2016 Rolex Daytona 116500LN White Dial vs Black Dial

October 24, 2016

At Baselworld 2016 Rolex introduced the first stainless steel Cosmograph Daytona configuration to feature a Cerachrom ceramic bezel insert. The 116500LN became in instant sensation, with waiting lists around the world forming only minutes after the watchmaker revealed the configuration. It is available with either a white dial, as shown to the left in the photo below, or a black dial, as shown to the right. The white dial version has become the most popular, with the black dial version offering a more subdued, monochromatic take for those interested in having the current 'it' watch without being flashy about it. 

2016 Rolex Daytona 116500LN with White Dial (left) and Black Dial (right) (photo: Rolex/Ihtesham Ismail)
The combination of Rolex's 904L stainless steel and Cerachrom ceramic is perfect for a watch worn on a daily basis. These materials are highly resistant to scratching and fading, maintaining their appearance even in the most extreme environments. Although this particular model is currently fetching a premium due to consumer demand, it is still a sporty, casual watch originally created for the race track. The white dial version looks sportier than the black dial, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on where you plan on wearing it. It goes great with blue jeans and Bermuda shorts, but it would take a very stylish person to pull it off with a suit at a black tie affair.

With the dial in black and sub-dials outlined in silver, the Daytona blends in more with the rest of Rolex's professional models. Most of the stainless steel models I see on the street or in wrist shots online feature a black dial. The lack of contrast technically makes the dial less legible than the white, but the balance creates a more sophisticated aesthetic. This version is ideal for someone looking for an understated chronograph that still features the latest technological advances of the watchmaker. The fact that it doesn't stand out so much makes it a better fit for a formal event than the white dial version, though opinions on whether a sports watch is appropriate for formal attire vary.

Reminiscent of the checkered flag, the white dial Daytona 116500LN configuration is perfect for fans of racing and the watch's legacy dating back to the 1960s. The black dial version is ideal for those Rolex collectors and enthusiasts looking for a solid everyday sports watch that doesn't call too much attention to their wrists. Regardless of which you choose, the 116500LN is sure to please. For more information on either of these configurations, visit rolex.com.


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