A custom Cosmograph Daytona is just one of the perks of winning the Rolex 24 endurance race. Here are 5 of the watches awarded to the best drivers in history.
The Cosmograph Daytona is one of the most highly sought-after Rolex watches, fetching $48,000 on average.
Its name comes from the Daytona International Speedway, home of the Rolex 24 endurance motor race.
Each year’s Rolex 24 winner recieves a Cosmograph, which has experienced some changes over the years.
In 1962, the inaugural running of the Daytona Continental vaulted Daytona, Florida to the pinnacle of international motorsport. The grueling endurance competition soon developed into the 24-hour motor race on par with the storied round-the-clock event at Le Mans.
A year later, Rolex introduced a new model of the Cosmograph, which it dubbed “Daytona” in homage to the race itself and the long history of automotive accomplishments on the hard-packed sand of Florida’s panhandle beaches.
After Rolex became the official timepiece of Daytona, winners of the 24-hour race — now known as the Rolex 24 — were awarded with a specially engraved Cosmograph. Here’s a look at how the iconic watch has changed over the years to become one of the most coveted timepieces in the world.
1963 – The Original
The original Cosmograph Daytona featured a high-contrast face for better legibility. The tachymetric scale was moved to the outer bezel, enabling the wearer to use the second hand to measure average speeds over a given distance.
The Paul Newman
No history of the Daytona would be complete without a mention of the most coveted model of all, a special edition favored by Hollywood actor and racing driver Paul Newman. One collector made history in 2017 when they bought one of Paul Newman’s personal Daytona Reference 6239 watches for a jaw-dropping $17.8 million.
1965 – The Oyster
In 1965, screw-down pushers replaced the simple press-down ones on the original, preventing accidental bumps and securing the case against water, earning Rolex’s “Oyster” designation. A black plexiglass bezel was fitted to improve legibility.
1988 – The Perpetual
In a rejection of the move toward quartz in prior decades, Rolex doubled down on its commitment to mechanical perfection. For the 1988 edition of the Cosmograph, Rolex added a self-winding movement, earning it the official Swiss designation of chronometer, attesting to its superior precision. The designers also increased the case size from 36mm to 40mm, added a set of “shoulders” to protect the stem, and returned to the original metallic bezel.
2000 – A New Movement
The 1988 version proved so popular that Rolex left the design unchanged in the 2000 series – on the outside, at least. Inside, the engineers had replaced the 4030 mechanism with a completely redesigned 4130 movement, which required 60% fewer components and added the ability to increase the power reserve from 50 hours to 72. For an additional flourish, the name Daytona was engraved on the oscillating weight.
2016 – A Modern Masterpiece
Rolex unveiled the current iteration of the Daytona in 2016. The aesthetics harkened back to the 1965 version, but instead of plexiglass (which was known to fade under UV exposure), Rolex engineers developed a process to bind platinum on a ceramic bezel.
A Trophy to Wear
Scott Pruett, who is tied with Hurley Haywood for the most wins at the Rolex 24 with five apiece, summed up the significance of the Rolex Daytona for drivers:
“My Daytona watches will always bring back many fond memories,” he said. “Rolex and Daytona are inextricably linked. To be presented a watch engraved with the word ‘Winner’ after 24 hours of intense racing is a moment that lives with you forever. Your Rolex is a constant reminder of the perseverance and hard work that goes into succeeding at the highest level. Every driver who competes at Daytona is racing for the ultimate reward – a Rolex watch.”
He continued: “If you win a trophy, it sits in your trophy case. However, when you win a Daytona, with ‘Winner’ engraved on the back, there’s nothing more special. There’s no current driver or past driver who wouldn’t say the most memorable thing you can take away from this race is the watch.”
How You Can Follow The 60th Rolex 24 Race At Daytona This Weekend
I’m jet-setting from a bitter cold and snowy Michigan to the slightly warmer beaches of Florida to take part in the magic that is this year’s 60th Rolex 24 at Daytona. And I’m inviting you to join me, as I struggle to keep myself awake for more than 30 hours straight to watch and take everything in.
Emphasis on the “taking everything in,” because this race has a lot to follow, from the teams, to the classes, even what you should and could be watching for. So to make it a little easier, I’m breaking it down for you, with a short reference guide — short enough that you can sound like an expert when talking to friends and family while watching the race this weekend but without having to spend too much time educating yourself.
Cars & Classes
This is most likely the most difficult part of the race to keep track of. There are 61 cars taking on the 3.56 mile road course at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Those sixty cars are divided into the two styles of Prototype and GTD, which are then broken down into a total of five classes: DPi, LMP2, LMP3, GTD Pro and GTD.
