So they DID unleash the panda.
Never have been a big fan of the Daytona. But I think I'm coming around.
The alternating number sizes and 5,10, 3 seems a bit weird. In photos I don't mind the green hand and yellow crown. Although, the bright colors might make it less appealing to wear with a suit for business meetings. As for reserving 3,6, and 9 for Explorers...they have used them on Air King dials in the past, and I believe some OP dials too.
I wonder if the prototypes will have movements in them? Granted, the movement hasn't changed, but at a few watch events I've attended, when they had prototypes to view the size and look of it in person, they were not equipped with movements.
As for the Explorer, I suppose in addition to added legibility, it harks back to the days of ref 1016 (and earlier), when the 3,6, and 9 of Explorer's had lum.
Regarding Daytonas, in the 1990s it was rumored more white dials were made than black. Not sure if that is accurate, but also in some markets black was considered more desirable (for example in the 1990s, people in Japan would pay more to get a black dial than white). In other markets people seemed to favor white. In the end it all balances out. If going forward Rolex were to see higher demand for more white dials, I suppose they could shift production that way...but give that 20 plus years and the less desired model that didn't sell so well, could be the hot vintage item of the future (which seems to be a theme with Rolex).
Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad it was of interest.
Meeting demand is a relative thing with Rolex. If you are referring to the kind of low supplies of the 1990s, I doubt it. Back then they were partially limited by how many El Primero ebauches they could get and modify, and then on top of that the profit margin was better for them on the tutones and all gold...so that led to significantly fewer steel Daytonas being made than were necessary to meet the demand. Some places had 3-5 year waiting lists. It was insane!
Many believe demand did increase with them bringing production of the movements totally in house with the 116520. I tend to believe that also. I think 10 years ago the longest waiting list I heard of was down to about a year (at least in the US), and even then a few extra SS Daytonas a year made some of those lists move even faster. Traditionally, with the release of new Rolex models it takes a year or two for supply to catch up with demand. I think even after a year or two they won't be as easy to obtain as say an Explorer II, Sub, or GMT. However, I doubt we will go back to the ridiculously low supply in the 1990s, as it didn't benefit Rolex in terms of sales, it annoyed customers, and it led to some ADs selling their Daytonas out the back door to gray dealers who were selling them for double the retail, which again didn't benefit Rolex. Anyway, just my 2 cents.