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Tag: rolex cosmograph daytona

The Vintage Rolex Daytona ‘Big Red’ Ref. 6263

January 15th, 2021

In the vintage Rolex collecting world, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona holds a significant place. Vintage watch collectors are incredibly passionate about the manual-wound Daytona chronographs that eventually fetch astronomical prices at auction.

Several vintage Rolex Daytona models have gained iconic levels of collectability. However, one of the most coveted vintage Daytona of all time is the Reference 6263. Let’s take a look at this iconic Daytona ‘Big Red’ reference of the vintage Rolex family.

rolex cosmograph daytona big red

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Rolex Daytona Reference 6263: Introduction

The Rolex Daytona 6263 was in production from the late 60s to nearly 1988. The watch features the second generation of screw-down chronograph pushers and the text ‘Oyster’ on the dial indicate its water-resistance ability.

However, the hallmark that distinguishes the Daytona 6263 from its siblings is the black acrylic bezel.

  • The fact is that Rolex had equipped most Daytona references with metallic bezels throughout the collection’s history.
  • Even the Rolex Daytona Reference 6265 sports a metal bezel.

So the signature acrylic black bezel framing the round watch’s face changes the aesthetic, offering a little larger appearance overall.

The Iconic ‘Big Red’ Dial Variation

Rolex offered the Daytona Reference 6263 in different dial variations, attaining names like Paul Newman dials and the ‘Big Red’ dials. No doubt, the Reference 6263 featuring the Paul Newman dials receive more collectors’ attention and thus, sell for astronomical prices at auction.

However, the ‘Big Red’ dial type of this iconic Daytona watch is also highly sought-after among collectors.

  • Rolex offered the dial in black or silver and with contrasting colours for the signature three chronograph registers.
  • The watch got its name ‘Big Red’ from the bright red name ‘DAYTONA’ engraved in a larger font just in the dial’s centre.

However, all examples of the Reference 6263 do not feature the bright red ‘DAYTONA’ name on the dials.

Some Reference 6263 models even do not have the name ‘Daytona’ engraved on the dial, depending on production year and dial style. On the other hand, some watches may flaunt the red ‘Daytona’ name on them, but they can vary in the font size.

Thus, the terms ‘Big Red Daytona’ and ‘Small Red Daytona’ are frequently used within vintage Rolex collecting circles, indicating different font sizes of the red ‘Daytona’ text engraved on the dial.

Moreover, the dials also vary based on the red Daytona name’s position above the sub-dial at the 6 o’clock side. For instance, the Rolex Daytona Floating Big Red Ref. 6263 has the red ‘DAYTONA’ name printed further away from the sub-dial in comparison to other examples.

Why is the Daytona 6263 ‘Big Red’ so collectable?

The Daytona Reference 6263 represents a perfect combination of vintage and modern Rolex chronograph features. And this makes the watch so collectable. Rolex designed and produced this timepiece just before upgrading the Daytona series offering a contemporary touch.

  • Rolex equipped the timepiece with features like chronograph pushers and a screw-down crown that you will find in later-era Daytona watches.
  • However, the Daytona 6263 Big Red undoubtedly holds its vintage aesthetic with a 37mm case, acrylic crystal and manually-wound Valjoux movement.

Overall, Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is one of the mainstay collections in the brand’s catalogue. And the Daytona Reference 6263 Big Red is one of the most sought-after vintage watches of all time.

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