Have you ever thought about getting your watch customised, but are never too sure surrounding the judgement of plain and customised watches. In the horological world, the debate and battle of plain and customised watches has sprouted in recent times.


With some passionate watch enthusiasts considering customised watches to be a taboo!

However, here at Time4Diamonds, our customisation service is known for its class in service, working with clients and taking them on a journey from inception to production.


Watch the video, attached in this article, on “plain vs customised,” using the Rolex Daytona, reference 116520 and our Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow’ that our in-house design team have collectively created. 


Sticking with the Rolex Daytonas, this blog article will contain the differences between the two watches, with the comparable details. Additionally, highlighting the process of how our customisation works, whilst summarising some points that come up in the argument of the old battle between plain and customised watches.


Firstly, the Rolex Daytona is an absolute timeless classic, originally produced in 1963, making the model one of the most sought-after models in the Rolex catalogue.


Image by Rolex ©

Rolex Daytona 1963 - Image by Rolex ©


A sports watch, specifically tailored for motor racing, features the chronograph; a tool designed to record time with great accuracy. This works with the tachymeter bezel to produce a result of someone’s average speed.


To work the chronograph, there are pushers, located on the right side of the watch; one above the winding crown and one below it. When starting the chronograph, unscrew both pushers and press down on the top pusher which will start the movement of the chronograph hand. In order to stop the chronograph hand, press down the top pusher and then press down the bottom pusher to reset the chronograph.


There are the addition of three sub-dials which help to record the elapsed time. The sub-dial at 3  o’clock displays the minutes, whilst the sub-dial at 9 o’clock demonstrates the hours. Finally, the bottom sub-dial at 6 o’clock indicates the seconds of the watch. 


Rolex daytona 116520 black dial

Rolex Daytona 116520 Black Dial


Reference 116520 is the 2014 model, so it includes Rolex’s blue chromalight display and sometimes the rarer ‘APH’ dial. This is one of the later produced models before it was discontinued in 2016.. 


When looking at our customised Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow,’ our masterful and skilled artisans have taken inspiration from the Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow,’ reference 116599RBOW. 


The custom Daytona ‘Rainbow’, designed and produced by our in-house team, consists of some incredible and stunning features.


Rolex Daytona custom rainbow Time4Diamonds

Our Custom Rolex Daytona 116520 "Rainbow"


On the shoulders of the stainless steel case, there are VS1 clarity diamonds, colour G-H meaning the beautiful, round brilliant cut, natural white diamonds appear colourless.


In the bezel, the rainbow effect is noticed, through the use of multi-colored sapphire gemstones. Our gemologists have carefully handpicked the stones that have gone into this piece. The rainbow effect has been replicated on to the hour markers, using multi-colored sapphire gemstone baguettes, creating perfect symmetry.


Referring to the debate surrounding plain vs customised watches, a lot of points can be discussed in this hot topic.


As mentioned earlier in the article, the Rolex Daytona includes the chronograph and tachymeter bezel. The Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow’ still possesses the chronograph, however the tachymeter bezel has been removed and replaced by the multi-colored sapphire gemstones. 


With the tachymeter bezel not part of the Daytona, the argument can be made that the purpose of the model has been eradicated as it can no longer be used as a sports watch.


This all depends on the intentions of using the Daytona. If a consumer was purchasing the Rolex Daytona for its purpose of using the model as a sports watch, then the customisation has had a negative effect.


However, customisation would be considered if a customer wanted a watch that produced a fashionable sense when wanting to wear the watch. For example, Ed Sheeran has been seen wearing the Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow’, reference 116599RBOW. 


Ed-Sheeran wearing the Rolex Daytona 116599RBOW

Ed-Sheeran wearing the Rolex Daytona 116599RBOW


Another point would be the investment differences between the plain and customised watches. The investment on a plain Daytona could be more significant due to the history and discontinuation of the model. Due to the watch being an absolute timeless classic, the value of the Daytona has been maintained overtime.


Whereas, customised watches have been crafted to look like up to half a million pounds in some cases. Also, it would lack investment, which links to the idea that customised watches would be much more tailored for wearing and dressing, rather than collecting or selling. A case where a customised watch could be investable is if the watch was customised for a celebrity, for instance. Moreover, the factory set Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow’ is investable as they can be spotted on the grey market, valued at $550,000! Therefore, a customised version of the same watch, at a fraction of the original price, seems to be a good investment in its own sense.


When looking at the pricing of each watch, the plain Daytona has a price range that mainly starts from £20,000, but can be sold for more, depending on age, condition, spec and other factors such as manufacturing defects (like the APH dial).


Both watches are currently in stock, at time4diamonds.com. The custom Rolex Daytona rainbow is currently listed on our website for £24.995.


Rolex Daytona Plain vs Custom

Rolex Daytona 116520 and our Custom Rolex Daytona "Rainbow"


To conclude, there is no right or wrong answer. Or in our eyes, no real winner. Both styles of watches win on their own merits. Customisation is a work of art and skill, so to dismantle the idea of customisation is a challenge to art. Whereas plain watches are more suited for watch collecting, or considered to be more “investable.” Therefore, although the argument between plain and custom watches may never end, it should be considered that what one person may find attractive, another may not. Or to put it quite simply, as the common saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”