You are currently viewing 7 Rolex Daytona Homages To Satisfy Your Cravings

It's hard not to like the Rolex Daytona. It's a mix of everything a true watch enthusiast wants: tons of functional tools, a styling to die for, a strong brand that breathes luxury, and an iconic place in pop culture.

Unfortunately, the $20,000+ price tag makes the Daytona a mere dream rather than an attainable goal for most of us. However, all hope is not lost for us tight-pocketed Daytona lovers. Indeed, many watchmakers create homages (or alternatives in some cases) to give you at least part of the experience for a much, much cheaper price.

Without further ado, here are the 7 best Rolex Daytona homages on the market.

1. Alpha Daytona

Alpha Daytona front

While you might consider it blasphemous to buy a Chinese "homage" of a Swiss watch, it's definitely the most cost-effective way to get a high-quality Daytona lookalike. Alpha is one of the most renowned Chinese brands of Rolex homages (not to say copycat).

It's easy the see why;  the Alpha Daytona is almost indistinguishable from the original Rolex Daytona when looked at from a reasonable distance.  However, there're still a few downsides to buying a $175 watch instead of the $20,000 real deal.

Alpha Daytona on wrist

For instance, the Alpha Daytona comes with a Chinese Sea-gull SG2903 mechanical caliber. These movements are usually as accurate as their Japanese counterpart, but the quality control can be a bit lacking. 

The Alpha Daytona is the perfect size for men with small-to-medium wrists thanks to its 39mm case and 48mm lug-to-lug length. As expected, the Alpha Daytona is quite thick (16mm), but most of its height is attributable to the domed acrylic crystal.

2. Pagani Design Daytona

Pagani Design Daytona front

Pagani Design is another Chinese brand, but their approach to homages is a bit different than Alpha. Trying to replicate a high-end Swiss mechanical movement for a cheap price is a recipe for disaster, and Pagani Design knows that.

Instead, they use the Seiko VK63 caliber in their Daytona homage, which is a mecaquartz movement. In short, this is a quartz movement (+- 15 secs/month accuracy) that replicates the pusher button feel and smooth seconds hand sweep of a mechanical chronograph.

Pagani Design daytona on wrist

Consequently, this Pagani Design is one of the cheapest Daytona homages with its $90 price tag (even cheaper when coupons are available). However, this doesn't mean that it's a bad watch by any means.

For instance, you get a 316l stainless steel bracelet with solid links (even solid end links), a synthetic sapphire crystal, and great build quality.  Also, this is one of the thinnest Rolex Daytona homages (11mm) thanks to its quartz movement.

3. Steel Bagelsport Daytona

Steel Bagelsport Daytona Front

The Steel Bagelsport Daytona might have a funny name, but it shouldn't be dismissed so quickly. In fact, I think it's probably the best bang-for-the-buck Daytona homage on the market today. As you can see above, the finish of this watch makes it look way above its price tag.

However, there're a few important differences with the Rolex Daytona the might be a dealbreaker to you. For instance, the Bagelsport Daytona isn't actually a chronograph watch at all. The 3 and 9 o'clock subdials are simply day & date displays, whereas the 3 o'clock subdial is a 24-hour layout. Also, the seconds hand takes regular measurement of seconds passing, it's not a stopwatch.

Steel Bagelsport Daytona on wrist

While this might be a bummer to some of y'all, there's a silver lining. These complications are much simpler for a mechanical movement, which means your Steel Bagelsport should be more reliable than one that replicates the same chronograph functions as the Rolex Daytona.

The Steel Bagelsport brand is extremely elusive (they don't have a website nor an Aliexpress store), so there's very little information on the actual specs & components of this watch. However, the general consensus is that they make great timepieces for a cheap price.

4. Parnis Daytona

Parnis Daytona front

Parnis is another well-established Chinese "homage" brand (I promise, this is the last Chinese watch on the list). This one is very similar to the Pagani Design in the sense that it also uses a Seiko Mecaquartz movement.

It uses a Seiko VK64 instead of VK63, but the only difference is the lack of a date display on this one (which is closer to the original Rolex Daytona). The Parnis Daytona also comes with a sapphire crystal, which is impressive for the small $90 price tag.

