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  1. #1


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    Default Review & FAQ of ROLEX Daytona Asian 7750 "Seconds at '6"

    First, I want to say that this isn't my watch, it was sent to me for a review by a fellow member ***Stephane***. I always wanted to buy one of these, but because of the infamous movement setup (more about that later) I have always backed down. But I definitely wanted to photograph and review this famous replica for the community.

    There is no proper "FAQ" of the Daytona 116520, although it's one of the most requested watches among the new members. Let's change that. Stephane was generous enough to borrow his Daytona for this exact purpose. Big thanks!

    Read Stephane's original pictorial of this watch HERE. That review includes some remarkably good photos.

    If I ever had a favorite in the Daytona lineup, it was this exact model: White dial with silver/champagne subdial circles and hands. The "2001 model", to be exact. It has very understated and "low key" look. White SS Daytona isn't a flashy watch. It's probably not something that non-watch people would ever notice. But somehow, that's exactly why this particular model is so attractive. Apparently this is the case among the collectors too: white dial stainless version is hands down the most desirable version.

    If I had to use just one word to describe this Daytona, it would be "classy". A term that watch people have rarely connected to the recent Rolex models and releases.


    THE FIRST IMPRESSION:

    Before this I have never seen a Daytona "in the flesh", not genuine or a rep. It has such a legendary status in the watch world, so I was curious to see how it looks and feels. Say what you want about reps, but the high end ones are perfect for that. Anyone who considers to invest $7-10K on a genuine could benefit from reps that way. Wear it for a few months and see if it really is the right watch for you.

    When I opened the package, I noticed that Stephane had included two extra links for me (in case I wanted to try it on). There was also the Daytona user manual and some other niceties. Certainly something that I could use in my photo setups.

    The first surprise was the size. Of course I knew the diameter was the standard 40 millimeters, but it was still quite shocking to realize how small the Daytona was. I have been wearing my new Aquaracer Chronograph a lot lately, and compared to that, Daytona looked more like a mid-size watch. I can't help but notice that it also looks a bit "old fashioned", next to Aquaracer. To be honest, I'm not that impressed with the Daytona.
    It wears considerably smaller than a Sub and GMT Master. Mainly because of the smooth bezel shape, and because the bezel edges just barely exceed the lugs.
    It's certainly true: When you get used to bigger watches, the small ones start to feel a bit strange. But then again, Daytona is definitely not too small to wear, it's just "compact". Actually the size is perfect for men with smaller wrists. It would probably look cool on ladies as well.

    On the other hand, back in the seventies and eighties all sports Rolexes were considered bulky and huge. And many older people still consider them "big". Maybe these things go in cycles.


    THE MOVEMENT:
    The single most important article about this replica Daytona has been written by Ziggyzumba. His review and breakdown of the exact movement (that's used in this watch) is HERE. (Available for RWG VIPs only).

    When Rolex replaced the Zenith El Primero motor with an inhouse 4130 chronograph movement in 2000, they moved the running seconds to '6.

    When the replica factories released this arrangement, it was first considered a small miracle. But soon the members' problems with this movement started to arise. The natural subdial arrangement of ETA/Asian Valjoux is 12-9-6. So making the replica function visually like the Rolex caliber 4130, the 7750 had to be forced to run in an unnatural evinronment. Transforming the seconds from '9 to '6 has been achieved by adding 11 extra gears to the movement. (Read Ziggy's fascinating review for more detailed explanation).

    This modification is potentially very problematic. Some members have reported that their Daytonas have been working flawlessly for a year or two, but many members have suffered from various problems only after weeks or months (or even days) of use. Stephane's watch seems to be running flawlessly (at least for now).


    THE ALTERNATIVES:

    1. Build a Zenith El Primero Daytona frankenwatch
    This is very expensive and hardcore option. Except to use 2-3 thousand dollars for a project like this. Ubiquitous have done it (among very few other members). Ubi actually built two amazing El Primero-powered Daytonas. They're very famous watches in the community, and without a doubt the best Daytona "reps" we have ever seen.

    Read about the work-in-progress project HERE.
    Read about the finished products HERE.
    Read Ziggy's excellent and detailed review of the legendary chronograph movement "El Primero" HERE.

    2. Buy an older "seconds at '9" Daytona replica
    This is the cheaper option. There are older replicas of the Daytona, that have running seconds at '9. This arrangement tries to copy the older Zenith El Primero-powered Daytona (the model that Ubiquitous built). "Tricompax" layout (subdials at 9-6-3) is not a natural 7750 evinronment either, but this setup has been achieved by using only a few extra gears. The movements in these older reps are low beat 21.600 bph Asians, or Swiss ETA. These replicas are visually inferior to the seconds at '6 replicas, because the subdial spacing (and various other details) are way off.

    3. Send it to Ziggy and kill the running seconds at '6
    According to Ziggy, the only way to make this movement reliable is to completely kill the running seconds, and remove all the extra gears. Not very attractive option, imho.

