Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Ultimate Rolex Daytona The Ultimate Connoisseur's Book by Pucci Papaleo Editore



The Complete History Of

The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph


Part 2: Daytona Models Through Time

Part 1 of the Complete History of the Rolex Daytona covers Rolex's history and evolution of the watch. Part 2 covers the watches in chronological order, with special thanks to Pucci  Papaleo Editore.






...Rolex Super Coolness...

The Ultimate Rolex Daytona

The Ultimate Connoisseur's Book
by Pucci Papaleo Editore


I am so excited to finally be able to share this review of the all-new Ultimate Rolex Daytona Book by Pucci Papeleo Editore!!! Why and I so excited!?! Pucci's Ultimate Rolex Daytona is like no book I have ever seen in my life!!!

The book is a highly limited edition of only 599 copies and retails for around $5000 U.S., which puts it in a class all by itself. When I first heard that it was $5000 I remember thinking to myself that was crazy!?!? No book could be worth that much money...That was until I saw a copy in person. Basically the book completely blew my mind!!!!

If you are thinking about purchasing a copy, the first 399 units which are referred to as a SPECIAL PRICE EDITION are €4,000 (just over $5,000 U.S.), and numbers 400 through 599, referred to as the CLASSIC EDITION will be €6,000 Euros (just over $7,800 U.S.), and they are already more than halfway sold through the first 399 units, having sold 204. Each book has a serial number and is signed by the author.




Pucci decided to create the ultimate Rolex Daytona Book by sourcing the rarest and most beautiful Rolex Daytona models in the word. Many of which have never been seen by the public. This absolute masterpiece is over 600 pages long, and it is printed on a special 10 color Heidelberg press that has the craziest high-defention printing I have ever seen in my life! 

The book comes with its own protective wood showcase box that has a built-in book stand, which is pictured below. The case also has a transparent plexiglass window, so you can see the cover of the book.

The coolest feature, is the protective wooden showcase box has hidden locks on it, so nobody can open it unless they know how to. This ensures that a child won't get to it with crayons, and also protects your investment from being seen by anybody without you to make certain they handle the book properly.




The image below shows the Ultimate Rolex Daytona book with the custom wood showcase box opened. The book is larger than it likely appears in the photos. The front and rear book hard-covers are made from 8mm thick crushproof wood, which give the book an amazing industrial-strenght heft. The book has been entirely handcrafted using 100 years old gluing and spine reinforcement techniques. The spine of the book is made from high-quality leather, which means it is built to last forever. 





The book also come with a Mini-Me version which is pictured above and it is identical, just scaled down to 36%. The small version 6.5 inches (16.3cm) wide by x 5 inches (12.6cm) tall x 2.25 inches (6cm) thick without the protective case.  The idea is the smaller version can be used for quick reference without having to access the main book. Pucci Papaleo Editore offers the miniature version or the book which can be purchased separately for 380 Euros which is around $500 U.S.

If you are a daily reader of Jake's Rolex World, you have likely heard me talk a lot about design. This makes sense, since I am a designer, and nothing turns me on more than great design. I have also pointed out that there is nothing on earth like super-high-end Italian design, and this book is one of the best examples I can think of. Pucci Papaleo Editore are basically Rolex Daytona fanatics of the highest order, and they pushed the envelope and went to a bizarre extreme to create this absolute masterpiece!!!

You can purchase the Ultimate Rolex Daytona book and learn much more about this book by visiting the Pucci Papaleo website.

Making The Masterpiece


The photo below shows some of the team members who worked on  creating The Ultimate Rolex Daytona book. Pucci Papaleo is pictured on the right side sitting down, and he is wearing a brown sweater.




The photo below shows the a Sinar P2 optical hence, with Rodenstock objectives. A different set was customized for each watch that was photographed. All photos were shot using constant tungsten light. Each watch required 2 days os shooting to get the photography just perfect, which is one of the reasons it took 4 years to shoot the book.


The photo above and below show the photography setup for shooting the Rolex Daytona models. This next photo shows Pucci Papaleo in the shooting studio set, and he is approving digital versions to make all details are correct.



The next photo shows photo proofs laying on a studio table so they could approve the sort order and quality of images before the first prototype of the book was printed.



The quality of photograph and models include in the Ultimate Rolex Daytona Book are breathtaking!!!





Inside The Ultimate Rolex Daytona Book


The Ultimate Rolex Daytona Book begins with an introduction from Piero Ferrari. The meticulously researched book offers a completely detailed history of the Rolex Daytona watch, and most importantly, offers a comprehensive history of automobile racing on Daytona Beach, in Florida. The Ultimate Rolex Daytona is, by far and away, the most definitive book written on the subject, and it is doubtful anybody will ever surpass it in the future.





