Ice, Ice, Rolly:
Hands-On With the Rolex Daytona Platinum w/ Diamond Dial

Article By: Logan Hannen

WATCH101 | August 05, 2019

In partnership with London Jewelers

Source: Theo & Harris

Rolex’s Daytona got its start as a steel racing watch, a chronograph whose express purpose was to help drivers time their laps and measure speed. Much like Early Submariners, there was nothing about the Daytona that was meant to be interpreted as luxurious beyond the fact that it was incredibly robust and reliable.

Fast forward to present day, and just about everything in the modern Rolex lineup is much more luxury than tool-oriented, and the Daytona is the model line that perhaps best embodies this. While the steel Daytona is still available, it is limited to only two references: the 116500LN-0001 (white dial with black subdial tracks and ceramic bezel) and the 116500-0002 (Black dial with silver subdial tracks and ceramic bezel). These are also two of the most hotly desired watches on the market, occasionally fetching almost twice as much as their actual retail price on the second-hand or gray market.

The thing is that most of the modern Daytona lineup is actually cased in precious metal, and treated as a true luxury item. Nowhere is this more apparent than in their platinum models, the most precious and, by extension, most expensive offerings. This is also, I would argue, the configuration of the Daytona in which Rolex truly has some fun with design.

Source: Theo & Harris

Take this example, the 116576TBR. 40mm in diameter, the solid platinum case and bracelet are probably the ultimate display of “stealth wealth,” with an almost steel appearance in most light. However, “stealth” stops becoming an appropriate adjective right about the time you hit the bezel and dial of the watch.

Source: Theo & Harris

The bezel and dial are embedded with pave diamonds, in what almost looks like crushed ice at a glance. This metaphor is strikingly appropriate once you notice the subdials, which are Rolex’s signature “Ice Blue” coloration, as seen exclusively on their platinum models across the range, from Daytona to Day-Date.

The entire watch is really pretty devoid of warm colors at all, which doesn’t make it the most appropriate for fall or spring, but does capture both the barren freeze of winter and the refreshing nature of a summer swim pretty well. While not the traditional summer watch in terms of coloration, the sporty, but still high end nature of the watch lend themselves perfectly to everything from chinos and loafers to shorts and flip-flops. And though I wouldn’t recommend taking your platinum Rolex in the pool or ocean, the 100 meters of water resistance does technically qualify it for surface swimming if you feel so bold.

Source: Theo & Harris

So who is the 116576TBR for then? I think the obvious answer is someone like Post Malone or 2 Chainz (is he even still a thing?), but at the same time, I think it’s a watch with a lot more class than its initial impressions might imply. Yeah, so it is covered in diamonds and made of platinum, but considering the extent to which Rolex often takes their diamond usage (including the lugs and crown being drenched as well as the dial and bezel), this combination is pretty subdued. They’re not stones that contrast with the case metal or the dial’s ice blue accents, but rather stones that simply elevate that white metal tone and give it a bit of texture.

All that being said, it’s still the epitome of a precious metal Rolex, and comes with a price tag to match at a retail of $167,000. While certainly not one-watch-collection material, this reference 116576TBR is an incredibly luxurious way to keep it classy, watchfam.