The Daytona...a watch that everybody has an opinion about. A watch icon, the mother of sport watches, the most known chronograph in the world and a pain for most when it comes to replicas.
The common replicas were all way too thick and for most far from the sporty look of the gen.
The usual thickness of a fully functional Daytona rep with a7750 is around 15,5mm which is about 3mm more than the gen. Some say "hey...that's only 3mm" but for most these 3mm are too much.
For many years the only way to get a decent 5 digit Daytona was to get a vietnam or phong case and no chance for a 6 digit. But that means one has to invest an average 4 digit sum which for most just isn't possible.
That meant for some years the only way to wear a Daytona rep is to live with the thickness of around 15,5mm.
But then there was 2016 and JF entered the market with a 23j Daytona rep with a thin case.
Finaly there was a chance to own a Daytona rep that looked gen like and was as thin as the gen. The chrono wasn't functional on these Daytonas but that didn't bother most...the gen like look was their aim.
But some (including me) couldn't live with a chrono watch that looks like a chrono but isn't a chrono due to the movement not being a chrono movement...so we waited for an update. There were rumours that the makers are working on a new version with a 4130 clone...wow...that would it be...gen look, gen thickness and a fully functional chrono...maybe like the SH31xx movements being able to take gen parts...that'll be a dream...
And...some month ago ARF maker joined the rep market with a new version of the Daytona.
The look...gen like just as the JF Daytonas.
Thickness...close with 13,2mm.
The movement...well...they call it a4130...they call it 4130 clone...but...it's not even close...
The base of the movement is the well know a7750. To make it thinner they got rid of the minute and hour counter which in my eyes makes it a non-chrono movement so nothing better than the 23j movement (okay...the stop second works so it's a 1 minute chrono...hoorrayyy :raisedeyebrow: ). Being an a7750 the movement isn't able to take gen parts and it's not possible to mount a gen dial without destroying it's value because one has to cut off the dial feet.
This new ARF Daytona was a big downturn for me (and some others)...and...the 904L steel that they seem to use on these new Daytonas is just a marketing gag. I mean...904L isn't superior to 316L...it's just different. Some say the look and feel is completely different...from my own experience there is no haptic or visual difference. The difference between a ARF Daytona with 904L and other Daytonas with 316L comes from the finish I'd say. I bet there wouldn't be a difference between a ARF and "Johnny Depp" modded Daytona...
But...back to what this thread is about...the Domi Daytona!
I waited long with buying a Daytona since I was waiting for a real 4130 clone. A fully functional movement is very important for me and the thought of being able to just put a gen dial on it without destroying its value was the icing on the cake :).
With that ARF Daytona all my hope for such a Daytona was gone and I decided to buy an a7750 Daytona. 15,5mm thickness is something I could live with...better than a non working chrono!
My decision went for a BP Daytona since this was the only one with a slate grey racing dial. The "new" 29jewel movement that they also call 4130 clone became very reliable, so no fear that I bought a "time bomb". Domi said they copied his mod and even improved it. The only thing to do on this movement is to check if it's clean and give it a little oil here and there and it's good for some years without any fear
A few days after I received my Daytona from Trusty Time I went to Domi to have him taking a look at the movement if it's clean. While he was explaining to me why this movement had become such a good movement we decided to take off the fake 4130 deco plate to make sure that none of the glued on parts can become loose and harm the movement.
Without this cover plate it was possible to use a flatter rotor and with that flatter rotor it was possible to use a flatter caseback. And since the crystal height was way too high he shaved the gasket to bring it down to gen height...version 1 of the "Domi Daytona" was born with a fully functional movement and only 14,2mm height over all...cool
With just a few mods it was possible to bring an a7750 Daytona from 15,5mm to 14,2mm.
And since I already could've lived with 15,5mm I was more than happy with 14,2mm
But that was just v1...another BP Daytona was on its way to me. BP again since only BP has a blue racing dial Daytona. As far as I know this is a fantasy model but it's one Rolex should've done :).
Last week the Daytona arrived and I had the time to visit Domi again. He said he had some ideas that he would try out and since I have 100% confidence in his skills I let him
First thing to do was of course to remove the fake 4130 deco plate. The next thing he did was to shorten the hour, minute and second pinion to bring down the hands to gen height and being able lower the crystal seat. For lowering the crystal seat he had to turn (shave) the case and the bezel. After all this was done successfully he installed a flat rotor and turned a very flat custom case back...version 2 was ready with a total height of only 13,3mm and a fully functional movement...amazing!!
During that process he found out that there's still some room for getting it slimmer...13mm are maybe possible but this has to be tested with v3...stay tuned
@dmuit was and is still a magician and...something we both thought of...look what he was able to do with his limited possibilities as a watchsmith and guess what the makers would be able to do with all their machines and skills...there is no need to give us a Daytona with a non-chrono movement to be close to gen height. They could easily build a fully working Daytona with 13mm or even less...my guess is that the makers just made this because they know that they can sell xtimes more of their watches when they continue with their versioning system...
v2 during process
Comparison v1 - v2