Review: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

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.


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.


A popular watch for many seasoned collectors, beginners and casual watch users, the Rolex Daytona fits the purpose in most situations be it dressy or casual.

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.


The Rolex Calibre 4130

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.


About Author


  1. 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

  2. Gregory Wirtz on

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