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The Rolex Daytona “Leopard” Is so Loud It Roars

The Rolex Daytona ref. 116598 SACO debuted in 2004, which is about 15 years too early. I say this because I think if the Daytona Leopard had debuted in the “influencer” era of Instagram, it would have found a more appreciative audience than the “ugliest Rolex” it is often labeled. 
For reference, the green bezel of the 2003 “Kermit” Submarine was initially criticized for being too bright, colorful, and ostentatious. When the leopard-print Daytona appeared the following year, many collectors were caught completely off guard and didn’t know what to make of this ultra-luxurious and completely unconventional fake Rolex watch.
What is clear is that the Daytona Leopard is certainly not for everyone – it takes a very confident guy or gal to pull off the look. I admire them for doing so. While it retains the familiar 40mm yellow gold Daytona case and features the in-house 4130 movements, there are no other standards here.
First, there’s the leopard-print dial and leopard-print strap combination, which is just crazy. The dial has 10 gold-encircled diamond hour markers and is accented with gold arabesque minute markers at 15, 30, and 45. If we forget for a moment that this is a Daytona, the three gold sunken subdials remind us that this is indeed a Rolex chronograph.
Whatever your opinion of the look of a gem-set Rolex watch, the company is known for employing some of the best master jewelers and gem-setters in the business and using only the finest stones. Sourcing, cutting, and setting three dozen sapphires of the same color is no easy task.
Whether vintage, retro, or modern, the replica Rolex Daytona Chronograph is one of the most popular watches in the world. Occasionally, Rolex likes to shake things up by adding massive gem-set models and flashy designs. If you like rarities, it is important to mention that these Daytona models were produced in very limited numbers and are very hard to find.
Animal prints are proving to be the biggest fashion trend of the year. So maybe the now-discontinued leopard print Daytona is actually the most fashionable luxury watch out there right now, but not enough people know that – yet.