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The Rolex Pulsation Daytona

The Rolex Pulsation Daytona

Written and researched by KKC 26th December 2021

Raising Awareness.

Irony is often the protagonist in vintage watch collecting, where rarity is one of the main features that influence the desirability of a timepiece. A model too far ahead of its time may not be appreciated by the public when first commercially available. As a result there is a dramatic reduction in the models produced and thus an increase in its desirability years later, when its true beauty is eventually understood.

There are extremely rare occasions when Rolex Geneva introduce a model that the numbers of pieces produced can be counted on two hands, This is the case for the Pulsameter Daytona aka the Doctor Daytona. At a time cirac 1970 when the standard daytona was not accepted or coveted by the mainstream public, a model so specific, and targeted to such a limited segment of the market, went completely unnoticed. Today as an almost mythical variant of the Daytona, the Pulsation Daytona has become one of the most desirable models and a treasure for a very select few.


The Pulsameter Scale

The pulsameter scale was a function dedicated to those in the medical field, used to calculate a patient's heartbeat. The medical practitioner would start the chronograph function at the first heartbeat, and stop it based on the count determined by the scale, in this particular example 15. The stopped chronograph hand would indicate the number of heart beats per minute based on the scale. The purpose of this timing reduced the time spent counting the beats per minute.

A twenty beat measurement would have be more precise, but would take more time, while a ten beat measurement would be faster, but less precise. The fifteen beat measurement is right in the middle and would allow the medical practitioner to determine an accurate reading of a patient's heartbeat.

The presence of the pulsametre scale prompted Rolex to make several adjustments with a final result that is simply superb. The hour markers have been moved closer to the centre of the watch resulting in a more "compact" layout. The dial is modified in such a way that the final effect is more aesthetically pleasing. Also, the chromatic scheme of the timepiece is completely different. For example, the medical scale is printed in an innovative bright blue tone, which allows for a perfect legibility despite the smaller dimensions of the numbers.

In addition to the pulsameter scale to the dial, Rolex made adjustments to the design and layout. The hour markers were moved closer to the center of the dial, giving it a more compact look. The scale was printed in a bright blue allowing the scale to stand out and become a prominent feature on the dial.

Rolex created two variants of the Daytona pulsation scale watches The first version is without the "Daytona" designation above the 12 hour register and features a continuous fifths second divisions. The second verision features the "Daytona" designation in red and interrupted fifth seconds scale stopping before and after all of the applied steel baton hour markers.


The Rolex Pulsameter Daytona at Auction.


19th Nov 2003 Ref 6241 Serial xxxxxxx. Auction Sothebys Geneva Lot 156 Estimate 20k-30k CHF Sold xxx


10th Nov 2013 Ref 6239 Serial 1695328. Auction Christies Geneva Lot 7 Est CHF 120k-240k Lot 7 Sold 761k CHF.


 11 June 2014 Ref 6262 Serial 2527597. Auction Christies NY Lot 352 Est 150k-250k Sold $185K.


14th May 2016 Ref 6239 Serial 1419128. Auction Phillips Geneva Estimate 350k-700k  CHF Sold 1.1m CHF.


13th Nov 2018 Ref 6239 Serial 1695276. Auction Sothebys Geneva Lot 216 Est 500k-1m Lot 216 Sold 831k CHF.


12th December 2021 Ref 6239 Serial 1695628. Auction Phillips Geneva Lot 165 Estimate 350k-700k USD Sold $693k. The field of Daytona collecting is comprised of legends and even mythical models. This is the third, previously unknown, and completely original reference 6239 with blue pulsations dial and red floating “Daytona” logo - and only the second example found with this exact dial.


The Rolex Pulsameter Daytona in Private Collections.

Ref 6262 Serial 2547512 reference 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberg.


Ref 6239 18k reference Ultimate Rolex Daytona, Pucci Papaleo Editore, pages 204-207 and 288-291.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss selling your watch via kkchoraria@yahoo.co.uk or +44 7957485799