The Rolex Daytona is already one of the most legendary racing chronographs ever made, with actor and driver Paul Newman being the most notable of its many fans. Now, thanks to luxury watch customizers Artisans De Genève and F1 champion Mika Häkkinen, the Daytona has added yet another distinction to its motorsports pedigree.
The Mika Häkkinen Challenge is a heavily-customized Rolex Daytona built on a ref. 116520. Häkkinen suggested several changes to the watch, which Artisans De Genève happily obliged. The caliber 4130 automatic movement was converted to manual winding and skeletonized with a sandblasted finish in an homage to F1 engines, and is visible through a sapphire caseback. A titanium, sandblasted, openwork dial was added, along with a bezel finished with Artisans De Genève’s patented titanium treatment. Orange and light blue-colored highlights were added throughout the design at Häkkinen’s request, recalling the tracks on which he used to race. Finally, since Häkkinen wanted an additional strap, Artisans De Genève made one out of alligator leather with contrast orange stitching and a custom-designed steel folding clasp. You can learn more about the one-of-a-kind watch at Artisans De Genève’s website.
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