Rolex Unveils New Daytona Reference to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Le Mans Racing

Rolex Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Le Mans with a New Daytona Reference

Rolex surprised enthusiasts with the release of a new Daytona reference. The new Daytona’s dial recalls the famous ‘exotic’ dial of the older models. It is the watch that enthusiasts have been asking for since the late ‘80s as it perfectly capitalizes on the new Daytona chassis released earlier this year. This new reference, the 126529LN, signifies the first time in Daytona history that all four characters in a reference number have appeared together.

Cerachrom Bezel and White Gold Case

The release of the Cerachrom ceramic bezel on the 126529LN was the first time for any full white gold Daytona. The black bezel features an edge of white gold, consistent with the new design language of the Daytona. The white sub dials take the ‘exotic’ appearance of the famous Paul Newman Daytona references, with blocks at the tips of the indexes. Rolex directly references Paul Newman’s legacy in racing by releasing this watch during the 24-hour race of Le Mans. The throughline from the Dayton to the legend of Newman is well established in this watch’s design.

Rolex Bringing the Past into a Modern Frame

This watch is very much a modern Daytona. However, the design inspiration is clear. Rolex has brought their past into a modern frame much how the red Sea-Dweller text and the 36mm case size returned to the Explorer 124270. It is a natural extension of the modern reference. The tachymeter scale etched into the Cerachrom bezel references the 100th Anniversary of Le Mans.

A True ‘Greatest-Hits’ Configuration

This watch is a true panda or reverse panda dial offered on a full bracelet Daytona with a black ceramic bezel. The 126529LN is that ‘greatest-hits’ package to have. This is a full precious metal Daytona, which makes it expensive. It also features an hour totalizer at 9 o’clock that adds up to 24, a perfect nod to the race itself.

Hot Take

This release from Rolex gives insight into what we might expect from the brand moving forward. It shows Rolex is more aware of its past designs than previously thought. Overall, Rolex shock-dropping a new Daytona reference memorializing the 100th Anniversary of Le Mans is not only a way to celebrate the event but an intentional move to honor Paul Newman and his racing legacy.

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