Some watch collectors are omnivorous, grazing from across the landscape of brands, models, and types of pieces. Others hunt down pieces in a single genre: racing, pilots, or divers watches. Others still obsess over buying the very best from a single brand. But there are also a few very special models that, entirely on their own, beckon hordes of collectors. The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona—which comes in stainless steel, set with a rainbow of sapphires, in platinum, with exotic dials, and 18-carat yellow gold, and so on—is one of those watches.
As Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer recently wrote in an ode to chronograph watches in GQ, “these three [the Daytona, the Omega Speedmaster, and the Heuer Carrera] represent entire categories of collecting and scholarship unto themselves, and over the past seven decades they have rightly reached a level of appreciation that in some cases surpasses even the brands that produce