be engraved with corresponding serial numbers, worth noting.
Much like milsubs, these engravings actually weren’t terribly desirable pre-2000s. So much so, many less scrupulous dealers would just polished them off (really). I’ve heard tales of dealers with a box of FAPs going through one by one and getting rid of the text, which is a very real possibility of what hell looks like. All of which makes this example incredible, it’s untouched. The lugs are perfect. Its sigma dial has no fault. The Mk1 bezel doesn’t even have a bash. It’s about as good as Daytonas get, but the best bit is that you might never know if you glanced it on the wrist. Unless it’s next to a Dior bomber jacket on someone climbing into a MiG-29, that’s your tell.
Condition wise, I can’t fault it. Lugs and dials this strong are almost never seen on FAP watches, they were used. The important engravings are deep. There’s light to moderate surface wear, but no big bashes. And all tritium pips are present. It comes from the name in vintage Rolex, Wind, out of Palm Beach.