Originally Posted by no frills
If there's any theme to what I'm currently looking at (but not immediately getting), it's a chronograph. I'm thinking of getting either a Rolex Daytona (I'm attracted to either the 16520 with a white dial / Zenith movement or the updated 116520 version with an in-house movement) or an Omega Speedmaster Pro (if I go this route I'd like a transparent caseback so I guess that would be the 3573.5 or the like). I like the history, workmanship and aesthetics of these two.
Any thoughts from you guys re: Rolex Daytona 16520 or 116520 versus the Omega Speedy Pro with a display back? Inputs always appreciated.
The Daytona and the Speedy Pro are both excellent choices, and any of them should provide you with many years of good service and enjoyment. I have owned a few Daytonas both the 16520s with Zenith based movement and the 116520 with in house movement. Each is a great watch, they just depend on your needs and what you want. See my comments below.
Originally Posted by dddrees
In regards to the Daytona, the price for a Zenith can run about the same amount as a new one. I think most would agree the in house movement is technichally better. However I think most who chose the Zenith version tend to believe the dial on this version is more aesthetically pleasing. The seconds sub dial is in a different location and the sub dials on the white face are black instead of silver. The bracelet on the latest version includes the improved clasp and solid end links. I chose the latest version, and have not looked back once.The while dial tends to be easier to read than the black dial version.
I also have a Speedy Pro with a exhibition case back. I often look at the movement of this watch. It simply looks amazing. The Speedy Pro is quite a bit easier to read than the Daytona, and this is due to the contrast of colors on the dial.
I've owned a few 16520 Zenith based Daytonas and inhouse movment 116520 Daytonas. Each has its strong points and both are great watches. I think which is better just depends on a persons taste and use.
The 116520 (inhouse movement)has a longer power reserve, better bracelet, and better clasp. If you are just going to bang around it in as a casual watch, it will certainly do the trick. If you are considering pre-owned there are 2 versions, the early models about year 2000-2004, which I find the least attractive. They had made the luminous markers on the dial wider for better viewing in low light conditions, but they kept the same hands from the prior Daytona model. That is the thin hand model, I find the hands and markers on the dial a bit missmatched on that version. Then from about late 2004 or early 2005 they changed the hands to and made them thicker and I find they look better suited for newer dial with larger hour markers...this is often referred to as the fat hand model. Other differnces between these and the prior model (beyond the movement) are all subdials were shifted upward slightly on the dial and the continuous seconds hand is in the subdial at 6 o'clock. I will say my first which was an early thin hand purchased new, did give me some problems with the chronograph, and it did have to go back under warranty to be repaired. I hadn't worn it in 6 months and when I went to used it when I would engage the chronograph mechanism, the large sweep hand would go around once and the minute counter hand would move in increments of 5 to 10 minutes. I sold this one and bought a fat hands version and had no problems, also never had a problem with any of my Zenith based versions.
The 16520 (Zenith based movement), is a more collectible watch (production numbers I believe were much lower, due to Rolex relying on an outside company for the base movement, and there are several variations). The earliest models had bezels calibrated only to 200 and the word Cosmograph is separated from the Superlative Chronometer writing. These are among the rarest. I believe these also did not have the oyster lock clasp, and the bracelets were complete brushed. There are other variations that come along like the "Patrizzi" dialed Daytonas where the white subdials turned brown with a lot of exposure to sunlight due to a defect in the dial...these are very expensive and sought after by collectors. Then there is the orientation of the 6, 9 and shape of numbers in the subdials. All of these had old style Clamshell bracelets except for the last serial numerbs that start with I believe an "A," which got solid end links. Also, around 1992/93 the clasp became an oyster lock (safety latch clasp). Thats just the "Cliff's Notes" version of variations and why some people collect these and values have gone up roughly 2-3 times the original MSRP in some cases. I wore a 16520 everyday for 5 years, and it was dead on accurate and took whatever punishment I could dish out. Personally, I think they are the better looking of the 2 "modern Daytonas." I think the smaller lum markings on dial and thin hands look better than that of the 116520, and I like that the subdials are symetrically placed on the dial rather than shifted upward, and I like the subdial colors black and white, more than silver...but those are just personal taste. The movment in the Zenith based Daytonas had several changes, the largest being a reduction in beats per hour from 36,600 to 28,800 for better reliability and servicability. There are a bunch of other changes that were made that really make the movement probably the most labor intensive movement in terms of hand workmanship that has come out of Rolex in the last 20 years or that will come out in the future. If someone wants to know those changes let me know, I have a list at home....otherwise no need to get into that right now. Overall, the white dial of either version is easier to read(I've owned both colors), but for some reason I've always favored the black dial. If someone likes the hunt of searching for a watch, then searching for really rare versions it will provide a project as it will probably take some time as many collectors have already snapped them up.
In the end both Daytonas are great. I've enjoyed each them.