Monday, August 20, 2018

1958: Men Who Guild The Destinies Of The World Wear Rolex Watches

...Rolex Time Machine...

Men Who Guild The Destinies Of

The World Wear Rolex Watches


Who is responsible for Rolex Watch Spotting practices? Some would say it all began with Jake's Rolex World, but this 1958 Rolex magazine advertisement would suggest it was Rolex itself that originally recommended and encouraged the practice of Rolex watch spotting a half-century before Jake's Rolex World came into existence.

There are several interesting characteristics I notice when evaluating this 1958 Rolex magazine advertisement. The first is that the soldier in the forefront (with the sword) is British, and the three soldiers in the background are U.S. Marines. This is interesting as it was published only thirteen years after the Allied powers defeated the Axis powers.

Secondly, Rolex was coy about not revealing the identities of the leaders it refers to. This is because they promised the leaders they would not use their identities for commercial purposes.

Rolex gave General Eisenhower the 150th Officially Certified Swiss Chronometer Rolex, which is pictured below. When they gave it to him in 1948, it lacked a Cyclops date magnifier window, which was retrofitted later in a subsequent serving of the watch. Eisenhower was the President of the United States when the Rolex ad pictured above was originally published in 1958.

President Eisenhower appeared on the cover of LIFE Magazine in 1952 wearing his yellow gold Rolex Datejust.

President-elect Eisenhower is pictured below with current President Truman as they head to Eisenhower's Presidential Inauguration in 1952.

In this close-up photo of President Truman and Eisenhower, we clearly see the Rolex Jubilee bracelet on Eisenhower's wrist.

General Eisenhower is pictured below in his U.S. Army Uniform.

The three men in the foreground of this photo all wore yellow gold Rolex watches.

You can learn much more about the history of The Rolex President in my 11 Part series titled, "The Complete History of The Rolex President."

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Rolex Macro Shot Of The Day Andreas' Rolex Explorer II...

Rolex Macro Shot Of The Day

Andreas' Rolex Explorer II

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Prince Of Cool: Chad McQueen

The Prince Of Cool

Chad McQueen

Rolex Submariner
Reference 5512

I recently interviewed Chad McQueen. Chad mentioned to me that his father gave him two Rolex Submariner watches when he passed away—a Reference 5512, as well as a Reference 5513.

Chad McQueen in the 1980s wearing his father's Rolex Submariner

The photo below appears courtesy of Charles Tearle and shows Chad's actual Rolex Submariner Reference 5512 that his father Steve McQueen gave him before he passed away in 1980. The provenance of this watch is beyond refuting and as real as the real-deal gets.

The Queen Of Cool

Neile Adams McQueen

Chad's mother, Neile Adams McQueen (The Queen of Cool) is pictured below, and she told me that her husband, Steve McQueen purchased the two Rolex Submariner models in Zurich, Switzerland around Christmas of 1969. 

In the next photo, we see Neile Adams McQueen waiting with her husband Steve McQueen as he prepares to race at Sebring in 1970.

In the photo below we see Steve and Neile McQueen with Chad and his sister, Terry McQueen.

Below is a photo of Steve McQueen at Sebring with wife Neile, son Chad, and daughter Terry talking with Steve during a break.

In this next photo taken many years later, we see Chad McQueen with his mother, Neile, and sister Terry.

Chad's sister Terry wore a yellow gold Rolex Lady-Date as seen in the photo below on the left side. In this photo, Terry is holding her daughter Molly, who is also pictured on the right photo being held by her grandmother Neile. 

Unfortunately, Terry passed away years ago but was raised by her grandmother Neile. When I recently interviewed Neile, she mentioned that Molly has her mother's Rolex Lady-Date today. Terry and Molly are pictured again below with Terry wearing her Rolex Lady Date.

Neile is pictured below in a recent photo with her granddaughter Molly.

In this next photo, we see Chad with his mom and his first wife. Notice Chad is wearing one of his dad's Rolex Submariner models.

