Rolex Daytona 2nd to 3rd generation: Ref.6262&6264&6263&6265

To watch the video of the 2nd and 3rd generation Daytona, click here.

The second generation Rolex Daytona was once considered a failure, but today it is not only one of the rarest vintage Rolex watches, but also one of the most collectable references on the vintage market.

To briefly describe this model, the second-generation Daytona was a transitional model that was only produced for about a year.

Although it didn't use any of Rolex's famous patented technologies of the time, such as the Oyster case, the second-generation Daytona created a combination of luxury and old-school design.

However, this Daytona ref. 6262 did not gain much popularity and did not sell well because the third generation was soon released and was sold in parallel.

As a result, this model was soon phased out and replaced by the more modern and technologically advanced third-generation model.

Before we dive headfirst into this classic, second-generation Daytona and the technologically advanced third-generation Daytona that was born around the same time, I'd like to first take a look at my basic information on the first two generations.

What is the second generation Daytona?

What is the Rolex Ref. 6262 Daytona?

Vintage Daytona Timeline

1963: Rolex launches the Cosmograph chronograph collection (later known as the Cosmograph Daytona)

1963-69: Daytona ref. 6239 with metal bezel

1965-69: Daytona ref. 6241 with black acrylic bezel

1965-69: Daytona ref. 6240 with screw-down chronograph pushers and black bezel
1970-71: Daytona ref. 6262 Pump Chronograph Pushers and Metal Bezel

1970-72: Daytona ref. 6264 Pump Chronograph Pushers and Black Bezel

1971-88: Daytona ref. 6265 with screw-down chronograph pushers and metal bezel

1971-88: Daytona Ref. 6263 Screw-Down Chronograph Pushers, Black Bezel

Basic information about the Rolex Daytona Ref. 6262

Second Generation Rolex: Daytona References 6262 and 6264

Approximate production year: 1969-1970

Case diameter: 37mm

Case material: Stainless steel, 14K gold, or 18K gold


: Stainless steel bezel Ref.6262

: Plastic bezel Reference 6264


Dial layout: center chronograph hand, 3 sub-dials.

30-minute counter at 3 o'clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock, small second counter at 9 o'clock.

Windshield: Acrylic crystal

Caliber: Valjoux 727 manual winding movement

The second generation Daytona was the last Rolex Daytona chronograph to adopt the pump pusher system.

This pump pusher would be replaced in later Daytonas with a more waterproof screw-in pusher.

While the majority of second-generation Daytonas were made from stainless steel, Rolex also produced a few in yellow gold.

Rolex - 2nd Generation Daytona - Yellow Gold Version

Of the Ref. 6262 (serial number: 2.241.000-2.589.000), only about 30 pieces were produced in yellow gold, making them extremely rare.

The dial features three sub-dials in a contrasting color to the main dial color, typical of Daytona.

For example, the stainless steel model features a silver dial with black subdials, and a black dial with silver subdials.

On the other hand, gold models typically have a black dial with gold-colored subdials, or a gold-colored dial with black subdials.

This Daytona has been around for nearly 50 years, and the original black subdials have been replaced with a soft brown, evolving into a work of art created by time.

Rolex also produced several Daytona watches with exotic dials, also known as "Paul Newman" dials, and surprisingly, there are a lot of Paul Newman models in terms of the total number of watches produced.

For more information on the Paul Newman model, please see this video:

The existence of the Daytona Ref. 6240

Rolex originally named its now-famous chronograph collection "Cosmograph," but soon added the "Daytona" name to emphasize its connection to motor racing.

It is likely that the name "cosmo," which evokes space, was included in order to encourage its adoption in the Apollo program that NASA was running at the time.

However, as you all know, the Omega Speedmaster was actually adopted, so it seems likely that they added a model name reminiscent of motorsports, which was the next big thing.

The first model, released in 1963, was the Reference 6239, featuring a 37mm case, tachymeter bezel, three subdials and the hand-wound Valjoux Caliber 72B

Two years later, in 1965, the reference 6241 was added to the collection, with identical specifications except for the bezel being made out of black plastic.

In fact, another completely new Daytona was created in the same year, initially as a prototype, but it was later made public.

