‘FIFA World Cup Netherlands’ 116519 Rolex Daytona
Yes, Rolex made an orange racing dial, white gold Daytona. Rolex almost never create limited editions or collaborations. But the operative word there is almost. If you’re 22 SAS, a winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or Dutch Football Team competing for the World Cup, you just might get your own take on a Rolex classic (probably not anymore). Officially, this is the FIFA World Cup 2010 Netherlands 116519. It’s one of the stranger corners of Cosmograph history, made in so few examples that it’s been almost entirely forgotten to the passage of time outside collectors. Amongst friends, it’s known as the Dutch Daytona. It was made in just 30 examples for players and management. Only one has ever appeared at auction, and this is the second to come to market.
There was an era where Rolex would allow commissions for Domino’s, the Panama Canal, Honda dealers, and Chris-Craft Boats. But that started winding to a close by the 90s, as Rolex increasingly valued their brand image. Today, those efforts fall under Tudor. But the very last client commission bespoke Rolex was this very Daytona.
In 2010, the Netherlands came second in the FIFA World Cup. As consolation prizes go, you could do worse. It was the brainchild of Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who played on and captained the team; he was quite the watch lover. He submitted the request to a friend at Dutch AD Gassan with low hopes, at the time when the team was just in the quarter finals. Much to his surprise, Rolex were open to the idea. Orange was chosen as, aside from the flag, it is the color Dutch rally behind as a nod to the royal family, or House of Orange. It’s also there’s always one fully-orange bleacher at F1 races, Max Verstappen fans. Actually, this might the perfect watch for him. In any event, team members could choose a bracelet or strap, there are exactly 15 strap and 15 bracelet. The caseback sports the World Cup logo, player’s name, and squad number. Bronckhorst requested the Daytona be changed to orange as well, that’s the only request Rolex declined. The iconic red would stay, clashes be damned.
Sotheby’s auctioned one in May 2022 at an eye-watering 498K USD and that’s the only public result. It’s worth noting this result hammered in the middle of a down market as well. This could be viewed through two lenses. Either it’s a symptom of mass insanity when a shift of red to orange on dial commands more than a 450K premium or fitting premium for what is one of the rarest modern Daytonas with a fascinating history. The significance here is not so much that it’s orange, but that for whatever reasons Rolex actually said yes. It hasn’t happened since and may never happen again.
This example is in excellent overall condition. The case has light surface wear commensurate with age, no significant bashes. This one comes on leather, which examples a bit of the discrepancy between the auction result and this ask. It comes from a well-regarded NYC retailer.