Daytona Beach is pictured below in the 1950s. Notice that back then people used to park their cars on the beach. Car racing and speed testing began with cars actually racing down Daytona Beach, as pictured below. 



The photo below shows the old Daytona Beach race track. Yes, they used to actually race cars on the sandy beach!?!



This next photo (below) shows construction taking place for the Daytona race track which replaced the sandy beach course pictured above.



This next photo shows the Daytona track in the late 1960s.



This next photo below, shows the Daytona race track in the 1980s



The most famous person to ever wear a Rolex Daytona was acting legend and race card driver, Paul Newman. Paul Newman wore multiple Rolex Daytona models.





The Ultimate Rolex Daytona book by Pucci Papaleo begins by covering a great deal of Daytona racing history, which covers the entire history of Daytona Beach.




After covering the history of Daytona racing, Pucci Papaleo showcases many, many beautiful Rolex Daytona watches. Pucci allowed me to share some images with you as seen below. The quality of the photos in the book are stunning. It took Pucci 4 years just to photograph all the watches contained in his book.

The level of detail in the photos are staggering. You can see details much better in the huge photos, than by viewing a watch in your hand.


Ultra-Rare Albino Daytona
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6239]
Page 200

This is an ultra-rare Rolex Daytona referred to by collectors as the Albino Daytona. It is believed to be one of a kind, and it was once owned by Eric Clapton.






Customized Red Hand
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6241]
Page 224

This Rolex Daytona bears the serial number of 1.7 Million and it has an oversized DAYTONA designation. Apparently, the large second hand was customized.






Paul Newman Exotic Dial
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6241]
Page 233





Ultra-Rare Hermes Model
Paul Neman Exotic Dial
Yellow Gold Rolex Daytona
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6241]
Page 236

This is an ultra-rare yellow gold Paul Newman exotic dial Rolex Daytona that was made for and retailed by Hermes. I am in complete awe of this watch!!! or should I say, I am feeling verklempt ;-) This watch is just over-the-top-crazy-cool!!!!





Paul Newman Exotic Dial
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6262]
Page 281





Yellow Gold Daytona
Cherry Red Daytona Designation
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6262]
Page 285







Nero Dial Yellow Gold Daytona
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6264]
Page 301







Paul Newman Exotic Dial
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6264]
Page 313





Ultra-Rare
Black & White Daytona
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6240]
Page 341






New Old Stock
Black Dial with Cherry Logo
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6263]
Page 341







Paul Newman Exotic Dial Oyter
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6263]
Page 345

If you compare this watch with the Stainless Steel Paul Newman Exotic dial Reference 6241 on page 233, it looks remarkably similar in its design language until you really start looking at details. This one ads waterproof Oyster case, which offers screw-dwon pushers locks, and it has a folded link Oyster bracelet v. a riveted link Oyster bracelet. This really illustrates the beauty of Rolex watches–how well & how much they evolve.





Yellow Gold Cosmograph
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6263]
Page 357







UAE Desert Eagle Daytona
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6263]
Page 400







Omani Exotic Dial
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6265]
Page 496-497







UAE Desert Eagle Exotic Dial
[Rolex Daytona Reference 6265]
Page 508-509







White Porcelain Dial
[Rolex Daytona Reference 16520]
Page 540





Prototype Dial Stainless Steel
[Rolex Daytona Reference 16520]
Page 561




Yellow Gold Daytona
with White Porcelain Dial 
[Rolex Daytona Reference 16520]
Page 572





Yellow Gold Daytona
with Blue Soleil Dial 
Limited Edition of 10 Examples
[Rolex Daytona Reference 16528]
Page 584




Pucci Papaleo Interview


I interviewed Pucci Papaleo for my review, and he was absolutely fascinating. I found his passion and fascination for Rolex to be incredible. The following is an interview with Pucci Papaleo where he talks about his background and inspiration to create The Ultimate Rolex Daytona Book:

Pucci Papaleo is pictured above in the photo studio shooting The Ultimate Rolex Daytona

In the mid ‘80s I was in my twenties and I opened a publishing house, nourishing a strong passion for graphic arts and printed paper.

In 1995, a friend of mine, a great Italian Patek Philippe collector, showed me his timepieces. Soon after, he invited me to go with him to important international auctions in Geneva. I accepted and I did the right thing. For the first time I entered a enchanted  world made of small stunning objects and people always on the verge of a new ‘treasure hunt’!

At that time, the market was more ‘welcoming’ than it is today. Firstly, the value given to the watches was a bit more held down and secondly  internet was definitely not such a popular way of communication for both buyers and sellers.

Anyway, once ‘entered’ in the fascinating world  of vintage watches I had the chance to admire a lot of extraordinary pieces.

The following  step was to crisscross the fervor for watches with the passion for my work. On May 1997, finally after one embryonic  year  the first number of the monthly magazine Orlogi&Market was released and available in the Italian news-stands. A magazine dedicated to watch collection and vintage market. It was an immediate success, being the first meeting point for both watch collectors and watch dealers.

