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Meet The New Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 126529LN, With Paul Newman-Inspired Dial

Rolex celebrates the centenary of the legendary race with a highly original watch, bringing back some of the "exotic" Paul Newman dial.

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |
Rolex Daytona 100-Year 24h Le Mans 126529LN - Paul Newman Dial White Gold

This year, 2023, is pretty unique for motorsport and Rolex. On one side, the legendary race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is celebrating its 100th anniversary, as you can discover in this dedicated article. On the other side, Rolex’s most emblematic chronograph, a watch dedicated to motorsport, and seriously updated earlier this year, is celebrating its 60th anniversary. That’s of course the Cosmograph Daytona. Today Rolex goes out of its usual ways and release an original edition in honour of the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Of course it’s a Daytona and this new reference 126529LN is special on many levels… To name just one factor, it brings back some details of an iconic and highly-desirable “exotic” dial of the past (mostly the counters), also known as the Paul Newman dial. Yes, this is big news!

There’s a strong connection between Rolex and motorsport in general. It all started in 1930 when Sir Malcolm Campbell wore a Rolex Oyster while racing the Bluebird land speed record car at Daytona Beach in the US. In the field of endurance racing, the connection between Rolex and the Daytona International Speedway, and of course the Rolex 24 at Daytona, is pretty evident. After all, it is that very event that lent its name to the iconic Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, born four years after Rolex’s first association with the Daytona International Speedway. In 1992, Rolex became the title sponsor for the Daytona 24 Hours, which is now known as the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

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Rolex has also been the official timing partner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2001. And in 2010, Tom Kristensen, 9 times overall Le Mans winner, joined as Rolex Testimonee. Rolex also became the official timepiece of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016, further engulfing the brand in long-distance road racing in the modern era. And for many years now, the winners of the legendary 24h race are receiving a specially-engraved “winner’s watch” based on the Daytona.

The new Rolex Daytona 126529LN, with Paul Newman-inspired dial

So here we are, with a new version of the Cosmograph Daytona, released only a couple of months after the collection has been revamped, with the release of the new generation. Of course, as you’d expect, this original version of the Daytona celebrating the centenary of the 24H of Le Mans is, technically speaking and on most design elements, based on the recently-updated edition of this chronograph. There are, however, several details to make it unique… and also truly desirable.

Rolex Daytona 100-Year 24h Le Mans 126529LN - Paul Newman Dial White Gold

First, the case. The new Daytona 126529LN is a 18k white gold watch, using the redesigned case with a 40mm diameter and 12.20mm height. This original edition of the Daytona is also using the new bezel style, meaning a black ceramic insert framed by a thin band of 18k white gold. In the present context, the tachymeter scale is rendered in platinum via PVD, with the number 100 in red ceramic as a reminder of the race’s centenary. Other elements of the case are classic for this model, with screw-down Triplock crown, screwed pusher and sapphire crystal on top… But look on the back and you’ll see that the screwed back comes, just like the platinum edition, with a sapphire caseback revealing the Calibre 4132 (yes, not the 4131… more on that in a bit).

Rolex Daytona 100-Year 24h Le Mans 126529LN - Paul Newman Dial White Gold

The dial of this new Cosmograph Daytona is the main attraction, and where you’ll most differences with all other versions of this racing chronograph. Here presented in a classic “panda” style, the base is so-called bright black with a discreet sunray-brushed effect, with bright white contrasting counters. Hands and applied markers are white gold, and filled with luminescent material.

Rolex Daytona 100-Year 24h Le Mans 126529LN - Paul Newman Dial White Gold

But what makes this reference 126529LN truly unique are the sub-counters. I have dreamed of the comeback of the so-called exotic Paul Newman dial on a Daytona for years, with very little hope to ever see my dreams come true. But it is now clear that Rolex is more creative than it used to be, and doesn’t hide taking cues from the past (the thin band around the bezel was a first hint…) Now, we have a dial that features sub-counters using the highly recognizable style of the vintage Paul Newman or exotic dials, with its distinctive square-shaped markers and tracks. Also, another specificity of this new edition of the Cosmograph Daytona, it features a slightly different display, as the chronograph features a 24-hour counter at 9 o’clock, instead of the regular 12-hour counter. Of course, a nod to the legendary race and the title of Rolex as official timing partner and main sponsor since 2001.

