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WOTW Time Machine: Luke Donald’s Rolex Daytona From The 2012 BMW PGA Championship

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Luke Donald is a former world No. 1 who had a white-hot few years between 2009 and 2013. One of his final wins was on the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship in 2012. Luke put together a fairly convincing four-stroke win over Paul Lawrie and Justin Rose at the Wentworth Club in England. Upon winning he was presented the chrome trophy, and on his wrist was what looked like a two-tone Rolex Daytona in steel and yellow gold with a white face.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rolesor / White
Reference: 116523-0040
Date: 2000 – 2016
Limited: No
Case: 904L Oystersteel
Bezel: 18 Carat Gold
Size: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 4130, 44 Jewels
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: 904L Oystersteel and 18ct Gold
Price: ~$14,000

Rolex is, of course, the most well-known watch brand in the world and the Daytona is currently one of the most sought after watches in the world. Daytona’s were made famous by legendary actor and racer Paul Newman, who’s personal 1968 piece recently sold for $17.8 million.

The first “Daytona” was introduced in 1955 under the simple name of “Chronograph”. In 1963 Rolex created the Cosmograph (Ref: 6239) and nicknamed the watch “Daytona” to show affiliation with the now-famous auto race. Those 6239 Paul Newman Daytonas now trade for over $100,000 depending on condition and other factors. Currently, there is a waiting list of a few years to get your hands on the new model Rolex Daytona at retail. To get your hands on one right now, you will have to pay about $7,000+ above the $13,150 retail price.

Luke’s Daytona is the previous version that was launched in 2000 and was made until 2016 when it was replaced by the 116503 reference. His Daytona is a 2 tone version, also called Rolesor, made from stainless steel and 18-carat yellow gold. The steel and gold are not just run of the mill alloys either, Rolex has its own foundry where they control the exact formulas to make sure that the steel and gold meet their stringent standards. The case is made from 904L Oystersteel that was created to ensure that it is extremely corrosion resistant and takes a higher polish compared to regular stainless alloys.

At 40mm the Daytona monobloc case is very easy everyday wear for even smaller wrists and that adds to the desire of ownership. On the side of the case, there are the gold pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock that control the chronograph movement as well as the crown at 3 o’clock. The screw-down case back is made from matching Oystersteel and helps give the Daytona its 100-meter water resistance rating. Inside that case is Rolex’s own 4130 self-winding automatic movement that is COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) certified to ensure that it is highly accurate.

The 4130 contains 44 jewels, has 72 hours of power reserve, and Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring to resists shocks and temperature variations. The Daytona is a chronograph and the 4130 also contrails the sub-dials that can be used as a stopwatch for timing things like laps around a race track. The dial on Luke’s Daytona is white with gold ringed sub-dials and gold hour makers filled with Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent material. Covering the white dial and all that gold is a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a bezel made from 18ct yellow gold. The bezel is fixed, non-rotational, and is engraved with a tachymetric scale.

The Oyster bracelet is crafted from Rolesor as well with the inner, polished links being made from 18ct yellow gold and outer links of brushed Oystersteel. The Oysterlock clasp and Easylink extension link are Rolex’s own creations and done in matching Rolesor.

I loved watching Luke Donald dominate the PGA and European Tours for that period of time. His game wasn’t built on power and was so different than the other stars on tour that it was almost refreshing. He has shown some flashes of that game in recent years, but not enough to get himself into the winner’s circle. Seeing Luke with a Daytona on long before they were so coveted is also such a great thing, he knew something we didn’t back then!

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I have been an employee at GolfWRX since 2016. In that time I have been helping create content on GolfWRX Radio, GolfWRX YouTube, as well as writing for the front page. Self-proclaimed gear junkie who loves all sorts of golf equipment as well as building golf clubs!

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WOTW: Justin Thomas’ Rolex Sea-Dweller from the FedEx St. Jude Invitational

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Justin Thomas worked his way up from being five strokes down on the start of Sunday to win the FedEx St. Jude Invitational. His final-round 65 was more than enough as he won by three strokes and he notched third win of the modified season. After the win, JT held that WGC trophy up with a big smile on his face and a Rolex Sea-Dweller in stainless steel on his wrist.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex Sea-Dweller
Reference: 126600-0001
Limited: No
Case: 904L Oystersteel
Bezel: Cerachrom Ceramic
Size: 43mm
Movement: Rolex 3235, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal (Cyclops lens over date)
Waterproof: 1,220 Meters (4,000ft)
Helium Escape Valve
Bracelet: 904L Oystersteel
Price: $11,700

JT was wearing the same Sea-Dweller that he has worn a few times in previous wins. He wore this same watch back in January when he won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in a playoff with Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller is the big brother to Rolex’s most recognizable dive watch, the Submariner. Sea-Dwellers are extremely rugged and capable dive watches that were first introduced in 1967. Those first Sea-Dwellers where also the first dive watches available to the public with a helium escape valve. Since then the Sea-Dweller has gone through a few versions with updates to its water resistance rating as well as mechanical movement. The Sea-Dweller is water-resistant to 1,220m (4,000ft), making it more than capable for any dive that a human could put it through. The Helium Escape Valve allows high-pressure gases to escape, saving the movement, when diving to extreme depths.

The Sea-Dweller’s main protection from extreme water pressure is its 904L Oystersteel case. Rolex’s Oystersteel is their own stainless steel alloy that resists corrosion better than traditional stainless steel. The case is 43mm, about 3mm larger than the Submariner, and contains Rolex’s 3235 self-winding, automatic movement. The 3235 contains 31 jewels and offers an impressive 70 hours of power reserve. All Rolex movements are COSC certified for precision and Rolex actually demands that its movements are twice that accurate.