Parnis Alpha on wrist

With the same price and similar quality, you might ask why the Parnis Daytona is worth choosing over the Pagani Design. The reason is quite simple: the Parnis is offered in over 10 variations with different colors & strap options, which isn't the case for Pagani Design.

Furthermore, the Parnis Daytona has a small 39mm case with a 13.65mm thickness, which makes it much more suited for men with smaller wrists.

5. Dan Henry 1962

Dan Henry 1962 racing chronograph front

With the Dan Henry 1962, not only do we leave the land of Chinese copycats, but we now enter the realm of Rolex Daytona alternatives (instead of homages). Indeed, the 1962 Chronograph is strongly inspired by the Daytona, but it adds a few unique touches.

For instance, this one has a completely different set of indices, different chronograph complications, and even different hands shape for the subdials. The Dan Henry Chrono 1962 is a great way to get something resembling the Rolex Daytona without being accused of wearing a copy.

Dan Henry 1962 racing chronograph on wrist

However, you must know that this distinguished styling will run you $270. In fact, about $180 of your money goes towards the styling since the components are pretty similar to the $90 Pagani Design.

For instance, you get the same Seiko VK63 Mecaquartz movement, a sapphire-coated mineral crystal, and only 50m of water resistance. However, the Dan Henry 1962's hands are applied with Superluminova, which is some of the best lume on the market.

6. Orient Neo 70

Orient Neo 70 front

Now here's a brand that might ring a bell to your ear. Orient is the most well-established company on this list, and it enjoys an excellent reputation from being a Seiko subsidiary.

Surprise, Surprise, the Orient Neo 70 is also equipped with Seiko's VK63 Mecaquartz movement. At this point, you should probably understand that all these brands use the same movement because it's the best bang-for-the-buck chronograph caliber out there.

Orient Neo 70 on wrist

Thanks to Orient's macro-level production facilities, the Neo 70 is rated for 100m of water resistance, which allows you to swim with it. This should also be true for other watches on this list, but microbrands usually underestimate their WR rating since they can't effectively test for 100m+.

Another advantage of the Neo 70 is the Orient logo, which will be much more respected by watch enthusiasts compared to new Chinese watch brands with no real history.

It's good to note that the Orient Neo 70 is the only watch on this list that doesn't have a tachymeter bezel. While this removes a tool from the watch, it helps the Neo 70 stand out a bit from all the Rolex Daytona copycats out there.

7. Steinhart Ocean 1 Chronograph

Steinhart Ocean One Vintage Chronograph

While the $1,000+ price tag of the Steinhart Ocean One Vintage Chronograph might seem high, it's still only a fraction of the Rolex Daytona's price. Also, the high cost of the Steinhart (compared to other homages) rewards you with high-end components (on par with Rolex).

For instance, this Steinhart is powered by a Dubois D├ępraz DD2020 movement (based on the ETA 2824-2 top), which means it will keep time within a +-4 seconds/day range. This places it head-to-head with Rolex in terms of accuracy.

The rest of the specs are what you'd expect from a $1,000+ watch: AR-Coated sapphire crystal, Superluminova "Old Radium" lume, solid links bracelet, and much more. Also, the dial is absolutely stunning with its matte black color and vintage numerals font.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Carlos

    But , which one is your favourite cost-effective watch. My impression is DH? Im right ?

    1. Romeo's Watches

      Hey Carlos,

      If I had to choose the most cost-effective Daytona homage it would either be the Pagani Design or Parnis.


      1. Anonymous

        I have been reading about and DH is closer to another watch of that time: Nina Rindt, homage to the a F1 muse, made by one of the Swiss brands that was closed the doors after quartz crisis. Universal Geneve.
        And I take this opportunity to say that your opinions and comparisons are very original, sometimes at first they seem even meaningless and go from Russian watches (a diversion) to alternatives to Rolex. Every time I end up understanding your reasoning and you goes from the collector to the simple admirer, sometimes to the apprentice or another level than the covencional. Congrats.

        1. Romeo's Watches

          Thanks for the kind words!

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