My “Baby Blue” Daytona, reference 6239, was featured in Hodinkee’s comprehensive Reference Points series on the Rolex Daytona. I was also given the opportunity to write in the column – my contribution is below:
“Within the broader (non-Rolex) collector community, early Daytona references are a bit of a lightning rod. On paper, the reference 6239 admittedly doesn’t seem all that different from its peers of the era – they all had Valjoux 72 movements, Singer dials, nearly identical dimensions, and inverse subdial colors. In the metal, however, I believe it is undeniable that the Daytona simply does everything a little bit better than the rest. The oyster case and bracelet are industry standards, the Singer dials have many design elements unique to Rolex, and the adjusted movement is tangibly improved over the stock Valjoux 72. Oh, and it has that little crown logo at the 12 o’clock position. With seemingly endless design variations over decades of production, it’s easy for me to understand why the Daytona has captivated collectors for years on end.
The reference that has always been most interesting to me is where it all began: the 6239. With pump pushers and a slightly smaller case than the subsequent screwdown references, the 6239 had a simpler aesthetic and more refined presence on the wrist. My favorite Daytona is the early matte white dial 6239, which was only produced in 1963 and is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of “if you know, you know.”
Given the rarity of these matte white 6239s, I pivoted to the more attainable “Baby Blue” 6239 when it came time to hunt down a Daytona of my own. This design featured an inverse panda dial, silver script, and the slightest blue tint to the “Daytona” lettering above the lower subdial, and while it isn’t the rarest or most exotic Daytona, it is a design that has looked good for over 50 years and will look just as good 50 years from now. As if my love of the Daytona needed any more gravitas, my 6239 was purchased to mark the birth of our first child and it reminds me of that special time in life every time I pick it up.”
You can read the full article here: https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/understanding-the-rolex-non-paul-newman-daytona