Rolex Daytona VS Rolex GMT: Which is the Best?

Let's compare these two Rolex collections to find out which one of these two Rolexes is best for you.

We create detailed and comprehensive watch comparisons. These insightful comparisons are straight to the point and done in an easy-to-read format to quickly determine which one of these two Rolex watches is the best for them.

We get asked all sorts of questions about various watches. There are many people looking at the Rolex Daytona and the GMT who are trying to figure out which one to buy.


Common Features

  • Both the GMT and the Cosmograph Daytona use an in-house Rolex movement.
  • Both watches have a decent power reserve. The Cosmograph Daytona has a slightly higher one though.
  • Both have a "Cerachrom" bezel insert which is made of a very durable and hardened ceramic that is resistant to scratches. Additionally, Cerachrom is anti-corrosive and its color doesn't fade when exposed to UV rays for extended periods of time.
  • Both have the Easylink 5mm adjustment extension link.
  • Patented "Triplock" crown which locks the crown down the Oyster case making it as tight as a submarine hatch.
  • Bracelet fitted with the patented Easylink 5mm extension link allowing a quick 5mm extension or reduction to the bracelet size without the need of tools.
  • Both offer water resistance of 100m/330ft
  • Both of these Rolex watches have an Oyster bracelet
rolex gmt

Rolex GMT Master II

The most useful feature of the watches in this series is the Dual Time Zone function of the GMT complication (AKA Zulu and Universal Time Zone) . This feature is not available on the Daytona Collection. It's a very useful function which allows you to quickly see the time in another time zone. See the pros & cons.

What makes the GMT different from the Daytona?


GMT Complication
This complication allows you to see the time in a second time zone
Price starts at about half the price of a Daytona
The bezel rotates both ways. Several widely collected two colored bezel options i.e. the "Pepsi" dial(Red & Blue), the "Coke" (Red & Black), and the "Batman" dial (Black & Blue)
More luminous material is used on the GMT


Not as many styles from which to choose
Material Options
Not as many choices of precious metals (i.e. 18k yellow gold, Platinum, Rose Gold)
There's no chronograph function like the Daytona series
Strap Options
Doesn't have the choice of a leather strap
No diamond models like the Daytona Cosmograph series
rolex cosmograph daytona

Rolex Daytona

Aside from the greater number of style options, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona offers something that the GMT won't which is a stopwatch function known as a Chronograph complication. The pushers (buttons) on the top and bottom of the winding crown is the way that the chronograph is started, stopped and reset on the Rolex Cosmograph. For some this has a functional value. A chronograph is in general considered a sporty watch since it is often used to track best time by racing professionals and enthusiasts.

How is the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona collection different from the GMT series?

    • Diamond Indexes on some of the Daytona models
    • Some Daytona watches have leather straps
    • Chronometer complication which gives you a stopwatch/timer function
    • Ice blue dials are available on the Platinum Daytona
    • More precious metal options such as Everose® (18k rose gold) 18k yellow gold, 18k white gold and platinum with the Daytona
    • More options for dial colors such as Blue, Chocolate dial, Mother of Pearl, Rose Gold options
    • More choices of hour markers such as baguette diamond, Arabic numerals, applied etc.


More styles from which to choose
More precious metal options such as 18k yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum 
Stopwatch function of a chronograph complication
Choice of bracelet or leather watch band


An entry level Daytona is twice price of an entry level GMT
Doesn't have a GMT / Dual time zone function
Less luminous fill used means less night time visibility
No two color bi-directional rotating bezel options like the GMT

Side-By-Side Comparison of the Rolex Daytona VS Rolex GMT Specifications & Features

GMT Master II Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel
Brand: Rolex Rolex
Series: GMT Master II Cosmograph Daytona
Model #: 116710LN 116500LN White
Size: Mens Mens
Case Material: Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Dial Color: Black White Dial with White and Black subdials
Bracelet/Strap: Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Clasp Type: Folding Clasp With Safety Latch Deployant Buckle
Movement: Automatic Automatic
Caliber: Rolex Caliber 3186 Rolex Calibre 4130
Jewels: 31 44
Power Reserve: 50 hrs 72 hrs / 66 hrs with chronograph running
Bezel: Bi-Directional Rotating Fixed
Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire Scratch Resistant Sapphire
Case Back: Solid Solid
Water Resistance: 100m/330ft 100m/330ft
Case Diameter: 40mm 40mm
Complications: GMT Time Zone Chronograph
Warranty: Prestige Time 5 Year Warranty Prestige Time 5 Year Warranty

Some of the factors that people who are considering either of these watches is the need to gauge the functional value of a watch with the GMT/Dual Time Zone function instead of a watch like the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona which has a Chronograph complication.

The GMT complication is useful for those who call or travel frequently to different time zones and need to see the local time with just a quick glance. For people with this type of lifestyle, the GMT would be a great option.

Alternatively, if the style is of the essence and having more options is something you are looking for, the Daytona may be a better option. It's best to decide which features are most important to you in order to determine your ideal Rolex.

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daytona vs gmt

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