Classic watches are things of beauty - partly because post-1990's emergence of so called 'design watches' failed a big time to live up to our expectation, but mainly because there is certainly something beautiful and handsome in them that defies time. When we look back on the simplicity and elegance of the vintage watches from the 50's and 60's, as well as the sturdy and laconic watches of the 70's, we may even assume that history is moving backward. Where have all the handsome things gone? My theory is that fine design is a limited resource, and that we already used it up a long time ago.

Superlative precision, robust Oyster case, seamless design are all put together in one piece, plus you get to share the privilege of wearing the same watch that Paul Newman wore in the Daytona race. If you don't want this watch, you are not a man or you don't have a heart.

Newman with Ref.6239

Ref.6263 "Panda Newman"

Ref.6236 / Ref.6239 / Ref.6241

By the late-1980's Rolex for the first time changed Daytona's movement from manual to automatic, opening a new chapter of automatic chronograph. At that time Daytona carried El-Primero movement by Zenith, but now it uses Rolex's In-House caliber. 

1990 DAYTONA Ref.16520

That is why vintage Daytona’s with El-Primero or manual movement are highly valued in the market. In the below picture are the manual Daytona and the El-Primero version. The right one is the very first manual chronograph given the proud name of 'Daytona', and on the left is the first automatic model made in 1990. 

Vintage manual Daytona is now priced three times higher than the current brand new Daytona, hence no arguing about its value. This watch opened the brilliant history of Daytona, and you can still witness the history in the making at any Rolex boutique.
Technological advance is evident with the current model, but I am doubtful about improvement in design. Not trying to impose anything on anyone, I personally think it is nearly impossible to meet a Daytona more handsome than this one. Like an actor from the black-and-white classic movies, vintage Daytona has the unique yet complex charm of being both manly and feeble at the same time. So every time you look at it, you find a new face of Daytona.