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A Rolex Daytona wristwatch: an exemplary steel luxury sport watches

When we rank the most sought-after wristwatches globally, the Royal Oak and the Daytona rank top. These two steel luxury sport watches are the most desirable timepieces on the planet. Why not? These elegant watches adorn the wrists of tons of wristwatch lovers all around the globe. Hence, in the horological world, they are highly admirable time tools.

Therefore, when you are out shopping for a steel luxury sport wristwatch, these will be your top options. 

More so, the price gap between both watches is quite healthy. The Royal Oak costs on average $5000 more than the Daytona. Moreover, the aesthetics again leave the battle open. 

Thus, in this article, we will consider these two steel luxury sport watches. The aim is to help you decide better when next you shop for a watch of this caliber. The comparison will hinge on certain parameters. From all of these, you can now pick the best of these two amazing steel luxury sport watches for you. 

However, both watches are top-notch products. Their standards are quite high and similar. In such a way that it becomes difficult for anyone to decide which of them to go for. Yet, to decide on which is best for you, check out this breakdown.

Your decision-making process will go through three different requirements. From these three, you can make a smart and knowledgeable decision. Will it be the Royal Oak or the Daytona?

These requirements under consideration include: 

  • The Aesthetics of both watches
  • The Movement used in both timepieces
  • The Wearability of both wristwatches

The Aesthetics of These Two Steel Luxury Sport Watches

To begin with, both the Daytona and the Royal Oak rank high amongst the best designs in the watchmaking world. Therefore, deciding this aspect is a rather tough task.

  • The Design Of The Royal Oak

The design of the Royal Oak watch is thanks to the celebrated designer Gerald Genta’s legendary nautical-themed innovation. The Royal Oak is a product of stainless steel which affirms its status in the steel luxury sport watches world.

The watch measures a total of 41 mm in case diameter. Nevertheless, due to the fixed lugs and huge bezel, it presents a surprisingly huger appearance. It appears larger than the Daytona. The Daytona on the other hand comes in with a measurement just one millimeter short.

Furthermore, the Royal Oak comes with a porthole-inspired octagonal bezel. Also, this timepiece has an angled case. Both of these features are striking. Hence, you notice them as soon as you see the wristwatch.

In addition, there is the silver dial that showcases Audemars Piguet’s popular “waffle-print” finish. Thanks to the addition of this fine grid design, the dial bears a remarkable three-dimensional appearance.

Interestingly, this appearance differs based on the lighting conditions the watch is under. And, for the sub-dials, the seconds, minutes, and hours setup is the same as the Daytona. However, there is the additional presence of a date aperture. This aperture is present between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions. 

Additionally, the Royal Oak comes with baton markers. These markers clearly indicate the hours. By extension, these markets add a minimal impression to the look of the dial.

Alt Text: The layout of the Royal Oak wristwatch

  • The Design Of The Daytona

The Daytona bears several similarities with other Rolex steel luxury sports watches. This timepiece features the tried-and-tested Oyster case. It comes in at a 40 mm width. This wristwatch presents a packed and active image. Thanks to the mirror-polished bezel and lugs, it again adds that luxury look to its appearance.

The design of the Daytona follows the Rolex standard

Moreover, the black gloss dial captions the signature Rolex chronograph setup. This is one feature that remained in production since its introduction in 1965. More so, the sub-dials display seconds, minutes, and hours. Also, they come with a high gloss finish that reveals light similar to the back of a CD.

We are certain that when you see this product, you will be pleased by one feature on its dial. This is the absence of numerical indicators. Rolex instead opts for subtler hour indicators. That way, it reduces the chance of having a muddled dial. (This is one popular issue with chronograph timepieces)

As for the bracelets of these steel luxury sport watches, all we can say is fantastic!

For the Daytona, you have a strong stainless steel oyster bracelet. This bracelet presents polished center links. With that, you get a grand, luxurious aura when you wear the watch. 

For the Royal Oak, on the other hand, the bracelet design takes it all to a different level. You will not believe the finish of this bracelet until you see it yourself. Images might not justify their true elegance. 

The manufacturer manages to produce a bracelet with a chiefly brushed finish. Yet, it reveals itself as a polished item. The appearance is similar to each link shining when light lands on it.  

Verdict Based On Aesthetics 

We mentioned earlier how tough a task this is. The Daytona is truly a top-level chronograph timepiece. One of the best produced. 

However, it is impossible to exclude the degree of finishing and design the Royal Oak presents. Every watch lover will love the sharp lines presented on the case and bezel. Then, there are the trademark hexagonal screws that tops it all. 

Whenever you look at the Royal Oak, there is always something new to like about it. The wristwatch manages to protect the balance between its luxurious appearance and a minimal look. Nothing flashy or too striking. Still, a lot to show its luxurious status.

This is not to say in any way that the Daytona is not great. In fact, this watch is a design classic in its own way. Yet, the Royal Oak ranks higher than the Daytona in virtually every design department. 

The only setback to the Royal Oak’s design would be the absence of a tachymetric scale. This is a component that every true chronograph should feature. However, as soon as the light shines on the Royal Oak’s bracelet, you forget the absence. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak takes the first round!

The Movement of The Daytona And The Royal Oak

For every watch fan, the inner workings of a timepiece go a long way in deciding which watch to go for. At the end of it all, this is the part of the watch that passes literally as its beating heart. 

