This week, we had the pleasure of catching up with our good friend, Zak Marar - an avid watch enthusiast. He spoke to us about his 'Daytona story', and what the watch means to him... There are watches that you buy because you like them. Then there are watches you buy because you have an emotional connection with them. I've always felt a special bond witn my white dial Rolex Daytona 116520.
I first learned of the Daytona from my cousin around the year 2000, as well as of Rolex more generally. Now that I look back, he must have bought one of the references just after the Zenith models. I still remember trying on his white face Daytona.
It was and still is, his pride and joy. As I remember, I was struck by the look, the feel, and the significance of the price, and thought, "How beautiful is this watch?". He was so passionate about the Daytona, and his enthusiasm was infectious from the first moment I saw it.
The stainless steel bracelet, the tachymeter bezel, the white dial, the sub-registers, and even the word Daytona in red all appealed to me. It's hard to describe the feeling I had as anything other than ‘love at first try’. Over the years, as my watch collection changed and evolved and my tastes changed and evolved accordingly, the Daytona has always been on my mind, but I perhaps prioritized other options, other flavors, if you will, knowing in the back of my mind that my first horological love would always be waiting for me.
I'm not sure if I would ever use the term 'grail watch'. It's an often overused term that for me, gives too much of a sense of finality to what is effectively an evolving journey. Grail signifies a destination, an end, and I don't think there is one. After all, what do you buy after you've acquired your grill? Some twenty years after first trying on the Daytona, I decided it was time to add one to my own humble collection.
After falling in love with the white dial variant all those years ago, it was never really in doubt as to which version I would choose. As soon as I got the watch in my hands, it was love at first try all over again. That rush of feelings, of memories, of association to my cousin who is like a brother to me. As corny as it may sound, I think that this positive emotional connection I'm talking about, that's where the real joy of our hobby lies.
I'll never sell that Daytona, ever. It brings a smile to my face every time I see it. It's now my collection permanently and will eventually go to one of my children. But you know what? I can't help thinking it would be better in a pair so I may just have to buy that black dial version as well. After all, it's an emotional thing.