This Daytona, now called a prototype, is numbered Ref. 6240 and is reminiscent of the third generation.

So let's take a look at these watches.

Rolex - Daytona - Classification of the reference Re.6940

Although the image shows it as 1.5 generation, this Reference 6940 features an Oyster case and screw-down buttons in the pusher position, which were adopted from the third generation onwards.

This improvement gave the 6240 better water resistance and some very advanced features.

This Ref. 6240 was produced in parallel during the production period of the Ref. 6239 and Ref. 6241.

However, as mentioned above, this is the successor to the first model, and the second generation will go back to pump pushers and a regular case.

Also, production of this Ref. 6940 ended when the second generation model ended, so this model is called the third generation prototype.

Now, this is just my guess, but I think they probably released this prototype to see how the market reacted.

This is because Rolex was the first company in the world to feature screw-down pushers on a wristwatch, and its design is very different from anything that had come before.

Therefore, I imagine that by keeping the pump type and old case for the main line and introducing the Reference 6940, they were watching market trends while considering which direction to go with for the next third generation.

And because the market response at this time was better for the Ref. 6940, production of the second generation, which was an extension of the first generation, was discontinued, and from the third generation onwards, a model that officially adopted screw-down pushers was introduced.

In other words, the Daytona Ref. 6262 and Ref. 6940 complemented each other and were "transitional models" that paved the way for the subsequent Oyster Daytona.

While the second-generation Daytona was not a commercial success in its time (hence its short production run), it is viewed quite differently today.

Now, more than 50 years later, the second generation Daytona is in high demand among collectors due to its design and rarity.

Nowadays, it is considered one of Rolex's "best hits" and appears on the market periodically, but their condition varies and prices seem to range from around 4 to 7 million yen.

Though the 6262 was short-lived, it is a slice of Rolex history and many collectors would love to own a piece of it.

Now let's take a look at the third generation, which has undergone a major evolution.

Basic information about the third-generation Daytona

Rolex: 3rd generation Daytona Ref. 6265 and Ref. 6263

Now, we will explain the specifications of the third-generation Daytona, focusing only on the differences from the second-generation model.

- Reference number

: Stainless steel bezel Ref.6263

: Plastic bezel Reference 6265

- Year of production: 1971-1987 (estimated)

- Case size: 37mm

- Material options: Stainless steel, 14K yellow gold, 18K yellow gold

- Dial: Black, Silver, Champagne, Exotic (Paul Newman), with luminous hour markers

- Waterproof: Early 50m / 165ft Late 100m / 330ft

- Movement: Still Valjoux Cal.727

The Daytona ref. 6263, produced from the early 1970s until 1987, featured a new screw-down chronograph pusher rather than the traditional pump-type pushers of earlier models, which provided excellent water resistance.

Furthermore, from the third generation onwards, the word "Oyster" was added to the dial to indicate the improved water resistance of the ref. 6263.

Rolex Daytona Ref.6263 dial OYSTER included

Dial of the third-generation Daytona

During its 15-year production run, the third generation was available with a variety of dials.

The stainless steel version was available with a black or silver dial, while the gold version was available with a black or champagne dial.

And what is particularly noteworthy about the third generation is the dial, the "Sigma Dial."

Rolex Daytona Ref.6265 Sigma (σ) Sign Dial

This variation features two lowercase Greek sigma (σ) letters flanking the “T SWISS MADE T” signature, placed at the bottom of the dial beneath the 6 o’clock hour marker.

A Sigma watch has indexes made of precious metals, such as white or yellow gold.

The Sigma dial can be seen on a variety of Rolex models from the early to late 1970s, including the Daytona.

Although it's a sign that's easy to miss at first glance, this small sigma mark is extremely rare and commands a premium on the vintage market.

'Big Red' Dial

Early versions of the Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 (those produced early on, roughly 1970-1975) did not have the now-famous Daytona signature, but only the name "Cosmograph".

Comparison of the third generation Rolex Daytona with and without the DAYTONA notation

Incidentally, both the first and second generation models included the word DAYTONA.

Comparison of the first and second generation Rolex Daytona with the DAYTONA logo

There are some models that do not have this, but generally it is located at the 12 o'clock or 6 o'clock position.

