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A Deep Dive into the Rolex Rainbow Daytona (2024 Review)

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rolex rainbow daytona

The Rolex Rainbow Daytona, the Holy Grail of Rolex watches, stands out with its vibrant, meticulously placed baguette-cut sapphires around the bezel. This watch is a statement piece that goes beyond the conventional with its Everose gold, black lacquer dial, and diamond-paved details.

Renowned for its scarcity, the Rainbow Daytona is an off-catalog masterpiece that Rolex releases only to its most notable clients. Its exclusivity has become a coveted treasure within the luxury watch community. 

As you go through this article, you’ll uncover the intricacies and appeal behind the Rolex Daytona Rainbow. You’ll learn about its design, craftsmanship, and the unique place it holds in the world of luxury watches.

The Uniqueness of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona

The Rolex Rainbow Daytona, first unveiled in 2012, is a spectacle of luxury, adorned with precious gemstones that offer a visually stunning rainbow gradation. Given its rarity, any owner of a Rolex Rainbow Daytona sets them as a possessor of an exclusive timepiece synonymous with artistry. 

In fact, Cara Barrett, a horology expert states through Bloomberg how much of an “…unadulterated luxury…” this watch is. 

You might be curious about what makes the Rolex Rainbow Daytona so exclusive. One key aspect is its status as an off-catalog watch. “Off-catalog” refers to watches not displayed in the brand’s standard marketing materials or in-store showcases. 

They are made in limited quantities and are reserved for prestigious clients or watch collectors—Remy Julia of Christie’s explicitly said that any serious Daytona collector must find the rainbow watch a must-have.

Model Specifications and Variations

When exploring the Rolex Rainbow Daytona, you’ll encounter a selection of models with distinct specifications. The reference numbers to be aware of are shown below:

1. Rolex Rainbow Daytona Ref. 116598RBOW

rolex rainbow daytona 116598RBOW

The 116598RBOW is a yellow-gold Rainbow Daytona. Surrounding its bezel are 36 baguette-cut natural sapphires. It also features a black dial and gem-set indexes for a more luxurious appeal.

2. Rolex Rainbow Daytona Ref. 116599RBOW

rolex rainbow daytona 116599RBOW

Featuring a white-gold material is the 116599RBOW with the same sapphire-bedazzled bezel and gem-set indexes. Diamonds are also placed near the lugs and between the crown guards of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona. 

3. Rolex Rainbow Daytona Ref. 116595RBOW

rolex rainbow daytona 116595RBOW

The 116595RBOW is made from 18k Everose gold, exhibiting the same Rainbow Daytona features, such as rainbow sapphires, dial designs, and materials. This variety was introduced at BaselWorld 2018.

Each version has been crafted with meticulous attention to detail and material variations to suit your taste. The yellow gold references offer a classic warmth, white gold provides a modern and sleek look, and the Everose gold edition brings a unique, rose-tinted hue.

As for the case diameter, all models measure 40mm, which ensures presence on your wrist without being overwhelming.

Meanwhile, dials can vary from a classic black to an intricate diamond pavé, complemented by either sapphire or diamond hour markers, ensuring that each timepiece stands out. The sapphire crystal is flat, enhancing the visibility and robustness of the watch face.

The Oyster bracelet is also customizable, with the option to include diamond-set center links for an additional touch of luxury.

Design and Craftsmanship

As you admire the Rolex Rainbow Daytona, the bezel likely captures your attention first. The stunning 36 baguette-cut sapphires are carefully selected, each reflecting a different hue to create a classic rainbow gradient. This effect is visually striking and harmonious in aesthetics.

