What do UFC fighter Conor McGregor, musician John Mayer, tennis legend Roger Federer, rapper Drake, actor Jonah Hill and mega-influencer Supercar Blondie all have in common? They’ve all been spotted wearing a gold Rolex Daytona Cosmograph with a brilliant green dial, putting them in an elite, exclusive group of collectors. Over the past decade or so, interest in luxury watches has grown exponentially, something analysts have attributed in part to an increase in millionaires around the world. With production of many high-end watches limited and demand for them growing, waiting lists to buy them are being extended from months to years. How Rolex became the top luxury watch brand in the world For those who can afford high-end timepieces, sports watches are generally the most sought after, especially among millennials. Rolex has enjoyed an advantage in this area through its historical links with sports like tennis. And while Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual, Submariner and Day-Date models are highly popular, the Daytona, especially the one with a green dial, is one of the most notoriously difficult Rolex models to own. But what makes the Rolex Daytona green dial – also known as the “Gold Hulk Rolex” or the “John Mayer Daytona” – special enough to make waiting lists to buy one so long that retailers no longer even give estimates on delivery? When the watch was announced at the Baselworld watch fair in Basel, Switzerland, in 2016, the reception for it was initially lukewarm. Upon release, many of the watches reportedly sat untouched in boutiques’ display cases. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Celebrity Watch Spotter™ ⌚️ (@celebwatchspotter) This all changed when, in a 2019 interview with authoritative watch website Hodinkee, John Mayer enthused about his green dial Daytona, calling it a “sleeper hit” in reference to what he predicted would be latent success for the model. This was a resounding call to action for collectors, who began a frenzied race to get one, pushing prices up from US$34,650 when it was first released to as much as US$85,000 now for a pre-owned one. Objectively, the green-dialled Daytona is not much different to other full-gold Daytonas. At its heart is the Calibre 4130 – a perpetual, self-winding, mechanical chronograph with a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day. Want to buy a Rolex? 6 of the best places to shop online that you can trust Watch nerds will wax lyrical about the calibre’s blue Parachrom hairsprings – the Rolex proprietary parts made from niobium and zirconium that are behind its accuracy thanks to their incredible “memory” and ability to bounce back to their original shape after every movement. On the surface, too, it’s only the green dial that differentiates this model from its black- and white-faced counterparts. Just as is the case with other Daytonas, there is a small second hand at six o’clock, a 30-minute counter at three o’clock and a 12-hour counter at nine o’clock. Despite having three sub-dials and the (rather long) name of the watch model inscribed at 12 o’clock, the dial doesn’t feel overcrowded. Amid luxury watch boom, other Swiss brands copy Rolex with pricey models The Calibre 4130, which was originally released in the year 2000, also offers a power reserve of around 72 hours, which improves on the 50 hours for earlier models. There have been quite a few iterations of full-gold Daytonas, including those with special dials, but the contrast between this particular watch’s iridescent green dial and the 18-carat gold case makes it especially eye-catching and instantly recognisable from a distance. The green also adds a playful note to this model that is absent in Daytonas with a black or white dial. An appealing feature of all of Rolex’s Daytona models is their 40mm (1.6-inch)-diameter case. This size makes the watches appropriate for both men and women to wear whether at the gym or in a boardroom meeting. In short, Rolex Daytonas are unisex, and rugged and utilitarian enough to be used for sports, yet elegant enough to wear in a formal setting. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Celebrity Watch Spotter™ ⌚️ (@celebwatchspotter) In light of all this, the important question is: how does one get one’s hands on a “Gold Hulk Rolex”? Unfortunately, Rolex isn’t telling. The Swiss watchmaker is one of the most secretive horology brands, to the extent that even company executives are discouraged from doing press interviews. There is no confirmed information on the number of Rolex watches produced each year, although experts estimate it to be around 1 million a year. In the past, prospective luxury watch buyers tried their luck in the United States and China – the world’s two biggest Swiss watch markets – where supply was previously relatively plentiful. However, in light of such high demand of late, even these countries are no longer promising resources to tap. Pre-owned Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet watch prices to fall more In Hong Kong, gold Rolexes have traditionally been very popular with businesspeople, not purely for their value as a status symbol, but because in Cantonese “Gold Ro[lex]” sounds like kum lo , a phrase meaning “lasting success”. According to a recent report by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Hong Kong remains the third largest market for Swiss-made watches. But even this distinction, according to retail sources, doesn’t earn the city more than low-single-digit amounts of green-dial Rolex Daytonas arriving for sale each year. Accordingly, the second-hand market might be the only chance for impatient collectors with cash to burn to get their hands on this most coveted of Rolex models. One idea would be to keep a keen eye on watch auctions. Alternatively, get on the waiting list of a friendly luxury watch retailer , and hope that the watch will arrive on your wrist before you’re too old to appreciate it.