As a former billiard player and watch enthusiast, I was lucky enough to meet Romain Rea, which marked the beginning of a beautiful collaboration and friendship. Now, I have been working in the watchmaking world for more than 20 years.
After having been director of our head office at 26 rue du Bac, I am now in our new boutique near the Champs Elysées, at 25 rue Marbeuf.
Today, the watch I wear is a very beautiful Rolex Daytona Big Red Ref. 6265, silver dial with black counters. Of course it is a mythical watch, but to me, it is mostly a reflection of a whole page of watchmaking and sports history and a timeless chronograph.
The Daytona, named after the famous Daytona Beach racing circuit in Florida, first watchmade in 1963. Since then, it respects more or less met the same criteria: a chronograph function, a Valjoux 72 caliber and highly legible counters. Reliability and performance are the key words that define this iconic model; and that is why it became the reward for the winners of the famous 24H of Daytona.
I love the history of this watch, linked to the world of sport and the automobile. Cut for the race and worn by both Paul Newman and Jean Paul Belmondo, it represents the time of all challenges and all possibilities.
The reference 6265 was introduced on the market at the same time as the 6263, in 1969. Both models adopt the famous screwed pusher-buttons that make the watch water-resistant to 50 m. This novelty, enabling daily wear, attracts buyers. The difference between the two references is the stainless steel bezel on the 6265, and not the black epoxy bezel on the 6263, which gives the watch a more contemporary and refined look.
And it is this modernity we find in the red “Daytona” inscription above the 6 o’clock counter that reinforces the watch’s sporty spirit. This signature of the Manufacture in red on the dial, hence the name “Big Red”, also makes it a collector’s item.
Beyond the fact that it is a watchmaking icon, I find it very balanced and homogeneous in terms of size and contrast of the dial and the counters. Modern and vintage… a true oxymoron and yet it is the challenge held by Rolex with the Reference 6265.