Now, check out the price range of these two steel luxury sport watches. Your expectations would be higher as regards their movement. You expect a durable, detailed, and a little bit peculiar movement. Thankfully, both the Royal Oak and the Daytona present a moment that satisfies all of these expectations.

  • The Movement In The Daytona

To begin with, the Daytona takes power from the Rolex caliber 4130. This is a self-winding movement created in-house at Rolex‘s factory in Switzerland. This movement hit the watchmaking scene in 2000 when it appeared in Daytona.

This movement was a replacement for the caliber 4030 movement made by Zenith. Rolex devoted five years to the creation of the 4130 movement. This movement comes with a vertical clutch system. This system helps the movement stay incredibly accurate. Hence, the starting and stopping of the chronograph function happen with zero effect on the amplitude of the balance wheel.

  • The Movement In The Royal Oak

On the flip side, the Royal Oak presents a caliber 1185 movement. This is a self-winding movement built by F. Piguet. 

However, take away the name, the movement is not a creation of Audemars Piguet. It is the brainchild of Blancpain owned by Swatch Group. 

In detail, the 1185 captions an identical vertical clutch system. Something similar to the Rolex movement. The 1185 movement holds a high pedigree in the horological world. 

This is a remarkable movement truly. Yet, the fact remains that this movement is not a product of Audemars Piguet’s manufacturing efforts.

Note that Audemars Piguet made an in-house movement with a chronograph module. This is the movement that powers the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. However, this movement will not fit into the Royal Oak due to the casing. It would affect the profile of the wristwatch.

Verdict Based On Movement 

Therefore, we have two incredible movements. However, the ruling will favor the Rolex easily. You want to ask why? 

Remember we mentioned that at the price point, you would expect an in-house movement from either watchmaker.  That is just it. We can only hope Audemars Piguet chooses to create an in-house chronograph movement for the Royal Oak. That might be in the coming future. 

However, for now, this round goes to Rolex Daytona!

The Wearability of These Two Steel Luxury Sport Watches

We mentioned in the design section that these two steel luxury sport watches come with dazzlingly designed bracelets. More so, they wear as good as they appear.

  • The Wearability Of The Daytona

Thanks to the Oyster bracelet present on the Daytona, it comes with a solid build and it wears relatively comfortably. The comfortability of the Daytona is so effortless that you might just fail to remember you have something on. 

Also, judging by the slim profile of the Daytona, you can predict it is a perfect fit, and rightfully so. This timepiece manages to rid you of the chances of your watch getting caught on your shirt cuffs. As for the deployant clasp, it is just like all recent Rolex watches. It is simply terrific. 

A Elegant Daytona timepiece

You can easily fasten and unfasten the clasp seamlessly and effortlessly. Plus, the whole piece feels very steady on the wrist. Meanwhile, the chronograph pushers come in a nice shape. Hence, they don’t go straight into the wrist. 

In addition, the dial of the watch is very legible. If there will be any complaint at all, it is likely about the absence of the glide-lock system. This is one component you find on the Rolex Submariner. This component enables micro-adjustments of the bracelet to come in seamlessly.

This is one adorable feature of the Submariner. It makes the watch loosen easily during a hot day. It will be amazing to Rolex add this on in subsequent editions of the Daytona.

  • The Wearability In The Royal Oak

The situation is different with the Royal Oak Chronograph. There was an increase in the size of the Royal Oak in 2012. Audemars Piguet increased the size of the watch from 39 mm to 41mm. This might appear like a slight increase. However, for a watch of this kind, it makes a ton of difference in its wearability.

Moreover, to retain the shape of the timepiece and the bracelet, the first two links on both sides stay fixed. This adjustment on the 39 mm edition gives it a perfect fit for an average wrist. 

But, with the more recent 41 mm, the watch becomes virtually unwearable. In fact, if you go on to take out a couple of links, you are still left with too much gap. The portion where the fixed links stretch over the flanks of your wrist remains an overlap.

Due to this, rocking the Audemars Piguet is only as comfortable as you would want it to be. Yet, it again implies it appears rather larger than its true size. 

Aside from the fit, every other part of the watch’s wearability is on the same level as the Daytona. Starting with the links, they are equally solid. Plus, they don’t get stretched over time. Similarly, the dial is very legible. Again, the double push-button deployant clasp is equally easy to work with. 

Verdict Based On Wearability 

Judging on the fact that the comfortability was lacking in the Royal Oak, the Daytona takes the round for wearability. But, if you have a larger wrist, the fit will not be a bother to you. However, on the other hand, this may rub off on the Daytona, making it appear too small.


Take the high-quality finishing of the Daytona, plus the presence of an in-house movement. Then, add that this is a comfortable watch to wear! Based on these, the Rolex Daytona seems to be the better one of these two steel luxury sport watches. 

Regardless, we must be clear here. These steel luxury sport watches are both absolutely amazing timepieces. Hence, it all depends on what purpose you’re buying the watch. 

Do you need a watch purely for investment purposes, then, go for the Daytona? This is as the residual worth of Rolex’s chronograph continues to surge. Plus, with the news of a fresh ceramic bezel substitute, it can only get better.

Our point is, your motive will decide which of these steel luxury sport watches you will get. Therefore, know your motives. Then, judge based on the assessment we provided in this article. 


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