Tropical 6262 Rolex Daytona
If there is a god, I like to imagine that tropical dials are his way of saying, ‘wear your damn watches’. The sun is a ball of nuclear chaos 8.3 light minutes away from Earth. But its effects are not always this attractive. Consider for example the female residents of Florida between the ages of 25 and 35, who seem to have made it their personal mission to turn more orange than Lando Norris’ helmet (not a euphemism). Mercifully, the same sun that makes Floridians fluorescent has a way of turning 60s Rolex dials into something of an art form.
All of that brings me to this 6262. It’s a complicated reference with a simple appeal. The appeal here is in its subdials, flat out; they’re chocolate, mocha, evenly delicious. The reference itself takes some more ink. The Daytona Cosmograph tale is full of nuance. The first 6239s released in 1963 without ‘Daytona’ emblazoned above the sub hours. However, in the interval between 1963 and 1965, Rolex became the official timekeepers of the Daytona Road Racing course. By 1965 the 6239 had become such a staple of road racing that Rolex decided to flaunt what it had and finally printed the famous DAYTONA, giving birth to an icon. While it is often parroted correctly that the 6239 was the original Cosmograph, people normally tell the history as the 6263 & 6265 coming next. In truth, a few references squeezed in the the intervening years: among them, this.
If you think this looks an awful lot like a 6239, you’d be right. Visually, the two references are near identical. However, this ran a Valjoux 727, an upgraded 722 that precipitated the change from 6239 to 6262. The 727 upped the beat from 18000 vph to 21600 vph for precision timing. This 6262 reference was in production for just one year, from 1970 until 71. That very short production has resulted in extreme rarity and makes the reference something of a more exotic (not in the Paul Newman sense) Cosmograph for detail-oriented obsessives like yours truly. Perhaps Lando Norris should replace his stolen Richard Mille with one, it makes sense on many levels. After all, he’s not 12 anymore. I’m told he knows how to drive. And I suspect he’s one of the few able to without taking up international smuggling as a hobby.
The dial really is as great as I’m making it out to be. The radial silver brushing is uninterrupted by any damage but the subdials are extremely tropicalized. Tritium is starting to break down just slightly, but it’s all there and matched. Its case is full, and on a 7835 Oyster bracelet. The caseback is stamped 6239, which it should be noted is correct for these. It comes from a well-regarded Dutch Retailer.
Find this 6262 here from Bulang & Sons listed as POA.