I had recently come to the conclusion that 39-41mm is the perfect size for my wrist. I had even 'decided' that my 'final' 2 watches would be 2 of the following 3: a ceramic Daytona, RO 15300/15202, or the upcoming VC Overseas. I made a 'retail therapy' trip to NYC this past weekend to check out various boutiques in general & specifically to check out the 15202, FPJ Chronometre Bleu, GO's offerings, & hopefully the new Yachtmaster out in person. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I've attached pics, what do you all think? (BTW, my current 'collection' includes a BLNR, Reverso ultrathin duoface bleu, & a Speedy 3572.50 Mitsukoshi conversion)
But in the meantime, a thought on the Daytona: have you considered the 16520? I'd thought about it for years, and it seems to be an unusually good time to get one... so I did, and I'd have no hesitation recommending someone with an interest in them to do likewise instead of buying the ceramic version.
It's just as good as I'd hoped, too. What I appreciate most about the watch is how it offers a perfect combination of vintage charm and modern no-stress wearability. It also eliminates my least-favourite element of the newer models, which is their fully-polished lugs. While this probably doesn't seem like a big deal, I find that it makes a significant difference on the wrist.
Also, I'm still not entirely convinced by the ceramic bezel on the 116500LN, as I think it's a bit of a step backwards both aesthetically and functionally. Obviously, it's the hot thing right now, but the hype will soon fade as the watch inevitably becomes more common.
Something else to think about: while I'm not a big off-brand-parts proponent, it's worth mentioning that it's possible to swap in an aftermarket ceramic bezel onto 116520, which will keep the steel one looking brand-new and give the exact same look as the 116500LN in the black-dial option. There are already a few of these indistinguishable modded ones around, which is sure to affect the cachet of the real ceramic one.
Personally, I find that the 16520 as a complete package is somehow not only the sportiest, but also the most refined among self-winding Daytona models — especially when it comes to the dial. Here's a shot of mine on the watchmaker's bench:
image credit: horologer
It also offers a unique movement that's by far the most thoroughly-reworked example of ébauche-based production from Rolex; this skilled-labour-intensive transformation is the reason that the steel Daytona was so hard to come by during its 1988-2000 production run. Although it's technically inferior to the 4130, it's still a damn good movement, and there's no doubt that it's far more collectible.
116500LNs will steadily become easier to get. By the time most folks will be able to get a hold of one, it won't be that special or rare — though it'll still be a great watch. Conversely, good 16520s will become more and more difficult to come by as time goes on, and it'll always be a watch that's very uncommon in real life.
Lately, I'm noticing a few steel 4030-movement Daytona examples for sale in great shape at decent prices. If you're thinking Daytona, I figure you have nothing to lose by getting one now instead of waiting for a ceramic version to become available.
And as much as I'm infatuated with the 16520, I'd say that that either all-steel one is a good buy right now:
photo by me
photo by Loevhagen
(I got some tips on how to take less-sucky camera photos today. )