“I have always had a thing for the Daytona. My timepiece is unparalleled, it bears details that make it unique as a Formula 1 car, as my car.” Rubens Barichello isn’t the only fan of the Daytona around – it is arguably the world’s most popular fine timepiece after all – but he is one of the rare few that get to build their own.
Following in the part-time horologist footsteps of legendary Colombian racer Juan Pablo Montoya, Brazilian ex-F1 driver Barichello has worked with custom Rolex specialists Artisans de Geneve on a unique limited edition of the Daytona: La Barichello.
As in a car the engine – the movement – is the most important part of any watch and here it’s on full display. The entire dial bar a triplet of subdial rings has been removed to show off the reimagined 4130 calibre. The movement itself has been reworked from top to bottom with every possible component skeletonised and hand-bevelled. The result is something that works just as the Daytona movement should, but is new beast entirely.
There are plenty of other touches that set La Barichello apart from the base Daytona model too. Sandblasted lugs and black DLC-coated chronograph pushers give the piece an edgier, modern look, leaning into the technical feel of the skeletonization. Against that monochrome style the flashes of hand-painted red on counters, chronograph seconds hand and tachymeter seriously pop.
The final flourish is the rotor. Inspired by the shape of Barichello’s car trim, the 21ct gold rotor has been hand-bevelled and polished, finished in a black DLC coating to match the pushers and bridges.
This exceptional take on the Daytona is a world away from the original, transformed by Barichello’s automotive inspiration and an obsessive level of attention to detail. Sure, to the Rolex purists out there it’s probably an affront to nature but if you’re looking for a new spin on the Daytona, La Barichello has you covered. For more details visit Artisans de Genève here.
Price: CHF 54,711