Some watch aficionados are willing to wait 2 years to get this $12,000 Rolex

The 2016 Rolex Daytona
The 2016 Rolex Daytona.

It’s no secret that Rolex watches are in high demand.

When Rolex announced a big update to one of its flagship watches, the Daytona, fans rushed in droves to order the new model. The announcement was made at Baselworld, the watch industry’s biggest trade show.

Unfortunately, Daytonas are not like the new iPhone. They’re rare beasts made by an extremely secretive company, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

“From the moment it was announced, demand was unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Ira Melnitsky, CEO of watch retailer Tourneau, told The New York Times.

Wait times for Daytonas are not unheard of. The watch is produced in low numbers, and distribution is carefully planned out by the company.

However, now those times have stretched out longer and longer due to the allure of the updated model.

“I’ve heard several times of two-year waiting lists,” Louis Westphalen, manager of vintage watch sales at Hodinkee, told The Times.

The kicker: fans don’t even know when the watch is going to be released, though many suspect it will be this summer. It will retail for just over $12,000.

Why are watch fans clamoring for the new Daytona?

In reality, the differences are pretty small compared to other recent versions. However, the last time the watch had a significant update was way back in 2000, and any change to a Rolex watch is a huge deal among aficionados.

The biggest difference for the new version is the black ceramic bezel (the circle around the watch face). It hearkens back to 1965, when the first Daytona was released with a black plexiglass insert.