    4. Pressure the dealers to build a "faux" chronograph "seconds at '6" Daytona again
    There have been cheap, but visually excellent Daytona replicas that had completely frozen and non-functional stopwatches. This weird but interesting watch was produced with the same high quality and accurate body of the 7750 version, but it had a standard Asian 21J movement. The seconds were running correctly at '6. Lately, the interest in this particular watch has been increasing again. Realistically, it should cost something between $90 and $120 to be attractive at all. NOTE: Don't confuse this version to cheap-o Asian 21J versions with faux chronos! The version I'm talking about had completely frozen stopwatch hand + subdials at '9 and '3.


    These are the alternatives. Besides buying a genuine, of course.


    ACCURACY:

    The Daytona "seconds at '6" replica is fairly accurate, and the build and quality are excellent. The biggest flaws are the crown guards (which are only a bit off), pushers not visually 1:1, too deep rehaut and the fonts and text on the bezel. "UNITS PER HOUR" bezel text is probably the easiest to detect, at least from the big, zoomed pictures.

    Other than that, the rep is excellent. The dial and hands have wonderful details and finish. It would be very difficult to tell between genuine and replica, at least for me. The screw-down pushers and crown operate smoothly.
    Actually, the dial is nothing short of amazing. This is very apparent when we put rep and genuine side-by-side in a detailed comparison. The rep is on the left, gen on the right (gen picture taken from John Holmbrook's Rolex Reference Page).

    Some fonts are a bit off, and the coronet on the rep is a bit thicker and shorter. Other than that, fantastic. The concentric subdial circles might be more "matte" on the genuine, but I guess the difference is just due to different photograph lighting conditions. And it'd be certainly impossible to tell any difference without a loupe. Detecting a rep from someone's wrist: Nearly impossible.
    But if you feel that your default Daytona replica isn't accurate enough, and have a bit of talent, you might try improving the accuracy a little bit more.

    Freddy333 is a Daytona fanatic, and he has figured out very clever way to build a "nearly perfect" 116520 Daytona. What's interesting about Freddy's method is that the watch gets entirely built from replica parts, which keeps the costs very low. Read his great article HERE.

    CONCLUSION:

    When people talk about Daytona, somehow the discussions always move towards the "time bomb" movement. Daytona seconds at '6 (at least the stainless steel version) is very good and accurate replica. This fact has often been forgotten.

    Does it make any sense to buy one? Well, for people who are huge fans of Daytona... yes (maybe). You have to decide whether the benefits are bigger than risks. But then again, it's just $300... big money for some, pocket money for others. Personally, I would definitely buy one of the "faux chronograph" seconds at '6 models, if they ever become available again.

    I'll send this watch back to my friend Stephane now. We had a good 3 days together. Personally, I don't even like the Daytona (as a watch) very much. But boy do I respect it. Thanks again for letting me see and review this beautiful rep for the community.

    --------------------


    IMPORTANT NOTE: I will not reply to watch/part/mod questions via PM from the members anymore. I'd love to help everyone privately, but my PM box gets flooded/spammed these days with these enquiries and I simply don't have the time. This is a hobby for me, not a job. Please ask your questions in the public forum where you have thousands of potential helpers. It's nothing personal. Thanks for understanding. By-Tor.
    Last edited by By-Tor; 08-31-2010 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Fixed dead reference links.

  2. #2
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    Nice review and hands down the prettiest of the modern Daytonas.

  3. #3
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    Great review and pictures as usual By-tor. Thanks to Stephane for allowing you to photograph it as wel!

    A Daytona with faux chrono's was the first rep I purchased. I always thought it was a great looking watch but cannot risk the seconds at 6 nor do I want a watch with unworking chronos.

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    Thanks fellas. The pleasure was all mine.

    Have a good weekend!

  5. #5
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    They're not for me, either, Key, but fabulous write up and pictures as always. Thanks BT and Stephane. Big thumbs up to you two.
    "You're wearing a replica today."

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    what bothers me the most on these daytonas is the thicknest comparing to the gen one

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    Great review By tor. Makes me wish i did not sell minne but it went to a good home.

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    Wow that review answered alot of Daytona questions I had. I really want one of these reps (im on the waiting list for the gen currently) but the risk of failure outweights my love for the watch. I'm really hoping the reps get better. To me Daytonas are some of the nicest Rolex watches made. I'd pay a good dollar for a great fully functioning rep.
    Thank you for th review!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.RadioActive View Post
    I'm really hoping the reps get better.
    I seriously doubt they get any better than this. There simply isn't a replica watch movement that could run the seconds naturally at '6.

    I listed the alternatives... unfortunately we have to live with them.

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    I hear you, I'l wait till my AD gets me a gen one. I was shocked with the quality of the look of the watch on the rep you reviewed.

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    Great review as always. Quick thought since RWG seems to be down right now so unable to read Ziggy's review of the movement: adding the extra gears, making it unreliable - maybe it would be a better idea to somehow move the crown and pushers so the seconds still run at 9, by just turning the face around? Probably unrealistic but we can dream, right?

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    Great review BT, I second that dealers should just go with the secs @6 with a non chrono movement or a completely non-functioning/frozen chrono and secs hands..

