THE NEW Rolex Daytona 126519LN PLUS the old reference for comparison!

Rolex Daytona 126519LN

Announced in March 23, it’s taken this long to get our hands on one of the re-vamped Rolex Daytonas. 

Without further ado, lets get into it. 

At first glance or from a distance, the changes are hard to spot. 

It’s still the same reassuringly recognisable 40mm chronograph boasting an 18ct white gold case, ceramic bezel, Oysterflex bracelet with 20mm lugs, and the 100m WR we’ve come to expect. 

It’s not the first time that we’ve said that the Rolex ethos is incredibly simple - Evolution not revolution, and that is exactly what we’re seeing here. 

Nothing has changed, yet everything has changed. Perfect. 

The differences are subtle, and fairly easy to miss unless you’ve got the previous reference on hand to compare. 

Official being Official, of course we’ve got one, it would be difficult to talk about the differences without being able to show you them. 

Firstly, the case has been tweaked. 

The new reference features a 0.5mm slimmer case dropping from 12 to 11.5mm. It’s always been a slim watch, but in a world where chronograph movements tend to add extra height to a watch, compact is always welcome.

The shape has been completely re-designed. The lugs are now bolder, sharper, and the case has lost some of its soft curvature to become a little more “aggressive”. 

The entire case has become a little less asymmetrical thanks to the rebuild.

If you look at the cases from previous generations of Rolex (and it doesn’t really matter if you’re looking at a Daytona, GMT, Explorer II etc) you can see that the right hand side of the case is always slimmer and creates a different “line” as it sweeps down the lugs. 

This has been done away with on the Daytona re-vamp and the case is now much closer to being symmetrical. 

The new lugs are thicker, because, simply put, theres more metal on them now. 

They also sport a downward curve rather than being straight which makes the watch really well balanced on the wrist.

The crown guard has been given a boost in size as well to make it flow better with the new case. 

All in - it wears beautifully and is visually sharper all round.

The change to the bezel is pretty clear - it now sits inside a metal ring that is integrated to the case, a move that I have to confess I prefer. 

This is a bit of a throwback to the vintage Daytonas (such as the 6263) which sported an aluminium insert within a metal bezel.

More importantly though, it reduces the chance of chipping or damaging the ceramic if it receives a blow to the edge, which now has a layer of protection to it.

 The dial and handset has also seen a re-design. 

The dial indices are smaller and the gold surround is thinner to leave more room for lume, always a positive. 

The sub-dial outer track rings have been slimmed to allow an increase to the size of the subdial itself, its a really subtle change but one that works. 

The hands have lost some girth too, basically, everything on this dial has been on a diet. 

The small changes combine to make the dial seem more spacious and less cramped, not that it ever was, but the tweaks do seem to create more space on the dial despite the layout being the same. 

There is a new printed coronet at 6, which denotes that the 12 reference Daytona is now running a new movement - calibre 4131, a 47 jewel update to the previous (4130) movement that offers 72 hours of power reserve and all the bells and whistles (Vertical clutch, Parachrom hairspring, Chronergy escapement) but with a reduced number of components which is designed to increase reliability. 

Less components - less chance of failure.

The new calibre has also seen some aesthetic improvements in the form of Rolex Côtes de Genève decoration - but at the moment these are hidden behind a solid caseback on all models bar the flagship platinum so all you really need to know is that the new movement has all the tech that Rolex can throw at it, and is a pretty one to boot. Job done. 

This leads us to “The Big Question” 

Is the new generation of Daytona “better” than its predecessor, and is it worth upgrading?

I’m going to leave that one to you.