It’s been two weeks since you were last graced by the presence of Wrist Game or Crying Shame. Welcome back and, this week, we let out the animal with the Rolex Daytona Leopard. Before we bare our claws, though…

Two weeks back, while in sunny South Florida, I actually showed you a German watch. I chose an early Sinn 103 St with tritium dial and 85% of you gave it a firm, “Jawohl!” On account of that success, let’s hope that Sinn brings back such a reverse panda stunner. Today’s pick may not qualify as stunning, but more as shocking. The Rolex Daytona Leopard is here and it’s ready to go for your throat — and your wallet.

Rolex Daytona Leopard 1

The Rolex Daytona Leopard

When we think of the Rolex Daytona, a relatively straightforward chronograph comes to mind.  Black or white dials with a bit of color in stainless steel are the most popular references. Gold, platinum, and two-tone models exist, but they’re often relatively staid.  Ok, a dab of ranch enters the picture now and then, the Daytona is truly instrument-like.

So, imagine the Daytona heading out for Halloween, Carnival, or what have you.  Like that buttoned-up boring person we all know, things get crazy when they finally decide to let loose. The Rainbow Daytona is a great example of that and, to a lesser extent, the pastel pieces from a decade or so ago. Nothing, however, quite comes close to the Rolex Daytona Leopard.
Rolex Daytona Leopard 5

Hitting the catwalk in 2004

It was 2004 when the Rolex Daytona Leopard 116598 SACO (sapphire cobalt for your information) hit the catwalk.  Weirdly, I remember this because I almost spit up a hairball! This 18k watch is still loud and seriously out there with its leopard print dial, diamond indexes, and 48 diamonds on its claw-like lugs! Furthermore, it has 36 cobalt sapphires as a bezel and wild leopard print leather strap. To match its lavish looks, this piece retailed for an equally audacious $70k when new. That was Porsche 911 money! Unbeknownst to me, Rolex made this big cat until 2019, albeit in very limited quantities.
Rolex Daytona Leopard 6

Nicolas Cage wearing the Rolex Daytona Leopard (photo courtesy of & The Hollywood Reporter)

Uncaged by…Nic Cage

I dismissed the special edition Rolex Daytona Leopard because it was most certainly not my taste. Of course, pundits went on and on about the high quality of the gems and the gem setting, but that didn’t really strike me as the cat’s pajamas. But then something happened…Nic Cage rocked it. I really don’t know when the famous picture was taken (you can find it here), but he pairs it with a dapper suit and a host of brash jewelry. Now, Cage has been in a lot of movies, but he seems to be an eccentric who enjoys the occult. Furthermore, he makes some fairly wild statements at times. Essentially, he’s the perfect host for this watch.
Rolex Daytona Leopard 4

Oh, the possibilities…

Look, folks, I’m no Nic Cage, so rocking this on that accord simply won’t occur. Few of us can measure up to Mr. Cage’s uniqueness, but that doesn’t mean we can’t let our minds wander. While some of you slip off into daydreams about what you’d do with newfound lottery winnings, I find myself thinking about what I’d do with the Rolex Daytona Leopard. I amuse myself by inventing utterly inappropriate situations for such a watch.
Imagine meeting your partner’s country club set parents for the first time. The Rolex Daytona Leopard would let your future inlaws know that you mean business and that their child’s life will undoubtedly prove adventurous with a high chance of scandal thrown in for good measure. Heading into a final interview with a company known for its strict formal dress code when you’re not sure it’s truly you that they want? The Rolex Daytona Leopard is your truth-seeker.
I’d say that showing up for a funeral as a pallbearer or a wedding as the best man or maid of honor with this wrist lantern might prove a daring choice. A neighbor decides to invite the local gentry over for tea and crumpets — you know what to do. And hell, while you’re at it wherever you are, make sure to talk confidently with dead seriousness about the ridiculous and ornate style of others. Team, this watch defines a Tiger King dumpster fire adventure on the wrist and I love it.
Rolex Daytona Leopard 2

Today’s candidate

Now that your betrothed has returned from a juicing retreat with their Rolex Daytona Leopard, you’ve decided to reign in one of these feisty felines for yourself. Chrono24 has a “gem” mint piece that fittingly sits within Cali Jewelers in Beverly Hills, California. The pictures of this pet and the watch are theirs — for now. The seller is asking €79,502, which isn’t cheap, but this one happens to be complete. Amazingly, there are versions (cheaper, of course) without boxes and papers — you can fantasize about “The Hangover” style antics that must have led to losing those details.

In principle, I think you cool cats know where I stand on the Rolex Daytona Leopard. Is this one up your alley?

Rolex Daytona Leopard

    Rolex Daytona Leopard for €79,502