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Review: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN Contents Overview Rating Full Article Comments by  Nick Gould  on April 12, 2016 Reviews 5 likes 3 comments Positives

- Scratch resistant Ceramic Bezel - Vintage vibe with the black coloured bezel - Improved legibility for the white dial


- Would prefer the old bezel font - A new dial combination would have been nice

Hotly anticipated for the last couple of years and finally revealed at Baselworld 2016, Rolex updated the stainless steel Cosmograph Daytona with scratch proof black Cerachrom bezel.  Apart from one other minor cosmetic change everything else remains the same.  We take a closer look at the new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN.


The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN


The Reference 116500LN, replaces the Reference 116520 which was first introduced in 2000 with the in-house self winding caliber 4130 column wheel chronograph.  During its 16 year period, the only technical changes were to the movement and the bracelet clasp.  The in-house Parachrom Bleu hairspring was put into the 4130 movement in 2005-06 and around 2008-09 the clasp for Daytona, was upgraded to the newer spring loaded design.   Aesthetically it remained the same with its 40mm case size and choice of white or black dial.  Rolex also started to use its proprietary  Chromalight luminescence  on the dials from around 2008-09, replacing SuperLuminova.


Case, Dial and Hands The new reference 116500LN stands out immediately with its new black Cerachrom bezel.  It provides a nice contrast against the stainless steel case and gives the watch, a retro feel since it looks like its vintage older brothers with their black bezels.  The font for the bezel was used previously only for precious metal cases.  Rolex has decided to use it for the first time on the stainless steel model. The hour, minute and chronograph hands remain the same as the previous iteration.


The old stainless steel bezel is replaced by the scratch resistant Cerachrom bezel.


Read also:   Spot the Watch: Chef Daniel Boulud For comparison here is a picture of the Reference 116520 and the old bezel font.  We feel the old bezel font gives it a link to its vintage brothers and would have liked to have seen the ceramic bezel keep the old font.


The Reference 116520 with black dial and stainless steel bezel.


The small snailed counters for the chronograph of the new white dial version of the Reference 116500LN are now black in colour.  This provides better legibility for the wearer.  The old white dial on the Ref 116520 had silver coloured counters which made it a tad hard to read in sunlight.  This new white dial looks very similar to the white dial of Ref 16520, which was powered by a modified Zenith El Primero movement.


The new dial of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref 116500LN


The new black dial has grey registers and looks practically the same as its predecessor.  Equally as good looking though.


The two new stainless steel Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref 116500LN


The 40mm 904L stainless steel case remains the same with its polished case and Oyster bracelet featuring both brushed and polished finishes.  The excellent Oysterlock clasp with EasyLink adjustment caps off the bracelet nicely.


The Oysterlock clasp with EasyLink Adjustment


The Movement Powering the watch is the in-house caliber 4130 self winding movement with column wheel and vertical clutch.  As mentioned earlier it also features the in-house Parachrom Bleu hairspring which is anti magnetic.  As per the new testing done in-house by Rolex accuracy is now -2/+2 seconds per day.  As with all Oyster models, it can’t be seen as it is covered by the solid caseback.

Read also:   Review: A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds


The Rolex in-house caliber 4130 self winding movement.


Concluding Thoughts The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN, finally has its ceramic bezel, that many Rolex fans have been wanting for a long time.  It does change the look of the watch, to give it the vintage feel of the older Daytonas.  We would have liked a new colour combination for the black dial as it looks mighty similar to the old one.  We quite like that the 40mm case has retained its proportions since its size makes it a very good looking watch.  It is nice to see that the accuracy has been improved to -2/+2 seconds per day for the excellent 4130 movement.  With the updated ceramic bezel, the watch is priced at 11,800 CHF and demand for the new model should be very high.


The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref 116500LN with white dial on the wrist.

