Although at the time of its launch on the market in 1963 the first Daytona reference Reference 6239 turned out to be almost a commercial flop, the Rolex Daytona has become over the years a real icon of Rolex collecting.
An 80s print advertisement of an important American jewelry that clearly states not to call to propose the sale of Daytona models.
Some of the Daytona references with the manual winding caliber best known and loved by the enthusiasts of the brand are certainly those characterized by screw buttons, namely the 6263 and 6265.
2 exceptional specimens of references 6263 and 6265 belonging to different production batches.
References 6263 and 6265, in production from 1969 to 1988, have been frequently modified over the years in different components: the Crown and the Screw Buttons are updated several times to increase water resistance, the Bracelets are often retouched for greater resistance to knocks and tearing.
The cases are increased in size and slightly redesigned to accommodate the redesigned components (pushers, crowns, newer and more precise movements), gradually abandoning the slender and elongated shapes of the first series produced.
A comparison between first and later series pushers
References 6263 and 6265 however have not been solely and exclusively subject to technical improvements, even the aesthetic component is in fact continuously corrected with the aim of achieving perfect harmony between the various elements of the watch.
The refined and serifed bezels graphics are gradually modernized with more current Fonts, the bases of the Dials from Grenè become Matt and then Soleil, also the writings are differently positioned on the Dial.
A comparison between first and later series bezels.
This succession of updates and improvements leads to the final versions of References 6263 and 6265, with the iconic DAYTONA written in red positioned above the counter at 6 o’clock.
A Rolex Daytona 6263 in its final version with a BIG RED dial.
Today we want to focus our attention on a particular type of dial that was mounted on some rare specimens of the References 6263 and 6265 in the first half of the 70s : the so-called BIG EYES DIAL.
The nickname BIG EYES DIAL was coined by Rolex collectors to highlight the fact that the chronograph counters of this type of dial are larger than normal.
However, it often happen that the real BIG EYES DIALS get confused with other dials that have similar characteristics, but which are not actually real BIG EYES DIALS.
The following type of 6263/6265 dial is often confused with a BIG EYE DIAL, but IT IS NOT !
So let’s see all the features that a BIG EYES DIAL must necessarily have to be named so :
1 As mentioned above, the counters must be oversized.
2 The “Rolex Oyster Cosmograph” writing is positioned lower than usual, it is very detached from the applied Rolex crown.
3 The Rolex “R” has a very particular shape, typical of the first 6263 and 6265 produced.
4 The writing T Swiss T must absolutely touch the subsidiary dial at 6’o clock.
5 Sigma (Goute a Prior) can or cannot be present.
If and only if all these features are present and clearly visible then we can say that we are observing a real and rare BIG EYES First Series dial.
Let’s see a useful comparison between a real BIG EYES dial (left) and a similar one which is often confused with a real BIG EYES.
The BIG EYES dials can be found in different variants in the stainless steel specimens of references 6263 and 6265.
Let’s see the two possible existing colour combinations :
Silver base with black printed lettering, black subsidiary dials with numbers printed in silver.
Black base with silver printed lettering, white subsidiary dials with numbers printed in black.
In some very rare BIG EYES DIAL specimens the black paint turned brown.
The BIG EYES dials also exist for references 6263/6265 in yellow gold.
Here a rare example of a black sigma BIG EYE DIAL with contrasting champagne subsidiary dials.
Now you should be able by your own to distinguish a rare BIG EYES DIAL.
We sincerely hope that this guide has been to your liking and we invite you to come back soon to visit our blog for other interesting articles that we will continue to publish!