However, around 1975, Rolex began adding the Daytona name to most of the third-generation references 6263 and 6265.

On these dials, the word "DAYTONA" is placed in an arch shape above the subdial at 6 o'clock.

Please see the image below↓

Rolex Daytona Small Red vs. Big Red

As their names suggest, the "Big Red Daytona" and "Small Red Daytona" are classified as such because of the difference in the thickness (size) of the red "Daytona" printed on the dial.

Additionally, there is a slight difference in where the "Daytona" lettering is placed in relation to the subdial at 6 o'clock.

The so-called Big Red has the Daytona inscription placed further away from the sub-dials than other versions.

Since the production period is quite long, there are various other differences such as the placement of the logo, but I have only explained the main differences here.

Among the many different dials available, the Big Red Sigma Daytona dial, which features both the Red Daytona and Sigma marks, is often high on the wish lists of third-generation Daytona collectors, making it an especially rare, highly coveted and valuable variation.

The third generation of waterproofing

Two third-generation models, the references 6263 and 6265, featured screw-down chronograph pushers and a screw-down crown and are known as the "Oyster" Daytonas.

These early versions had a Twinlock screw-down crown, while later versions have a Triplock screw-down crown, which provides a tighter seal.

Now let's take a look at the images together.

Rolex Daytona Crown Twinlock vs Triplock

The one on the left is Twinlock 700 and the one on the right is Triplock 703.

First, on the surface of the crown, the Twinlock only has the crown logo.

The support on the case side has threads and does not have a rubber gasket.

Now, this is a Triplock, and on the surface of the crown there are three dots underneath the crown mark.

The receiver on the case side has a groove carved into it to fit the rubber gasket, and the gasket fits into that groove.

Between the 700 and 703 there is the 702, and to briefly explain its appearance, there is no groove to accommodate an O-ring in the threads on the case side, only the threads are cut.

The crown has three dots, just like the 703.

The detailed structure of the 703 is as follows:

Structure of the Rolex Daytona Triplock 703

The adoption of screw-down pushers and a large 7mm screw-down crown has significantly improved the water resistance of the third generation.

The early models were waterproof to about 50 m (165 feet), but the later models were highly acclaimed for being waterproof to 100 m (330 feet).

Why the Third Generation Daytona Paul Newman Model is So Popular

Finally, if you like Daytona, you'll want the third generation Paul Newman.

To briefly explain the Paul Newman, it is what Rolex once called an "exotic" dial, now commonly known as the Paul Newman dial, after the legendary American Hollywood star wore it on the cover of an Italian magazine.

This Paul Newman dial features several distinctive design features that set it apart from the standard Daytona dial.

Firstly, it has Art Deco numerals on the three registers.

Rolex-Paul Newman Dial Dial Features.jpg

Additionally, the subdial at 9 o'clock has the numbers 15, 30, 45, and 60 instead of the 20, 40, and 60 that are found on regular Daytona dials.

If you want to know more about the differences, check out this video:

The reason why the third-generation Daytona is a masterpiece is that the Paul Newman model was only produced up to the third generation, and therefore the screw-down buttons that were installed on the third-generation Daytona are only found in the third generation.

Production of the fourth generation was discontinued.

3rd generation Daytona Paul Newman model Ref.6265 with Cal.727 movement

Collectors are attracted to the fact that, even though it is a screw-down watch, it is still a Paul Newman model.

The market for Paul Newman Daytona watches is currently very strong, with values ​​steadily increasing.

Prices for third generation Paul Newman dials start at well over tens of millions for the most affordable examples and increase from there depending on factors such as the rarity of the dial and its overall condition.

When it comes to highly collectible vintage models like these, there is a ceiling on price and they become more scarce and harder to purchase with each passing year.

As such, it is expected that the Daytona will continue to be an object of desire, and the popularity of almost all models is unlikely to wane in the future.

And if you're lucky enough to have one in your collection, you'll be happy to know that its value is headed for an upward trend as well.

Although these are not watches that everyone can afford, learning about the appeal and history of Rolex's most popular models, the king of watch brands, may be the catalyst that takes you into a more enjoyable world of wristwatches.