With the Rolex brand being known for its excellent craftsmanship, every sapphire must meet the quality standards. That said, they’re individually chosen to ensure consistency and the perfect gradation of color that’s evident and uniform with the rest of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona watches.

rolex rainbow daytona dial

In a nutshell, the materials used for the Rolex Rainbow Daytona are the following:

  • 18k Everose gold
  • Black lacquer dial
  • Rose gold crystal sub-dials
  • Diamonds and colored sapphire indexes

Meanwhile, the highlights of Rolex’s artistry and watchmaking skills are mentioned below:

rolex rainbow daytona bezel
  • Bezel: 36 rainbow-gradated sapphires 
  • Movement: Powered by Rolex’s automatic caliber 4130
  • Dial: Set with diamonds, contrasted against the black lacquer

The craftsmanship extends beyond the sapphires to the diamonds set into the lugs and case, lending additional brilliance to the watch. With each component crafted to Rolex’s standards, your Rainbow Daytona is not just a timepiece but a work of art you wear on your wrist.

Technical Features

At the heart of your Rolex Rainbow Daytona is the caliber 4130 movement. The Watch Base provides a description about this Rolex movement, mainly highlighting the following details:

  • Efficiency and Precision: The caliber 4130 reduces component parts, enhancing longevity and robustness. Its vertical clutch design allows the chronograph function to operate without impacting the watch’s precision.
  • Power Reserve: Your watch’s stamina stems from its substantial 72-hour power reserve, ensuring consistent performance even when not worn over the weekend.
  • Resistance: Rolex’s proprietary blue Parachrom hairspring is a feature you’ll appreciate, offering increased resistance to shocks and temperature variations. It’s a detail that gives you peace of mind, knowing that your timepiece is guarded against the wear and tear of daily life.
  • Chronometer Certification: Your Rainbow Daytona’s movement isn’t just any movement; it is a certified Swiss chronometer, a designation awarded to high-precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests.

Your timepiece strikes an exquisite balance between form and function, with each component meticulously crafted to ensure that your tool watch isn’t just an accessory but a reliable companion that stands the test of time.

Celebrities Who Wear Rainbow Daytona

Celebrities who wear rolex rainbow daytona

The Rolex Rainbow Daytona garners attention from prominent figures in entertainment and sports. Among them are remarkable personalities known for their love for luxury timepieces. 

  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Adam Levine
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • John Mayer
  • Kevin Hart
  • Post Malone
  • Gerard Pique 
  • Steve Harvey
  • David Beckham
  • Cristiano Ronaldo

For celebrities, this model is more than a timepiece; it’s an emblem of success. Its captivating presence on the wrist conveys a bold fashion statement, aligning well with personalities in the limelight.

By far and large, the Rainbow Daytona is a seamless fit for the celebrity lifestyle where distinctiveness and luxury prevail. Your understanding of this watch’s appeal among celebrities underscores the Rolex brand’s mastery in creating watches that are more than mere timekeepers; they are symbols of peak achievement and style.

Market Value and Investment Potential

When you originally purchased the Rolex Rainbow Daytona, the retail price was set by Rolex, often falling within a premium bracket due to its distinctiveness and the high cost of production. However, the current market value of this timepiece goes well beyond the initial retail price, partially due to its rarity and the gemstones adorning it.

  • Retail Price: Not publicly listed in Rolex’s official catalog due to the watch’s exclusive nature; estimated in the high five to six-figure range upon release. 
  • Current Market Value: Rolex Rainbow Daytona at a price that ranges from S$35,587 to S$1,489,618. 

However, several prominent platforms have set the value for this watch. Phillips, for example, auctions the 116598RBOW at around S$241,938 to S$376,348. Christie’s, on the other hand, auctions the Rolex, White Gold ‘Rainbow’ Daytona, Ref. 116599 from S$310,052 to S$620,104.

For the most part, Rolex Rainbow Daytona’s investment potential is considerable. Watches from this exclusive range have consistently seen an increase in value over time. 

Here are the things that you might need to consider further:

  • Rarity: The Rainbow Daytona is a limited edition, contributing to its desirability.
  • Demand: A consistent upward trend for luxury watches bolsters potential appreciation.
  • Condition: Keeping your watch in excellent condition can positively influence its future resale value.