Rolex Daytona 100-Year 24h Le Mans 126529LN - Paul Newman Dial White Gold

This lightly retouched display also explains the name of the movement, now calibre 4132, an evolution of the recently-presented calibre 4131, itself an evolution of the calibre 4130 presented in 2000. To obtain this new 24-hour display, it now features an additional, patented mechanism made up of seven components, which could be likened to a differential redesigned by Rolex. This gear reduction system, which in technical terms is called an epicyclic reducer, halves the rotational speed of the gear train that turns the 24-hour hand. The morphology of the device enabled it to be integrated without the slightest change to the movement’s architecture. In fact, the mechanism simply replaces a transmission wheel, and its operation does not affect the performance of calibre 4132 in any way.

The movement of course benefits from the latest technologies of Rolex, including its patented Chronergy escapement with its efficient geometry. Made of nickel-phosphorus, this escapement is resistant to magnetic fields and is combined with a blue Parachrom hairspring made from a paramagnetic alloy. It is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, and the oscillator is mounted on Paraflex shock absorbers. Featuring a column wheel and vertical clutch, automatic winding with a newly designed rotor on an (upgraded) ball bearing, it can store 72h of power reserve. Visible though the caseback, it has the new decoration with Rolex Côtes de Genève and a yellow gold rotor.

Rolex Daytona 100-Year 24h Le Mans 126529LN - Paul Newman Dial White Gold calibre 4132

This new edition is worn on a 18k white gold bracelet, with polished and satin-finished surfaces and closed by a Oysterlock folding safety clasp with Easylink comfort extension link.

Availability & Price

The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 126529LN is released as a non limited edition that will be added to the permanent collection. The price will be EUR 42,407 (excl. taxes). More details at

15 responses

  1. A non limited edition that is not available. Can’t wait to never see it.

  2. They could make it in steel, charge the same price, and still sell every one.

  3. My thoughts the same as the first two comments. Who cares, never be able to get one.

  4. Cool. I’m on a waiting list for a Sky-Dweller. Maybe I’ll change it to this watch because I don’t like the two coronets on the dials of the new models.

  5. Just got the call from my AD saying I will never get this

  6. No offence meant here Brice, but why bother even writing about this release? Will any of your readers see this in person, maybe. Will any of them be offered the chance to purchase one, probably not. I’d much rather see effort spent on content that’s more relevant to me and the rest of your reader base. For example, let’s talk about the redesigned Longines Conquest 2023.

  7. Oh, on and on with the whining. I feel sorry thinking this is the drivel you have to read through every single time you write anything about Rolex.
    Keep up the good work, team.

  8. I was frankly surprised that there is a clear case back and that the movement appears to be finished quite nicely. To my knowledge, Rolex hasn’t previously made much effort in these aspects of their watches.

  9. The “drivel” is what the commenter above is eschewing, while it also pertains to anything written about a brand releasing something non-existent. Talk about drivel. What a waste of reading time.

  10. Ignore the comments complaining about the availability. Appreciation for watches isn’t about buying every watch you read on the Internet.

    It’s funny that these people don’t complain about watches that are more difficult to buy than this watch such as the Chopard L.U.C Full Strike in a blue sapphire case, which is a limited edition of 5 watches. I guess the watch knowledge of these people is limited to Rolex.

  11. @Ben Mondragon How many ADs in your country? Do you mean you had asked the AD to put your name on a waiting list for this model and someone from the AD called you later? Anyway, that AD is weird. Nobody knows the future. If he means that you won’t get it in a few years because there are a lot of people on the waiting list before you, he’s probably right. But how can he know that you will never get it in your entire life?

  12. @JH The finishing is average. It’s not bad, though. The gold rotor is nice, but it’s to be expected for gold watches. The fake gold chatons are tasteless.

  13. Rolex goes Omega with this retro inspired watch. Boring or refreshing?

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