Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Vintage 6265 "Big Red" Panda Stainless Steel Chronograph Supre RARE
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|Scope of delivery||
No original box, no original papers
8 Nov 2021 - 16 Nov 2021
|Year of production||1978 (Approximation)|
|Condition||Very good (Worn with little to no signs of wear)|
|Scope of delivery||
No original box, no original papers
|Location||United States of America, New York, New York|
|Power reserve||50 h|
|Number of jewels||17|
|Case diameter||37 mm|
|Water resistance||10 ATM|
|Dial numerals||No numerals|
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Vintage 6265 "Big Red" Panda in Stainless Steel Circa 1978. Original bezel with Units per Hour scale from ‘50’ to ‘200’. Bezel is clean and with original sharp edge and an acrylic crystal. It has a screw-down winding crown and screw-down round chronograph pushbuttons. There is a screw-down solid case back, inside of which is engraved "MONTRES ROLEX SA – GENEVA – SWITZERLAND – PATENTED – STAINLESS STEEL." The 37mm diameter solid three-body case, integral lugs, bracelet, and flat fixed angled bezel are polished/brushed. The polished bezel is engraved with a black numeral tachymeter scale to 200 UPH. The dial is "panda" silver with three recessed aged black subsidiary dials, and "Daytona" is printed in red. It has applied faceted steel baton hour indices with luminous dots around a perimeter minute/one-fifth second scale, steel baton hands with luminous inserts, and a center sweep chronograph seconds hand. There is a running seconds dial at 9 o'clock, a 12-hour chronograph register at 6 o'clock, and a 30-minute totalizer is at 9 o'clock. The 13.5mm thick case, dial, and movement are all signed. This Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Red Panda Dial 6265 has a mechanical manual winding Valjoux caliber 727 movement. It's rhodium-plated and it's constructed with 17 jewels, a straight-line lever escapement, a shock absorber device, and a monometallic balance that's adjusted to 3 positions. It includes a self-compensating free sprung Breguet balance spring, and Microstella regulating screws. It has a stainless steel Oyster bracelet (78360) with a folding deployment clasp, 571 end-links. Serial number 564XXXX dates production to 1978. Refs. 6263 and 6265 were the last to feature manual-wind movements.
The ref. 6265 Daytona is a hand-wound chronograph with metal bezel, coming in at just under 38 mm in diameter. In keeping with the “Oyster” insignia on the dial, it features screw-down pushers for water resistance and a large screw-down crown. The nickname “Big Red,” as you might have guessed from looking at the pictures, comes from the oversized “DAYTONA” label inscribed above the 6 o’clock subdial. It’s not just that the word is printed in red, though; it’s that the font is larger on these vintage models compared with later dials. While other old school Daytona references also boast “Big Red” status, the Ref. 6265 deserves a closer look.
Ref. 6265 was produced with a metal bezel—either steel or gold—engraved to 200 units/hour. Numerous dial options were available for the 6265 including several with the very popular “Red Daytona” label above the six o’clock subdial. It’s worth noting here that there are both “big” and “small” red Daytonas—again, it’s the oversized red font that earns the Big Red its name. Both panda dial and black dial versions of the Big Red are especially beautiful takes on the design.
The Rolex Cosmograph—the watch most of us refer to by the Daytona nickname—debuted in 1963 with ref. 6239. While the brand had been producing chronographs since the 1930s, this was the world’s first look at the iconic Cosmograph line. These early examples don’t feature the word “Daytona” anywhere on the dial. In fact, in the very beginning, the brand referred to the watch as “Le Mans,” as a nod to the famous French auto race. It wasn’t until 1964 that “Daytona” was added, just under the words “Rolex Cosmograph.” This was a result of Rolex’s partnership with Florida’s Daytona International Speedway, which had just opened in 1959. Rolex’s sponsorship of the 24-hour race at Daytona was an important push deeper into the American market and further identified the brand with extreme sports.
The 6239 featured pump pushers to operate the chronograph and came in either stainless steel or yellow gold. The engraved tachymeter scale on the metal bezel allows the user to measure racetrack performance. Another important innovation of the 6239 Cosmograph was the use of inverse colors for the subdials—until then, Rolex’s chronograph dials were monochromatic. Not just an elegant design feature, this makes the subdials far more legible—a crucial factor in high speed sports.
Inside the case is a hand-wound Valjoux 727 movement. This caliber was used in Daytona Chronographs between 1969 until around 1987. The more-precise 21,600 vibrations per hour made it even better tool as a watch and chronograph on the racetrack. This improvement was achieved by replacing 15 components, screws, and relating clamps from the preceding caliber 722-1. The spring protecting the hairspring, found on calibers 72 B or 722 and 722-1, was also removed. This change was so helpful that the spring would often be removed from those preceding movements during repair work to improve their precision.
Refs. 6263 and 6265 were the last to feature manual-wind movements.
For anyone who loves vintage Rolex watches, and especially Daytonas, it’s hard to beat the Big Red Ref. 6265. The look and feel embodies what most of us look for in a decades-old sportwatch. With its big winding crown and bold “Daytona” labeling, there is something hulking and utilitarian about it that blends nicely with the Rolex’s otherwise refined design elements and 37mm case. These beauties are only getting harder to find though, so if you’ve got the means, now might be the time.
Motion in Time56 West 47th Street
New York, NY 10036
United States of America
4.9 out of 5 stars | Reviews: 164
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