However, while the watch exhibits traits of a good investment, market fluctuations occur, and no investment is without risk. Reviewing the current market conditions can provide insight into the Rainbow Daytona’s potential future performance.

Rolex Rainbow Daytona vs. Other Daytona Models

The Rolex Rainbow Daytona contrasts sharply with its siblings in the Daytona collection. This introductory section outlines a comparative analysis, highlighting the Rainbow Daytona’s unique features against the more traditional elements of standard Daytona models:

FeatureRolex Rainbow DaytonaStandard Daytona Models
BezelSet with 36 baguette-cut sapphires in a rainbow gradientCerachrom bezel in black or metal bezel depending on the model
Case MaterialYellow, white, and Everose goldStainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, or Everose gold
DialPave diamond dial Metal dials in various colors, including black, white, champagne, and others
Price RangeS$35,587 to S$1,489,618S$19,416 to S$2,765,967
AvailabilityExtremely limited; considered a collector’s itemMore widely available but some models can be hard to find due to high demand

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Is Rolex Rainbow Daytona?

The price of a Rolex Rainbow Daytona varies significantly based on market demand, availability, and condition (new or pre-owned). 

The latest data shows that the Rolex Rainbow Daytona is listed at S$35,587 to S$1,489,618 in a secondary watch market like Chrono24. Other platforms will have varying prices, but Chrono24’s price range gives you an idea of the Rainbow Daytona cost, either pre-owned or new.

2. What Is the Rarest Rolex Cosmograph Daytona?

Among the rarest Rolex Daytona models is the 6263 “Oyster Albino” Daytona. This watch earned its nickname from its silvered chronograph totalizers, which match the color of the dial, unlike the more common black or silver contrasting sub-dials. Only four known examples of this model exist, making it extremely rare. 

The most notable sales of the Albino Rolex Daytona was when one of these watches, previously owned by Eric Clapton, was sold at Sotheby’s New York sale on June 5, 2003, where the pre-auction estimate was around 500,000 to 1,000,000 Swiss francs. Elizabeth Doerr, a watch expert contributing her expertise to Forbes, detailed this.

3. What Is the Most Collectable Rolex?

The most collectible Rolex models combine rarity, historical significance, iconic design, and, often, a story that captivates collectors’ imaginations. Among these, certain models stand out:

  • Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman”: The Daytona models, especially those featuring the “exotic” dials later nicknamed “Paul Newman,” the famous actor and race car driver, are among the most collectible. These watches are distinguished by their art deco style numerals, contrasting color sub-dials, and a distinct outer track.
  • Rolex GMT-Master Reference 6542 with Bakelite Bezel: The original GMT-Master, introduced in 1954 for Pan American Airways pilots, featured a Bakelite bezel with radium luminous numerals. Its vulnerability to cracking and the radium’s radioactivity led to relatively few surviving pieces, making it extremely collectible.
  • Rolex “Double Red” Sea-Dweller (DRSD) Reference 1665: This model earned its nickname from the two red lines of text on the dial. It was designed for deep-sea diving, with a helium escape valve. It is sought after for its historical significance and unique appearance.

The collectibility of a Rolex watch can vary based on many factors, including its condition, rarity, historical importance, and provenance. Watches with a documented history or connection to notable personalities often fetch higher prices.

Final Word

Your appreciation of the Rolex Rainbow Daytona likely stems from its scarcity, striking design, and its unique charm. As an exceptional timepiece, its gold, coupled with vibrant gemstones, transforms it into a functional watch and a piece of jewelry. 

It is constructed with meticulous craftsmanship and houses a design that isn’t universally conventional, making it a statement piece that reflects a blend of boldness and luxury.

Key Takeaways

  • Your choice for a Rolex Rainbow Daytona comes with distinct reference numbers, such as 116598RBOW, 116599RBOW, and 116595RBOW.
  • The Rolex Rainbow Daytona boasts 36 baguette-cut sapphires set in a rainbow gradient on the bezel.
  • It houses the Rolex Caliber 4130 movement, known for automatic winding and an impressive 72-hour power reserve.

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