ROLEX DAYTONA : Why do the Rolex dials oxidize and change color sometimes?
ROLEX DAYTONA : Why do the Rolex dials oxidize and change color sometimes?
The color change , which sometimes is very pleasant and creates fascinating patinas, is due to the fact that Rolex has always used organic paints for the dials. When the dials were not sufficiently protected by a transparent varnish called " Zappon " , the silver that composed these paints would get oxidized with the sulfur content in the air turning it patinated . These color changes are progressive and not settle with time , a factor that makes these dials unique specimens .
They are called by collectors " TROPICAL " .

The black dial of the reference 16520 from the period 1993/95 , is the most valid example.
Osvaldo Patrizzi was the first one to detect this abnormality in a watch of Guido Mondani , where although it had always been in the safe , the counters were clearly faded to brown. Collectors started to call it the " Patrizzi dial ."

This " technical error " in the protection of counter’s silvering gives the dial a unique " cachet ". It has the vice, or the virtue , not to settle but to continue to fade over time. We can say without too much risk , that almost all the black dials, which have auxiliary silver counters, have a tendency , sooner or later to fade to gray and then to brown. You can find this anomaly less pronounced and that tends to veer to beige , even in some gold models with Ref 16528 .

This "discovery" has definitely changed the way we of collecting Rolex and has made this brand even more unique , what for all would be a manufacturing defect and a limit , for Rolex becomes an advantage and added value. Today we want to bring to your attention a new discovery made by Patrizzi again , who says that the color of the dial of Daytona , ref. 116520 , fades from white to light green .
Osvaldo Patrizzi argues that :
" The chemical reaction that changes the color of the dial from white to light green is mainly caused by the thin layer of condensate that it’s deposited on the surface - condensation caused by major temperature changes. This light veil , if exposed prolonged to ultraviolet light, would oxidizes over time and tend to be colored . It is an exceptionally rare event that I have seen only on very few examples of the reference 116520 . The coloring , basically oriented to the green ( do not know if it will remain as it is or if it will be progressive ) , can in some cases cause a pinkish leopard tinge, which is also very impressive. "

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