    Stan

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    Quote Originally Posted by uspopo View Post
    Great review BT, I second that dealers should just go with the secs @6 with a non chrono movement or a completely non-functioning/frozen chrono and secs hands..

    Stan
    Some members say that the "faux cheapo" version had inferior case and dial. But another RWG member, Kanerich, said that Watchhonpo (who still remembers him?) offered that watch with the exact same casework and dial as the watch I just reviewed.

    That would certainly be an interesting piece...and I'm sure it would sell nicely (if the price was right).

    Believe me, this one is very high quality piece... very well done.

    I wound this watch and ran flawlessly for 32 hours (at least). Good power reserve is a positive sign. Perhaps some individual reps of the Daytona are good... Freddy (another RWG member) told he had his secs at '6 Daytona for 2 years without any problems. Maybe Steph got lucky with his one too...
    Last edited by By-Tor; 09-01-2007 at 03:58 PM.

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    How did i miss this thread? This is what i've long been waiting for. Thanks By-Tor for this wonderful review. Can't wait for mine (exactly like this) to get back at my hands, had to send it back to Andrew for movement repair. Thanks again!

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    Oh my god! How come I missed this review?!

    FINALLY! The Daytona review that I was dying to see from Sir. by-tor!!!!

    As a fan of Daytona, this is truly a dream come true!!!

    Thank you by-tor for another fantastic review!!!!! I love you mate!!!

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    Woulfd prefer the one with real chronograph and not Faux. Mine has been working for the last 7 months and running strong and I doubt it will seriously stop. thanks for the review

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    I can not get enough of your great reviews. much appreciated!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by By-Tor View Post
    Perhaps some individual reps of the Daytona are good... Freddy (another RWG member) told he had his secs at '6 Daytona for 2 years without any problems. Maybe Steph got lucky with his one too...
    Just thought I'd pipe in with my $.02 for what they're worth... I've had plenty of Daytonas, between ten and fifteen, I still have five and to date I have only had problems with one (1).

    I have a handful of Swiss and Asian 7750's that have run perfectly for several years, of those only one has ever had a problem, which was a simple realignment of the chrono minutes hand.

    I don't claim to be an authority on the modified Swiss or Asian 7750, Daytonas, or watchmaking in general, I just think that there are a lot more "good" ones out there than given credit for. After all, if your watch works perfectly, you may not be so inclined to post a comment saying that it does, but if it doesn't, it's a different story.

    E.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    Just thought I'd pipe in with my $.02 for what they're worth... I've had plenty of Daytonas, between ten and fifteen, I still have five and to date I have only had problems with one (1).

    I have a handful of Swiss and Asian 7750's that have run perfectly for several years, of those only one has ever had a problem, which was a simple realignment of the chrono minutes hand.

    I don't claim to be an authority on the modified Swiss or Asian 7750, Daytonas, or watchmaking in general, I just think that there are a lot more "good" ones out there than given credit for. After all, if your watch works perfectly, you may not be so inclined to post a comment saying that it does, but if it doesn't, it's a different story.

    E.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Edge. It's absolutely true: we always hear about the bad ones, but rarely the ones that have been functioning without problems.

    Generally, the Asian 7750 is much better than its reputation. Especially the new (28.800) movement version.

    How many of your Daytonas are seconds at '6 models?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Oh my god! How come I missed this review?!

    FINALLY! The Daytona review that I was dying to see from Sir. by-tor!!!!

    As a fan of Daytona, this is truly a dream come true!!!

    Thank you by-tor for another fantastic review!!!!! I love you mate!!!
    Thanks man! Glad you liked the review... I had a great time photographing this watch. It was quite a challenge to get a decent picture from the white dial + polished bezel.

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    Another excellent review BT. I've always thought the Daytona was a beautiful piece, and one day I shall roll the dice and add it to my collection!

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    Quote Originally Posted by andreww View Post
    Another excellent review BT. I've always thought the Daytona was a beautiful piece, and one day I shall roll the dice and add it to my collection!
    Indeed Andreww. Damn Stephane, he made me a Daytona fan. I want one too.

    It was a weird watch, actually. The first reaction was a mild disappointment.

    It was like: What a small and old-fashioned watch!

    Then, after a while I started to appreciate the clean lines and amazing white dial. I'm 100% sure this watch wouldn't work for me in any other color combination though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sead1999 View Post
    what bothers me the most on these daytonas is the thicknest comparing to the gen one
    how much are they?
    gen i mean

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    Very impressive writeup. My favorite Daytona is the white two-tone version but I'm not sure how good the gold on the replicas are.

    I own the vintage model from Paul (with Lemanina movement) and it has been running well for over 2 years.

    Happy New Year!!!
    R.

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    Well as with all things in the rep-world, it's a crap-shoot on the gold. However, my TT whiteface is astonishingly good looking next to a gen. The gold tone looks close enough that it was a non-issue. The big killer really is it's thickness. I notice it on my wrist, but my boss didn't notice it until he held it for a bit.

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