Posted In Basel/Geneva/SIHH 2016 , Reviews , Watches Tags 116500LN Baselworld 2016 Cosmograph Daytona review rolex 116500LN , Baselworld 2016 , Cosmograph , Daytona , review , rolex What's your reaction? I Love It 69% Cool 9% It's OK 11% What? 5% I Hate It 5% like You might also like   Baselworld 2016: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in stainless steel with new Cerachrom bezel & pricing 3 Comments Leave a response Paolo July 18, 2016 at 5:01 am Positives

Good proportions mantained Improved aestethic of th withe version


Ceramic bezel font looks horrible No overall improvements over the previous model

Great timepiece but I think the previous model was more balanced. The new font of the bezel is not so good. The withe dial version seems to be more attractive than the previous reference and of the current black one

Gregory Wirtz April 13, 2016 at 11:24 am

Name me a better chronograph movement at anywhere near that price…. Should be five out of five

Dmitriy Laureus April 15, 2016 at 6:09 am Positives

+ the price is not much increased


- ceramic bezel too massive

a great model! but Omega DSOTM/GSOTM effectively

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Hands-On Review – Rolex Cellini Dual Time, Everose Gold Ref. 50525 – A closer look at the dress watch by Rolex (live pics & price) 10/12/2015  /  1 response /  in Rolex  /  tagged: Dress Watches , GMT Watches , High-end Watches , Reviews

Until now, if you were looking for a dress watch manufactured by Rolex, you had two options: the Day-Date , that however sits in the Oyster collection (thus more a casual than a proper dress watch) or the Cellini Prince, a square-shaped timepiece that never had a huge success ( although we love it ). This was true until 2014, when the “ Crown ” introduced their own vision of a round, classical dress watch, the new Cellini collection . And this time, it seems that Rolex has everything right: nice design, elegant feeling, complicated (but not too complicated) movements, superb execution and justified price… It’s time for us to have a closer look at the dress watch from Rolex, in its most complicated edition, the Rolex Cellini Dual Time, Everose Gold Ref. 50525.

In the conservative world of dress watches, it seems that originality is scarce. An issue that you’ve probably already spotted yourself: most dress watches are all very similar in their design and display. Whatever the brand, most have this “ Calatrava ” style, meaning round cases, polished, with a chamfered bezel and straight lugs and usually a bright dial with 2 or 3 hands and baton applied indexes. Sounds familiar, right? The strength of the 2014 Rolex Cellini collection is that it is 100% Rolex however with the extra elegance required by this type of watches – that some call dress watches or Tuxedo watches – and without being too Rolex, meaning it is not another Oyster watch. The Rolex Cellini is all about details, whether they refer to the DNA of Rolex or whether they add a ‘dressy’ look.

The main aspects that change it all, are the bezel and the overall shape of the case. The Rolex Cellini Dual Time ref. 50525 features a case made of 18k Everose gold (Rolex own pink gold, a specific alloy that keeps its pink color longer than ‘normal’ pink gold). It also exists in 18 white gold. The overall shape of the case is quite Rolex, however with certain details that make it rather different – and of course, more elegant. It’s like changing just one ingredient in a recipe. Same with the Rolex Cellini Dual Time ref. 50525. The main recipe of a Rolex is here but an ingredient (called classical elegance) has been added.

The central part of the case is faithful to Rolex traditions, with straight casebands and integrated lugs. However, lugs are here rather short, slimmer and more curved, making the case of the Rolex Cellini Dual Time ref. 50525 less bulky, softer, smoother. The second detail that reminds of Rolex without immediately catching the attention, is the bezel. The new Rolex Cellini features a double-stepped bezel with a coin profile and a bombé shape on the top. Thus it reminds for instance the bezel of a DateJust or a Day-Date  (with their fluted profile) but with something more restrained, more discreet and classier.