In the meantime, my initial interest for vintage Patek Philippe gradually gave way to Rolex. As my knowledge on watches increased, the more I became fascinated with the graphic details of a chronographs from the 1940s, and in particular, by the many Rolex watch models and cases before the Daytona ones.


In those years I became a true connoisseur of Rolex chronographs. Finally, this passion became a true project. In 2003, my publishing house released the first book about watches. It was named “I Cronografi Rolex – La Leggenda” (Rolex Chronograph –The Legend). Obviously, dedicated to my favourite timepieces. 
Together with my staff, it took us about one year and a half to get it into print.  The quality was quite fine, given the fact that it was a product realized by means of industrial manufacturing.

Today I must say that I seldom get satisfied when it comes to judge a vintage watch.  The only timepiece that move me are ones  in flawless, like-new condition–which rarely happens.

Even though from a quantity point of view it may not be satisfactory, my search for perfection at least is fulfilling from a quality point of view.

According to this principle, soon after the first book I had on my mind the idea to realize an ‘extreme’ editorial product. First of all, I had to spot the subject that justify such a great effort. A huge ’chain’ would have been involved, which implied also a considerable financial effort.

It didn’t take me much time to understand that the right subject was the Rolex Daytona–a real worldwide icon. The industrial icon of the Twentieth century.

The initial concept of the ‘Ultimate Rolex Daytona’ goes back to 2006.

Rolex has numbered the Rolex Cosmograph in a few references, while the dials display a lot of variants with the graphic details. Some of these are well identified by the devotees (for example, the so called ‘Paul Newman’) and others a little less, due to their rarity.

Therefore the basic idea was to tell the story of this model inspired by an exceptional photographic path, which consisted in tracking down and photographing a considerable number of ‘special’ Daytona models, including prototype models that had never been seen before by the public.


For example, the pulsometre scale dials, the famous albino, the bespoke versions signed by Qaboos, the green or red Omani swords. Up to the ‘military’ ones or the versions which featured unique patina colors which rendered the timepieces ever so interesting from a collectors’ point of view. 


At the beginning of 2007 we began to take pictures of these watches. I knew many watch collectors who shared my same passion for beautiful and particular timepieces, therefore I had the chance to take picture at a big quantity of extraordinary pieces.

As for the techniques, my priority was to obtain images that would give back the sense of matter of form to the observer. The same consistency and density of both steel and gold, the finishing details of the enamels used for dial graphics, the glass reflections, the leather used for the straps.  The observer had to forget that he was leafing through sheets of paper.


I knew the ideal interpreters for this work. Through my publishing house I had published books and magazines illustrating many of their pictures. Precious pearls portraying forms of art and architecture.

One evening I was sipping a coffee together with  Pino Abbrescia and Fabio Santinelli in their Face2Face studio. They listened to my proposal with the curiosity of those who are used to get back into the game, who are ready to discover new tracks. They asked me to leave them a couple of watches for a few weeks. Soon after they accepted. I had to wait 5 years before admiring their work, but I already knew in that moment that the book would have exhibited pictures never seen before.

As for the research and the historical and chronological recap of the Daytona production, we availed ourselves  -  besides my own personal knowledge - of the precious expertise of international watch collection world ‘insiders’. 

The signature of all those who cooperated to bring this book to life belong to people who represent in their field the best I could have ever found. 
My personal goal with creating The Ultimate Rolex Daytona book was to once and for all, create an ultimate showcase that not only showed the most beautiful and rare Rolex Daytona models in the most immersive way possible, but I also wanted to present them in the best and most accurate historical context. In other words, I created The Ultimate Daytona book for anybody who wanted to enjoy the entire Rolex Daytona experience from it beginning up to the present. 

By using such high quality camera and a super-high quality printing press you can see an incredible amount of detail in The Ultimate Rolex Daytona book that your eye could not see when holding a Daytona in your hand, and that is really part of the beauty of these watches–being able to see the immense amount of engineering detail that Rolex built into these watches.

If you wanted to put together a collection of watches like the ones covered in the book, you would have to spend millions of dollars and the cost to insure them annually would be much, much greater than the price of the book. In my mind, owning a copy of The Ultimate Rolex Daytona is kind of like having the ultimate Rolex Daytona collection without having to worry about taking care of them. I am certain that anybody who acquires a copy of The Ultimate Rolex Daytona Book will enjoy it for the rest of their lives.


You can purchase the Ultimate Rolex Daytona book and learn much more about this book by visiting the Pucci Papaleo website.

I hope you enjoyed reading Part 2 of The Complete History Of The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph on Jake's Rolex World. In case you missed Part 1 of The Complete History Of The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph on Jake's Rolex World, I highly recommend you check it out.

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