Very Special Replica Rolex Daytona 6263 “Big Red”

Choosing one of the dozens of Rolex replica watches I’ve worn and admired over the years is no easy task. Finally, it was a toss-up between the so-called “Steve McQueen” Explorer II ref. 1655 and the “Big Red” Rolex Daytona ref. 6263. Ideally, I would choose a Rolex at each price point and in a perfect world be able to afford two – perhaps in the future on the road. But for me, if we were talking about the grail list, Daytona 6263 would win by a huge margin.
The first time I strapped on a Rolex Daytona 6263, courtesy of Bob’s Watches founder Paul Altieri on a visit to company HQ in California, I was a bit excited about the 37mm size. Ditto the fragility of some older Rolex references – the Big Red debuted in the early 1970s. Neither one turned out to be an issue. It is not inferior to the more famous and expensive reference to the 6263 “Paul Newman” version, which Paul Altieri also had in his collection and which I also obtained first-hand on that day.
And, I happened to be driving a bright red Lamborghini Huracán at that time, and I also wasn’t sure that the Big Red was a suitable companion for such a state-of-the-art supercar. But the Daytona with its black dial, black acrylic bezel, and just a touch of red is an inherently racy design, while the Daytona is the final driving watch, so the ref. 6263 turned out to complement the car perfectly. Paul Altieri pointed out that the contemporary stainless steel Daytona with Cerachrom ceramic bezel draws heavily on the design of the 6263, which sports screw-down chronograph pushers and the ‘Daytona’ name in red, as does the new model. Even the Cerachrome bezel calls to mind the reference 6263.
However, not all the fake Rolex 6263 watches with the Daytona name in red are called “Big Reds” – this nickname refers to models with the famous name in an extra-large font. Taken together with its white sub-dials, the Rolex 6263 has a contemporary look which truly bridges the gap between modern and vintage.
The replica Rolex Daytona 6263 “Big Red” would be the ideal watch to pair with a Porsche 911 or Ferrari of a similar vintage. But a Huracán is hardly a poor pairing. The ref. 6263 was one of the select group of Rolexes picked to be part of the recent Bob’s Watches and Sotheby’s “Driver’s Collection” sale, and though it wasn’t a Big Red, it still brought lots of style – particularly paired with a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta By Scaglietti.
Of course, big “red” is not so easy to buy, such auction is your best choice to buy at present. I once saw one in the window of a jewelry store in New Orleans after work, but unfortunately it was sold out when I returned. Eventually, of course, I will have to return Paul’s red Daytona, but one day I will no doubt sell all the other watches in my collection to buy one of my own.