The Daytona is discontinued

Precise News

In the midst of all the newness released by Rolex for Watches & Wonders 2024, the “Le Mans” Daytona has been discontinued.
For a little context, last year Rolex released the Le Mans Daytona in honor of the 100th year of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the annual automotive endurance race (of Steve McQueen cinematic notoriety).
Last year’s “throwback” white gold model featured an open caseback to reveal Caliber 4230, which was loosely based on the updated Daytona 4130 reference launched at Watches & Wonders in 2023.
Caliber 4132, however, upped the maximum chronograph measure to 24 hours… appropriate for a 24-hour endurance race.
Well if you search 126529LN on Rolex.com, it is no longer there.
The watch was released last June so as far as we can tell, this might mark the shortest production run of any modern Rolex ever.
This watch was not only a fitting nod to the history of Le Mans, but also to Rolex’s history in the space and the cultural context within which the Daytona exists as a modern motorsports chronograph.
With the discontinuation of this icon it appears as though Rolex is replacing it with a yellow-gold variation.

NEUTRAL

The “Le Mans” Daytona has been phased out amidst all the newness that Rolex has released for Watches and Wonders 2024. Production of it has ceased. It’s major news indeed. To provide some background, Rolex celebrated the 100th anniversary of the annual automotive endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, last year with the release of the Le Mans Daytona (which made Steve McQueen famous in the movies). The “throwback” white gold model from the previous year had an open caseback that displayed the Caliber 4230, which was largely derived from the updated Daytona 4130 reference that Watches & Wonders introduced in 2023. However, the maximum chronograph measure was increased to 24 hours with Caliber 4132. suitable for an endurance competition lasting 24 hours.

Reverse panda dial, unique black ceramic tachymeter scale with red “100” indication, and movement calibrated for the renowned endurance race’s full day of running were all features of the watch that honored the race. With a nod to the brand’s history, including the dial coloring and its association with the ’60s “exotic” dial designs. It is no longer in use today. Sadly, 126529LN is no longer available when searching on Rolex.com. As far as we can tell, the watch’s June release date makes it possibly the shortest-running modern Rolex ever produced.

The Daytona is a contemporary motorsports chronograph, and this watch was a fitting tribute not only to the history of Le Mans but also to Rolex’s presence in that historical and cultural context. It is truly an icon, if I may use this term with regret. It looks that Rolex is switching to a yellow-gold version of this icon in its place, as the current one is unavailable. Keep checking back for more coverage of that.

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