Lot #1320

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 16520 1997 Overall Winner 24 Hours Daytona

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Perhaps one of the most iconic timepieces to have ever hit the market, the Rolex Daytona is widely recognized as one of the most desirable watches there is. Distinguished by its three generations, what we have here is the 2nd generation 5-digit reference, known as the "Zenith" Daytonas due to their movement (the Rolex cal. 4030) being a heavily modified version of the Zenith-supplied El Primero movement. Forgoing its date function, slowing the movement's frequency down to increase the power reserve, and featuring fewer parts to improve reliability, the cal. 4030 found within the Zenith Daytonas is one of the finest pieces of horological engineering to come out of the late 80s and 90s (1988-2000). Still a mechanically astute timepiece to this day, the Zenith Daytona exists through a wide variety of references, of which, the ref. 16520 is the purest. A wonderful expression of Rolex's engineering capabilities and the consistency in their iconic design language, the Zenith Daytona is the unsung hero in the Daytona's lineage. Still, it won't be for long when collectors begin to unravel the story and see the value these incredible timepieces hold. Since 1992, Rolex has sponsored the 24 Hours of Daytona race, and winners in each class have been awarded a Cosmograph Daytona as a prize. These watches are treasured by the winners as a testament to their driving prowess and serve as ultimate bragging rights amongst their peers.

Loupe This Scorecard


M 9


Vetted & Approved


Box, Papers, Booklets and Daytona Race Photographs

Est. value range

$80,000 – $100,000

The Details








Automatic cal. 4030




Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet






Stainless Steel


Watch, Box, Papers, Booklets and Daytona Race Photographs

Dial Color



Fitted with the Daytona's most sought-after dial variant, this ref. 16520 features the white "Panda" dial with its charming tritium lume.


Ever since Rolex became the official timekeeper of the "24-hours of Daytona" endurance race in 1992 — also now known as the Rolex 24 — the race's winners have been awarded a specially engraved Daytona Cosmograph. This example was awarded to John Schneider of the Dyson Racing team for being the overall winner that year.


This reading was taken (crown down) with a ONEOF Accuracy Boutique Edition timing machine at time of cataloging. It is provided as a courtesy only, and shall not be construed as a warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please refer to our terms and conditions of sale for more information.


In near-mint overall condition. Watch appears almost unworn, with only small signs of use. The bezel has all the black in the enameling intact, and shows only trace amounts of wear along the edge. The case has its original finish with sharp brushed surfaces and shinly polished case sides. The back engraving is deep and crisp, as are the edges where the brushed and polished surfaces meet. The dial is mint and shows no sings of wear. The bracelet has 13 links total, 3 of which are removable. Watch is accompanied by the original accessories as well as two pictures of the winning car.

Our Perspective

An incredibly important Daytona featuring a tangible link to the very racetrack that the Daytona is named after, the 24 Hours at Daytona winner's watches are some of the most highly-coveted Rolex timepieces on the planet. Drivers have often commented that the reason they participate in the 24 Hours Daytona race is to "Win the damned watch." Here is your opportunity to get the trophy without entering the race! While any "Winner Daytona" is a prize in its own right, most examples that come up for sale are either from class winners, or team members. It is very rare to be able to acquire one that was from an overall winner, such as this example from John Schneider.

Eric Ku