After certification, Rolex tests the accuracy on their own high-end equipment to ensure that precision even after casing. Covering the 3235 is a black dial with larger hands and hour markers filled with Rolex’s Chromalight for easy reading in dark conditions. Rolex’s Chromalight is said to last up to 8 hours, twice as long as standard luminescent, and glows a distinct blue color.

The Sea-Dweller dial features the date at 3 o’clock and there is a cyclops lens above it to magnify the numbers for easy reading. The Oyster bracelet holding this timepiece to your wrist is made from solid links of matching 904L Oystersteel and features a Fliplock extension link to easily fit over a wetsuit. Rolex’s Glidelock system is also included so you are able to adjust the band without tools a few millimeters for that perfect fit.

Congrats to JT on his third win of the season, current No.1 ranking on the FedEx Cup points list, and No. 1 ranking in the world. He is such a fun player to watch and a fan favorite. I hope he has a great finish to the year and we can maybe see something new on his wrist!

JT, I suggest an Everose “Rootbeer” GMT-Master II, if you happen to read this…

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WOTW: Michael Thompson’s Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300M “Alabama”

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Michael Thompson won his second PGA Tour event in seven years this weekend, battling for the 3M Open. He emotionally explained how much this win meant to him and his family after the round and held that crystal trophy in the air with what looked like a Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300M Quartz on his wrist.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300M Quartz
Reference: WAP1112.BA0831
Date: 2013
Limited: No
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Size: 39mm
Movement: ETA F06.111 Quartz, 3 Jewels
Power Reserve: 3 Years
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 300 Meters
Price: $1,585

Tag Heuer is typically considered motorsport and racing-inspired luxury watch brand, but the Aquaracer is their dive watch line for water sports. The line started back in 1982 as the Heuer 2000 line and was renamed in 2005 as Tag Heuer moved away from numeral designations.

Thompson’s Aquaracer may not be the most expensive watch we have featured, but I am willing to bet it probably has the most sentimental value. His version features the University of Alabama printed at 6 o’clock and the “A” logo at 9 o’clock. This is typically something that is purchased after graduation as a gift or moments of the time and work put into graduating. Thompson went to Alabama after transferring from Tulane, who’s golf program was shut down after Hurricane Katrina.

University of Alabama logo on the current Aquaracer 300M

The 2013 Aquaracer has a 39mm case that was built from stainless steel. The solid, stainless steel caseback helps seal out water to its 300-meter water resistance rating. The caseback has an old diving helmet engraved into it to remind the wearer that this was was designed for use underwater. On top of the case is a unidirectional, stainless steel bezel with numerals for use in timing dives. The blue dial has a sunburst effect that shines in the sunlight to give this Swiss timepiece a more luxurious look. Hour markers are done in polished steel and filled with luminescent material for viewing in deep, dark water. The dial also features a date window at 3 o’clock but the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal omits a magnifying cyclops lens.

Inside the Aquaracer 300M is a quartz movement made by ETA, yes this watch is battery powered. The ETA F06.111 is a 3 jewel movement that should run for 3 years on a battery while keeping extremely accurate time! A stainless steel, 3 lug, bracelet holds the 300M on your wrist. The middle lugs are larger and machines at a more aggressive edge to give the appearance of a 2 tone look. A deployant clasp keeps the band secured, but I am a little surprised that it doesn’t add the fold-over latch for added security.

It was great to see Michael Thompson win his second tournament, knowing the hard work and perseverance that he went through to get it. This win gets him into majors as well as the FedEx Cup Playoffs with chances to win some big money. I hope he plays well and can take a little to buy another timepiece as a reward!

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WOTW: Jon Rahm’s Rolex Sky-Dweller in stainless steel and white gold

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Jon Rahm got to shake (fist bump) Jack’s hand and hoist the Memorial trophy up while wearing a Rolex Sky-Dweller in stainless steel. He won by three strokes and Muirfield and that win propelled him to #1 in the world.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller
Reference: 326934-0003
Limited: No
Case: Oystersteel 904L Stainless Steel
Bezel: White Gold Fluted Ring Command
Size: 42mm
Movement: Rolex 9001, 40 Jewels
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal (Cyclops lens over date)
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Oystersteel 904L Stainless Steel Oyster
Price: $14,800

The Rolex Sky-Dweller is a watch aimed at travelers. It was introduced in 2012. The Sky-Dweller stands out from other watches with its iconic dual time zone display. This off-center disk rotates to show the home time zone in a 24hr format while the hands show the current time zone. The Sky-Dweller also offers a unique integrated calendar. The day of the month is shown at 3 o’clock like most watches, but the month is marked in a contrasting rectangle above the numerals on the face. This way you don’t have to reset the date for months that are 28 or 30 days. The date system only requires one adjustment a year on the first of March. The date functions on the Sky-Dweller are very simple to adjust, just rotating the fluted Ring Command bezel counter-clockwise allows the date, local time, or reference time to be changed.

To handle all the time zones and dates, Rolex created the 9001 movement with 40 jewels and extra gears for those functions. The 9001 is a COSC certified movement with a 72-hour power reserve and is one of the more complicated movements Rolex has created. Rahm’s model has the blue dial that is protected by a Sapphire Crystal that is extremely scratch resistant. That crystal also has a cyclops lens over the date that magnifies those numbers, making them easier to read. The Sky-Dweller case and bracelet are made from Rolex’s Oystersteel, a 904L stainless steel that offers superior corrosion resistance. Oystersteel is harder to machine but offers a much more durable and consistent polish. The Sky-Dweller is water-resistant to 100 meters and offered in Stainless Steel, Yellow Gold, and Everose Gold.


I don’t know if Rahm could have asked for a better week on the course. Hopefully, we see this world number 1 winning again soon and wearing something new on the wrist!

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