This weekend marked the 100th running of the 24 hour race of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France, and Rolex took full advantage of the occasion with the release of a new Daytona with a dial that recalls the now famous ‘exotic’ dial, aka Newman dial, of older references. This release is surprising for a few reasons, and may even offer some insight to what we might expect from Rolex moving forward. We’ll get to all that, but in many ways, this is the Daytona that enthusiasts have been asking for since the late ‘80s – it’s the ‘greatest hits’ watch, perfectly capitalizing on the the new Daytona chassis released just earlier this year at Watches & Wonders, which we went hands-on with right here.
First and foremost, Rolex is not in the habit of dropping new releases outside of their regular yearly cadence. We last saw it with the release of the Deepsea Challenge in late 2022, the first commercial Rolex to tout their RLX titanium material. While that watch could be considered something of an outlier, given its rather extreme nature, the Daytona is another story entirely. This new reference, the 126529LN officially, joins the new collection as a regular production model. That reference number ends in four characters that have never appeared together in the Daytona family, the 29 indicating a full white gold case and bracelet, and LN, or Lunette Noir, meaning it sports a black Cerachrom bezel.