Rolex Daytona “Panda” 116500LN

The Rolex Daytona was first introduced in 1963 and has since gone through many iterations - the 116500LN being the most recent (in terms of stainless steel). The most notable update for the Daytona in its 59 years of existence, however, was in the year 2000 when Rolex created its very first in-house movement for the chronograph. The 116500LN currently rocks a 4130 caliber automatic movement with roughly a 72 hour power reserve. The mentioned model is available in both a black and white dial, with the white dial being slightly more desired amongst buyers - and the market for it reflects that. The 116500LN was so anticipated right off the bat, that when introduced at Baselworld in 2016, it instantly sold out at every retailer around the globe. Now, obtaining the model from an Authorized Dealer is nearly impossible - even if one is willing to wait many years. As such, the secondary market hikes a strong premium for those wishing to purchase either dial iterations of the 116500LN.

I believe the greatest concern people have with the Daytona is whether or not it will increase in value over the years, as it already fetches such a high premium. To understand future trends, one must first acknowledge how the model’s predecessors adjusted in price throughout the years. Take the early iterations of the Daytona for example: the 6238 and the 6239. The 6239, if purchased from a retailer in the late 60’s was around $210. Now, picking up a 6239 with original warranty paperwork will cost you around $100,000. Yes, inflation has occurred over the past 55 years - but, not enough alone to justify the hike in price. As the years passed, more vintage Daytonas got lost, broken, and improperly serviced; as such, there are only a handful of original vintage Paul Newman Daytonas on the market at any given time. Do I think the current 116500LN will follow the same percentage increase trajectory as the Paul Newman Daytonas? Probably not. Do I think they will continue to increase in value over time? Yes. The Paul Newman Daytona is an anomaly and should not be stated as the norm for investment grade watches. But, that does not mean that other similar timepieces will not perform well over the years - maybe just not as incredibly as the Paul Newman’s which are selling for millions (in some circumstances). 

The 116500LN “Panda” Daytona is a watch for someone that desires a stainless steel sports model with a ton of history that carries a relatively high timepiece investment grade. Also, considering that the 116500LN has been in production now for roughly 6 years, it would not be surprising to see Rolex discontinue it soon and replace it with a successor. If that were to occur, one would have to imagine that prices would skyrocket even further for the already difficult to obtain 116500LN.

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