The Rolex Cellini Dual Time, design-wise, feels like being a Rolex with something superior in terms of class. The same feeling appears once on the wrist. Neither the Cellini is an extra-slim or super small watch but it wears superbly. The 39mm is right in the middle between too small dress watches and large sports timepieces and the 10mm / 11mm profile makes it a watch with the right presence on the wrist. Due to a domed caseback (that is notched and screwed, like on other Rolex watch), the Cellini feels very smooth on the wrist (the domed caseback somehow reminds of antique bubble-back watches by Rolex).

In terms of dial design, Rolex made the choice for something quite strong, a guilloche that gives echo to the coin bezel. This ‘ rayon flammé de la gloire ’ pattern is less visible than our photos might suggest, and remains very subtle once the watch is strapped on the wrist. It also brings the right dosage of exclusivity and originality, compared to all the dress watches with a plain silvery-white dial, making the Rolex Cellini Dual Time easily recognizable. Then again, this finish on the dial feels totally Rolex but without being similar to what you can find in the Oyster collections. It features subtle, sleek and long, applied facetted baton indexes (cut in the middle by the minute track) and gold, facetted sword hands.

As indicated by its name, the Rolex Cellini Dual Time displays a second time zone. In a gold circled sub-dial at 6 sits a second pair of hands that will indicate the home-time while traveling (the main hands displaying the local time) or the time in another part of the world (for international business situations for example). The minute hand of this sub-dial is linked to the main minute hand (meaning that it rotates simultaneously, also when adjusting the local time) while the hour hand of this second time-zone is independent, being adjusted by the crown, by one-hour increments. Linked to this second time-zone is a day and night indicator (positioned at 9 in the sub-dial) that will display a sun on a bright background for the day and a moon on a dark blue background for the night. This complication allows you to know whether people in this second time-zone are in day or night-time.

Inside the Rolex Cellini Dual Time, Everose Gold Ref. 50525 ticks a pure Rolex engine, based on the famous Calibre 3132 (that is also featured in the Explorer 1 or the new Oyster Perpetual 39mm Ref. 114300 ). What does it means? Simply that you’ll enjoy one of the most reliable and precise movements of the industry, a movement that will last for decades and that will be efficient in every situation. This entirely in-house self-winding engine is of course COSC certified (Rolex even announces -2/+2 sec/day), ticks at 28,800 vph and features the proprietary blue Parachrom hairspring, with antimagnetic properties. The power reserve is 48 hours.

Of course, don’t expect some Haute-Horlogerie details here. This is clearly not the point of Rolex, that is known for its strong focus on daily usability, reliability, durability and precision (and the movement isn’t visible anyway). The movement of the Rolex Cellini Dual Time Ref. 50525 is like the rest of this watch: sharp, extremely well executed and feeling super-qualitative when worn.

The new Rolex Cellini is a success for a simple reason: it’s the vision of a dress watch by Rolex that collectors were expecting. It has the DNA of the brand but executed with more subtlety, more discretion and a more luxurious feel. The link with the rest of the collection can’t be denied and the Rolex DNA is clearly recognizable. However, it also has some interesting details that makes this watch a changer: a slim fluted bezel, a domed caseback, a slimmer case and this superb pattern on the dial. Overall, we could even find a bit of vintage feel here (something that is not usual for Rolex).

In terms of price-positioning, Rolex also strikes hard, with a retail price of 16,950 Euros for this Rolex Cellini Dual Time Ref. 50525. Don’t forget that it’s a solid gold watch, with a quite complicated and well finished dial and with a movement that displays more that just the time – competition in the high-end dress watch category usually starts around 20,000 Euros, a Day-Date 36mm in Everose gold on leather is priced at 20,500 Euros, while the Cellini Time (the simple 3-hand edition) is priced at 13,250 Euros. It seems that Rolex found the magical formula with this new Cellini collection.

More details about the Rolex Cellini Dual Time Ref. 50525 on the new Rolex website here and also check their newly launched Instagram account  (@rolex).

Related 1 response Jimmy
says: 20/12/2015 at 21:24

Never seen this before. Beautiful.

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