Prototypes are typically the fastest cars on the circuit and are divided into three classes: the Daytona Prototype International or DPi, Le Mans Prototype 2 or LMP2, and Le Mans Prototype 3 known as LMP3. While body styles do differ slightly between the three classes, these are still a single-cockpit-style vehicle with a very large, defined shark fin down the middle.
DPi: How DPi stands out from the rest of the prototypes is the engine manufacturers, backed by recognizable names like Acura, Cadillac and Mazda. While chassis specifications are similar, teams can adapt body styles to reflect constructor’s design aesthetics from their road-production vehicles.
Not only can you spot them by their brand names, but you can find them with the white tail end to the shark fin, and the white dial numbers on the side of the car indicating the car’s position in the race.
LMP2 & LMP3: Both LMP categories are also closed cockpit cars and developed by four different approved constructors. The differences come down to who is driving, and their competition eligibility.
LMP2 cars are eligible to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while the LMP3 category is an entry-level car, eligible to compete in the IMSA Prototype Challenge and international series including the European Le Mans Series.
What’s most important for you this weekend is that LMP2 cars are noted with blue details and lighting, while LMP3 can be noted by orange-red details and lighting.
Grand Touring: The biggest change for this year is the elimination of the GTLM (Grand Touring Le Mans) Class, which in past years was the home of the manufacturers’ factory teams. The GTLM class was retired at the end of the 2021 season, with factory teams absorbed into the Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD Pro) class for 2022.
The new GTD class breakdowns are not that complicated to distinguish. Both the GTD Pro and GTD classes will run on the same FIA GT3-based technical specifications. To put this even more simply, they look like real cars, but have race-specific requirements to be competitive and safe on the track.
Really, the difference to these two classes comes down to the teams and drivers. GTD Pro will run professional drivers and will also remain home to manufacturer teams, while GTD will focus on customer racing with professional and amateur drivers.
You can spot a GTD car easily because they look like their (expensive) daily driving counterparts. The catch in differentiating between the GTD Pro and GTD… GTD Pro will wear red accents, while the GTD class will sport green (they also deck out windows and other trim areas with what looks like rope lighting so you can really spot them).
Who’s on pole?
There may be five classes, and five pole-winners, but the main attractions are the overall for Prototype and GTD. Leading the Prototype charge again this year is the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05. The team landed a second pole for Rolex as an Acura-backed team last weekend. In 2021, the team strolled into victory for Rolex, but lost an overall season win by 11 points to the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.
And a new team will be leading the GTD classes for 2022 on Saturday, the No. 63 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3. I’ll update this with the official qualifying list once it’s available from IMSA.
You can also look to match cars you spot on the track with their teams, drivers and classes by using this handy Spotter’s Guide.
How to Watch or Listen (all times are Eastern)
Saturday, January 29, 2022
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on NBC
1:35 p.m. t0 11:59 p.m. on IMSA TV
1:40 p.m. t0 11:59 p.m. on Peacock
4:00 p.m. t0 7:00 p.m. with coverage beginning again at 10:00 p.m. on USA
Sunday, January 30, 2022
Midnight t0 3:00 a.m. with coverage resuming 6:00 a.m. to noon on USA
Midnight t0 1:40 p.m. on Peacock
Midnight t0 1:40 p.m.on IMSA TV
Noon to 2:00 p.m. on NBC
You can also listen to coverage of the entire race on IMSA Radio, the IMSA app, and on XM 202, Sirius XM Web/App 992.
While I’m there, let me know what you want to know about the race, or feel free to ask questions in real time! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram via @LalitaChemello, and if I can’t answer your question, I will do my best to find a qualified professional to get you an answer.
I’ll see you on the other side!
Daytona International Speedway
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CODE OF CONDUCT
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Follow all instructions of Speedway personnel
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With your help, every guest will have a positive and memorable experience while visiting the World Center of Racing.
How Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona watch ended up in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures – and what Silent Sunday Nights host Jacqueline Stewart is planning for the new LA attraction
The ‘Paul Newman Rolex’ which the actor wore for decades, including the 1983 Academy Awards when he was nominated for Best Actor for The Verdict, is on display at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. Photos: Handout
Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Legends Andretti, Haywood, Pruett, Rahal, Roush and Taylor to Serve as Grand Marshals for North America’s Most Prestigious Sports Car Race
Daytona International Speedway Plays Host to 60th Anniversary of Iconic Around-the-Clock Race on Jan. 29-30
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 21, 2022) – Six of the greatest, most iconic drivers in the history of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, will serve as Grand Marshals of the 60th Anniversary of the storied, around-the clock classic on Saturday, Jan. 29.
