Daytona "Zenith" Reference 16518, a yellow gold automatic wristwatch with chronograph, Circa 1995

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After 25 years of the manual winding Daytona, the introduction of the automatic reference 16520 was the most important evolution in the history of the celebrated model. The watch was completely redesigned and was fitted with the new caliber 4030, based on the Zenith El Primero. Even if the 16520 was produced for only a dozen years, the model saw several developments, mainly consisting of the layout of the dial. In fact, five different changes have been identified, and the present lot is part of the third iteration distinguished by the five lines of text and the "inverted 6" within the hours chronograph counter.

For watch collectors, the patina of the dial plays a key role. More than a sign of authenticity, it reveals the passage of time, reflects the personal life of the timepiece and gives it a unique character and appeal. With the standardization of watch production and the use of more stable components, most of the pieces produced after 1990 are lacking this essential aspect. This rule is also true for the famous Rolex chronograph. Nonetheless, there are a few exceptions, as demonstrated by the present specimen. Some of the 16520s fitted with a black dial, produced between 1993 and 1997, have seen their silver chapter rings of their subsidiary dials changing color to a "tropical" brown shade.

Condition Report
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Very Good
Like New

The watch is in overall good condition with light wear throughout commensurate with age. Case is in overall good condition with minor surface wear with minor scratches. Strap has minor signs of wear throughout commensurate with age. Buckle has signs of scratches. Dial is in overall good condition. The movement is running at the time of cataloging, however, it was not tested for the accuracy of time or duration of the power reserve and may need service at the buyer's discretion. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement.

Reference Number
Men's, Women's, Unisex
Dial Color(s)
Mother-of-pearl, White
Movement Type
Case Material(s)
Yellow Gold
Case Number
Case Size (mm)
Case Back
Band Material
Crocodile Skin
Dimension Notes

Fits a wrist size of 7 inches or smaller.

Clasp Type
Deployant buckle
Clasp Material(s)
Yellow Gold
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