At Basel Watch Show in the spring of 1988 Rolex officially presented on the market the new version of one of its most representative models, the Daytona.
The new references available were three, 16520 and 16528, respectively with a stainless steel and 18kt yellow gold case, 16523 the two-tone steel / gold version.
The three new Daytona references presented in 1988.
This innovative Daytona model differed from the previous references 6263/6265 for the adoption of a self-winding caliber, the Rolex 4030, developed on the basis of the famous Zenith El Primero; moreover, considerable attention was devoted into the design which resulted to be completely renewed both in the form and in the technique of the case, bezel and dial.
A disassembled  Rolex Daytona reference 16520.
Unlike the manual winding caliber Daytona models which for several years were not very appreciated by the public, the new Daytona 1652/0/8/3 model immediately became a huge commercial success.
Soon after its presentation long waiting lists were already forming at official Rolex dealers.
As it happens today with the reference 116500LN with the ceramic bezel, many collectors were even willing to pay far above the official Rolex price-list to add one to their collection.
A comparison between black and white dial Rolex Daytona reference 116500LN.
It is opinion of many that it is the presentation of the new reference with automatic caliber that determines the birth of the myth of the Daytona,
Almost simultaneously to the commercialization of reference 1652x even the previous models with manual winding caliber were positively re-evaluated by collectors.
A manual winding Daytona reference 6263.
The myth of the Daytona will not be a passing wave dictated by the novelty, but it will continue to increase exponentially over the years to follow.
There are countless web publications, books, themed auctions that had Daytona as their absolute protagonist.
A few recent publications dedicated to the Daytona.
The first automatic Daytona produced in 1988 and 1989 have a series of special and unique features that make them highly sought after by collectors all over the world.
In particular, the dials come with the particular detached “Cosmograph” writing, the serial numbers of the COSC movements are very low, the bezels, the famous “UPH 200”, have a particular graphic setting that will no longer be used in subsequent series.
A rare first series Rolex Daytona reference 16520 with a detached “Cosmograph” writing and a “200 UPH” bezel.
Today we want to offer our readers a technical analysis of those early and rare “UPH 200” bezels which were mounted on the very first specimens produced, that is, those with serial numbers between R and low L.
An american Daytona original booklet dated 1988 showing the “200 UPH” bezel mounted on the first Daytona produced.
We hope that the present illustration of the characteristics of the “200 UPH” bezels will be useful for any collector willing to make more informed and prudent purchases.
Given the rarity and the economic value of the “UPH 200″ bezels, the counterfeits on the market today are extremely wide spread.
Fakers are recently using very advanced techniques to produce the counterfeited “200 UPH” bezels, therefore distinguishing the originals from the fakes is becoming a quite difficult task for the less experienced eye.
A rare first series Rolex Daytona reference 16528 with a detached “Cosmograph” writing and a “200 UPH” bezel.
First of all, it is necessary to note a very important fact, perhaps not yet sufficiently known to the Rolex collecting community.
It is now established that the original “200 UPH” bezels of the reference 1652/0/3/8 are of two different types, not only one as it was thought until recently.
The presence of two different types of bezels in such a short production period might seem an oddity.
However this fact can be explained by the likely simultaneous production of these bezels by two different Rolex suppliers.
Going in order, let’s first analyze the classic “200 UPH” bezel MK1 both in the steel and gold versions, which are identical for the graphic setting, different for the material.
“200 UPH” MK1 steel bezel
“200 UPH” MK1 gold bezel
In this collage we show some peculiarities of the MK1″200 UPH” bezels.
“200 UPH” MK1 bezel details.
Let’s now pass to the recently identified “UPH200” bezel both in the gold and steel version, which for convenience we will call MK1BIS.
As happens with the MK1, the graphic setting of the Mk1BIS for gold and steel is absolutely identical, only the material changes.
“200 UPH” MK1BIS steel bezel
“200 UPH” MK1BIS gold bezel
As for the Mk1 “200 UPH” bezel let’s take a further look at the details of the Mk1BIS “200 UPH” bezel.
“200 UPH” MK1BIS bezel details.
Note that :
– The distance between the number 80 and the corresponding dot is greater in the Mk1 BIS bezel.
– The writing Units per Hour is differently aligned in the two versions.
– The lower part of the bezel has slightly different graphics.
We facilitate the comparison for faster identification.
MK1 and Mk1BIS bezel comparison
Here a comparison between the “200 UPH” MK1 and MK1BIS bezel in the steel version.
MK1 and MK1BIS in steel side by side.
Here the comparison between “200 UPH” MK1 and MK1BIS bezel in gold.
MK1 and MK1BIS in gold side by side.
Lastly, we show all the possible “200 UPH” MK1 and MK1BIS steel and gold combinations.
MK1 and MK1BIS bezels in all materials combination.
Now you should be able to distinguish the MK1 and MK1BIS first series bezels for the Rolex Daytona reference 1652/0/8/3.
If you might have questions or doubts do not hesitate to contact us, we will be glad to help !





2 commenti

  • Paolo Magheri (6263paolo)4 anni ago

    Complimenti per il lavoro svolto, veramente interessante!!
    Cercando di vedere delle differenze nei vari 16520 R ho notato che nella stragrande maggioranza dei 16520 che ho visto, riportano la ghiera MK1. Solo in un caso ho visto la MK1 BIS(oro). Esiste una relazione tra ghiere e seriali??
    Complimenti ancora.