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Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (01/02)

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (01/02)

By Aaron Voyles
4 May 2024
5 min read

Here's all you need to know about Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (-01/-02)

The Origins

Inarguably one of the most iconic watches in all of watchmaking, the Rolex Daytona needs no introduction. Offered as the Cosmograph since 1963 and officially christened the Daytona by Rolex in 1965, the Rolex Daytona underwent baptism by fire whereby its lack of commercial success in the 1960s later drove demand towards those earlier references amongst collectors in the 1980s who saw the value that they represented. Since then, the Daytona has consistently topped the ranks as one of Rolex’s most sought-after offerings across their entire catalogue, and today it remains as once of the hardest Rolexes to buy straight from an Authorised Dealer. Plenty of collectors will know the difficulties in getting a Daytona straight from an AD and how the Daytona was the earliest Rolex to have its own waiting list , and it was one of the first Rolexes to command a premium on the open market as a result of that waiting list.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (-01/-02)
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (-01/-02)

Filled with an array of different construction materials, movements, dial colours, gem settings, case sizes and so on over the years, the Daytona has encompassed just about every design language possible since its inception, and the reference we are exploring today is quite simpy the king of the all, the ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 in platinum, as its nickname suggests. Launched in 2013 to celebrate the Daytona’s 50th anniversary and discontinued in 2023, the ref. 116506 has been the undisputed king across the entire modern Daytona collection, and for good reason. 

The Case and Dial

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (-01/-02)
Platona sports a sunburst finish across its surface with either 18k white gold applied indices or baguette diamond indices

Made of platinum for the first time in the Daytona collection’s history, the ref. 116506 ushered in a new era for the Daytona as Rolex finally expanded into watchmaking’s most luxurious metal. Measuring 40mm diameter, as per Rolex’s claims, the ref. 116506 wears surprisingly neat on the wrist given the incredible heft of its platinum construction, albeit the Daytona’s measured diameter is actually 38.5mm.

Alongside its full platinum construction, the ref. 116506 also boasts another unique element that you won’t find on other precious metal Daytona variants, a ceramic bezel. Offered with a stunning shade of brown this Cerachrom bezel serves as the perfect complement to the Platona’s bright construction. Additionally, this bezel also matches the ref. 116506’s brown subdial registers that cap off the Platona’s platinum-exclusive ice blue dial with gorgeous elegance. Sporting a sunburst finish across its surface and with either 18k white gold applied indices or baguette diamond indices, depending on the specific variant, the Platona’s dial is the crown jewel on this stunning celebration of the Daytona’s reign as one of Rolex’s most sought-after offerings. 

The Movement

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (-01/-02)
Powered by Rolex’s first in-house chronograph movement, with only 201 parts, the cal. 4130 is ruthlessly efficient as compared to the previous calibre 4030

Powered by Rolex’s first in-house chronograph movement, with only 201 parts, the cal. 4130 is ruthlessly efficient as Rolex stripped back its movement so as to result in a 20% decrease in number of parts when compared to the Daytona’s previous movement, the cal. 4030. This makes for a movement with longer service intervals and fewer parts to break, meaning greater reliability across the board. 

Additionally, with more space freed up due to its relatively small number of parts, the cal. 4130 can accommodate a larger mainspring than typical chronographs, and so the cal. 4130 boasts a 72-hour power reserve, which is quite impressive given the cal. 4030 before it only had 50 hours, which was impressive too at the time. All in all, even for a 20+ year old movement, the cal. 4130 is incredible even by today’s standards and fitting for the Daytona’s legendary legacy. While the cal. 4130 is no longer in use in the newest Daytona references; you can rest assured that the ref. 116506’s movement is up to scratch.

Celeb Love

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (-01/-02)
Celebrities like Kevin Hart, Adam Levine, Michael Jordan and Trevor Noah have shown the Platona some love over the last decade

Combining the fact that it is offered in the most exclusive metal that Rolex has ever used and is relatively under the radar, even when its diamond-dial variant is considered, it serves as no surprise that the Platona has been a favourite amongst celebrities ever since its debut. A true ‘if you know you know’ item that serves to highlight one’s good graces with Rolex given its extreme rarity, the Platona is simply everything a public figure would want in a watch. As a result, it’s no shock that celebrities like Kevin Hart, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Oleksandr Usyk, Adam Levine, Michael Jordan, Kan Kantathavorn, Trevor Noah and many many more have shown the Platona some love over the last decade. 

Market Performance

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (-01/-02)
The applied hour marker Daytona ref. 116506-01 commands a market value of $90500, which reflects a price premium of 19%

In keeping with the majority of Daytona variants, the ref. 116506 has enjoyed some rather favourable market performance over the years thanks to the intense desirability the collection commands and its own extreme rarity. With long waiting lists and thus heavy premiums on the secondary market across the Daytona collection, it serves as no surprise that the ref. 116506 commands a market value in excess of its MSRP. However, as one might expect, its two variants are not born equal, and a price premium and market value disparity exists. 

Coming in at the smaller MSRP of $76250, the applied hour marker Daytona ref. 116506-01 commands a market value of $90500, which reflects a price premium of 19%. On the other hand, the baguette diamond-set Daytona ref. 116506-02 fetches an enormous $122000 on the open market, a 38% price premium over its $88500 MSRP. While these numbers are by no means weak, it is important to note that both variants once commanded significantly higher market values prior to the watch market’s fall in Q1 of 2022. The ref. 116506-1 fetched around $170000, and the ref. 116506-02 went for around $200000 – incredibly impressive numbers.

While they have both fallen, their recent discontinuation in 2023 may serve as the spring board to send both variants northward in the future. While new Platona variants have replaced the two discontinued ref. 116506 variants, their supply to the market has been incredibly slow and only to VIP clients who are unlikely to potentially risk their relationship with Rolex by selling their highly-coveted watches, and so significant buying pressure exists for both ref. 116506 variants. 

Check out the live performance of Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Platona’ ref. 116506 (-01/-02) on The Wristcheck Index