Mario Andretti, Hurley Haywood, Scott Pruett, Bobby Rahal, Jack Roush and Wayne Taylor – all of whom tasted victory in the Rolex 24 during different eras over the last six decades, will give the 61-car field the command to “start engines” to open the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
The sensational six, a “who’s who” in motorsports, have a grand total of 20 overall Rolex 24 victories as drivers and owners, having written many chapters of the record book of North America’s most prestigious sports car race. Haywood and Pruett lead the way with five overall Rolex 24 victories from behind the wheel while Roush reeled off 10 straight triumphs as an owner. Taylor, a two-time winner as a driver in the Rolex 24, will go for an unprecedented, record fourth consecutive triumph and fifth overall as an owner in next weekend’s race. Andretti and Rahal both recorded an overall Rolex 24 win as a driver.
“What a privilege it is to have these six racing legends with us for our 60th Anniversary Rolex 24 At DAYTONA,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher. “Our fans will be able to see them up close and relive their incredible success here. It’s going to be a celebration of 60 years of memorable, iconic moments, and the then once the green flag falls, a continuation of a rich legacy at The World Center of Racing.”
The legends will be recognized in pre-race ceremonies and will also participate in Saturday morning’s driver autograph session inside the UNOH Fanzone. Below showcases their highlights in the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA and overall career success.
Mario Andretti – 1972 Rolex 24 Champion (6-hour race). 1967 DAYTONA 500 winner. 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner. Three-time Twelve Hours of Sebring winner (1967, 1970, 1972). Four-time IndyCar Champion (1965, 1966, 1969, 1984). 1978 Formula 1 World Champion.
Hurley Haywood – Five-time overall Rolex 24 Champion (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1991). Three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner (1977, 1983, 1994). Two-time Twelve Hours of Sebring winner (1973, 1981). Two-time IMSA GT Champion (1971, 1972). 1988 Trans-Am Champion.
Scott Pruett – Five-time overall Rolex 24 Champion (1994, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013). Ten-time Rolex 24 class Champion (1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013). 60 career IMSA victories. Six-time IMSA Champion (1986, 1988, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012). 2014 Twelve Hours of Sebring overall winner. 2001 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner. Three-time Trans-Am Champion (1987, 1994, 2003).
Bobby Rahal – 1981 overall Rolex 24 Champion as driver. 1987 Twelve Hours of Sebring-winning driver. Two-time Rolex 24 Champion team owner (2019, 2020). Three-time IndyCar Champion driver (1986, 1987, 1992). 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner. Two-time Indianapolis 500-winning team owner (2004, 2020). Two-time IMSA Champion team owner (2010, 2011).
Jack Roush – Winningest owner in Rolex 24 history (10 consecutive victories). 24 Championships and 119 victories in IMSA and SCCA competition. Eight-time NASCAR Championship-winning team owner. NASCAR Hall of Famer.
Wayne Taylor – Two-time Rolex 24 Champion driver (1996 and 2005). Four-time Rolex 24 Champion team owner (2017, 2019, 2020, 2021). Three-time sports car Champion (1994, 1996, 2005). 1996 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner. 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans winner. Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship-winning team owner (2013, 2017).
The Rolex 24 At DAYTONA will feature competition in five classes: the headlining Daytona Prototype International (DPi), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP2), the new GTD PRO class making its world debut with factory teams and drivers, and GT Daytona (GTD) for customer racing programs.
This weekend (Jan. 21-23), The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX will consist of practices today and Saturday before Sunday’s 100-minute qualifying race at 2:05 p.m., which will determine the lineup for the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
Tickets are available for both The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX and the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA. Single-day tickets for this Friday and Sunday are just $15 for adults and kids 12-and-under are FREE. Single-day tickets on Saturday are $20 while kids 12-and-under are FREE. To be a part of The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX or the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, log onto www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
In addition to cars on track this weekend during The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX, Daytona International Speedway will host Scout Days at DAYTONA, where thousands of scouts from across the nation take part in garage tours, track walks, and STEMWERX activities. STEMWERX inspires and equips bright young minds to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Their mission is to inspire students to choose careers in STEM fields and become the next generation of innovators.
Once the checkered flag falls on the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the World Center of Racing will begin its focus on DAYTONA Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth (Feb. 15-20) and the 64th Annual DAYTONA 500. The week will feature six days of incredible on-track action with practices, qualifying and a total of six races among four different series. It will allow fans several possibilities to see the NASCAR Cup Series’ Next Gen car, plus some of the greatest drivers in the world in the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, as well as the ARCA Menards Series.
For ticket information on Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth events, log onto www.DAYTONA500.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP. If fans are looking to buy or sell reserved seats for the DAYTONA 500, please visit SeatGeek, the Preferred Ticket Exchange of the DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as the all-new NASCAR Tracks App, for the latest speedway news.