Wrist Game or Crying Shame: Rolex Daytona 116523 Are you in the zone for two tone for €10,787 by Michael Stockton April 15, 2020 MIN READWrist Game or Crying Shame: Rolex Daytona 116523
Wrist Game or Crying Shame remains locked inside, but we’re thankful that modern technology still allows us all to vote. Today, we’ll consider the Rolex Daytona 116523 and shed some light on a watch that’s rarely discussed. But first…
Last week, I tried to impress you with my knowledge of both art and hipster clichés when I presented a vintage Movado Museum Watch for consideration. George R.R. Martin once said that, “Art is not a democracy. People don’t get to vote on how it ends.” Well, you collectively thumbed your nose at George while voting this art to a lumbering 54% Crying Shame loss! But we move forward with a very different kettle of fish in the Rolex Daytona 116523.
The Rolex Daytona 16523 = Two-tone
You’re easily forgiven if you’ve decided not to memorize the last 50 years’ worth of Rolex model reference numbers. That type of behavior should honestly be reserved for the clinically odd and hygiene challenged. But here are we are with the Rolex Daytona 116523 and that translates into the two-tone — or “bicolor” in odd Continental speak — variant of everyone’s favorite/least favorite chronograph. Yes, lemmings, Daytonas exist in this world that are not forged — or robotically machined — from the pedestrian material called stainless steel. What about the precious metals? There are gold and platinum Daytonas but these are reserved for Riva yachtsmen and also-ran Hollywood actors. Sometimes those folks even commingle!
The Rolex Daytona 116523 has been with us since 1988. 1988 was the year of George H.W. Bush’s towering win over tank-helming Michael Dukakis. It was also the first year of the automatic Daytona. The 116523 became the first Cosmograph to offer a combination platter of metals and, in doing so, attempted to pull in new buyers.
A Style Born in the 1980s and Still in Production
Back in the late 1980s, two-tone watches were all the rage. We’ve covered quite a few here, so it’s no surprise that the Rolex Daytona 116523 was born. What’s interesting, though, is that while it has been made continuously for over 30 years, it remains as the black sheep of the family. In other words, us collector folk barely rate them.
A Chronograph in Limbo Land
Now it’s time for a brief aside as is my wont. I vacillate widely on bicolor watches. I enjoy the vintage Root Beer GMT, but that’s a real outlier for me. When it comes to the Rolex Daytona 116523 and its successor, I rate it as a massive yawner. I characterize it as a watch that doesn’t know what it wants to be. It isn’t overly sporty, but it’s not truly luxurious either. If this watch were a hunter, it would tell me that it knows how to clean its quarry but that it would rather not get its hands dirty. And if you want to try and relate this watch to any sort of motoring aspirations, the best I can liken it to is something like a luxury convertible. It will perform, but perhaps it doesn’t want to…
A Semi-Luxurious Model for Entry-Level Prices
But a black sheep can still provide good wool. Case in point: the two-tone Rolex Daytona 116523 is a real Daytona and it’s possible to buy one for less than a stainless model. Multiple dials were available and that means that one just might take your fancy. And with such a watch on your wrist, with appropriate looseness please, you too can be a bit fancy. Models prior to 2000 come with a Zenith El Primero movement and examples since then sport the in-house 4130. The Zenith movement is a neat discussion point, but the Rolex movement is known to be a gem. The good thing is that prices for either sit in the same ballpark.
If I had to choose a Rolex Daytona 116523, I’d go with a black dial to up the sporty quotient. What I’ve found for you today isn’t that, but I’d also rate it as compelling. Chrono24 presents a Z-serial — that’s 2007, Poindexter — model with a slate grey dial. The watch and the pictures are courtesy of Collectors1946 out of New York. You can see that the watch comes with most of its kit (no papers) and the case looks pretty good to me overall. Best of all, it’s priced at €10,787. To put that into perspective, a new two-tone Daytona retails for €16,300 and stainless models sell for even more on the secondary market.
What you need to decide is whether getting a mid-tier Rolex Daytona 116523 for an entry-level price makes sense or not. And that means that it’s time for you to vote!
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About the author
Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became… read more
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