Chad McQueen and I also discussed how in the future he will share more details with me about his father's Rolex Submariner watches, which is very exciting!! 

Chad McQueen in the 1980s wearing his father's Rolex Submariner

The King Of Cool

Steve McQueen

Chad's dad, Steve McQueen, known as The King Of Cool is pictured below wearing his Rolex Submariner with his super-cool fold-up Person Sunglasses. I first began chronicling Steve McQueen wearing Rolex Submariner models back in 2008 in a 4-Part Profiles In Coolness series I wrote on Steve McQueen.

It is interesting to note that Chad wears his dad's Submariner on his right wrist—just like his father did.

Steve McQueen is pictured below with his son Chad McQueen in September of 1971 at the California 500 Indycar race in Ontario, California.

Below we see a photo of Neile McQueen with her son Chad and grandson Steven McQueen, who is Chad's son.

Speaking of COOL—below is a photo of Steven McQueen who is Neile & Steve McQueen's grandson, and his parents are Stacey Toten and Chad McQueen. Steven McQueen is a talented actor and appears to be down to earth and very friendly.

I've written so much in the past about Steve McQueen, yet I am still in awe of how cool he really was. Long LIVE THE KING OF COOL!!!!

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Very First Rolex Day-Date

Rolex Day-Date Genesis Patent Discovered!!!

I have some stunning news to share with you about a discovery I recently made. How stunning is this news you ask? So stunning, I had to borrow Hodinkee's "BREAKING NEWS" Moniker again, as seen above!!

Very little was known about the origins of the Rolex Day-Date until today. Questions like, who designed the movement, and what inspired Rolex to come out with such a watch have never been answered or even addressed? Today, that changes...

Below is one of the most remarkable pieces of Rolex history I have uncovered. You are looking at a patent application which was originally filed in Switzerland in February of 1950 for what would become the Rolex Day-Date. This patent application is significant as it predates the original 1955 Rolex Day-Date patent application by five years!!!!

This patent, which credits Marc Huguenin as being the inventor, shows Rolex's first attempt at creating a watch that displayed both the Day & Date on the watch dial. Rolex never brought this actual watch design to market, but I am certain it was the precursor to the Rolex Day-Date.

I published the story below last week, and am including it with this breaking news as the Patent Application from July 23, 1955, also credits Marc Huguenin as the inventor of the Rolex Day-Date.


The Very First Rolex Day-Date

It never ceases to amaze me how timeless Rolex watches are, and in this photo, we see the very first Rolex Day-Date model which was patented by Rolex in 1955 and introduced at Basel Fair in Switzerland in 1956, which is 62 years ago!!! I love the red date wheel along with the red Day-Date designation on the dial. The Rolex Day-Date is commonly referred to as  The Rolex President, which is a fascinating story in and of itself.

My old friend, John Goldberger wrote in and included the photo below and said:

Dear Jake,

This is the first Day-Date with its original dial! The Day-Date showed today in your blog came from the Rolex collection but its dial is redone like many other dials in the Rolex Geneva collection!

Ciao John

It is worth noting that the Rolex Day-Date pictured above [36MM: Case Number: 134636, Caliber 1055] is the earliest know Day-Date in existence. It was manufactured in 1956 and sold in Italy, and the all details on the watch are original including the dial. The original hands on this watch are dauphine hands and the baton markers are pointed. Rolex later updated the hands and baton marker to make them all rectangular. 

I actually prefer the old-school style dauphine hands and markers which are late art-deco, which was a mid-century design known as Populuxe, which is reminiscent of 1959 Cadillac tailfin. Also, notice the date wheel was red, and in the photo below from Mondani Editore, we see an early Rolex Day-Date point of sale display which is showcasing a Reference 6511.

This is kind of a Rolex Mythbuster of sorts in the sense that the very first Rolex Day-Date models [Reference 6511 and 6510] came ONLY with Jubilee bracelets as seen in the photo above as well as the Rolex magazine ad below. When Rolex introduced the Day-Date at Basel Fair in 1956 it only came in 18Kt pink or yellow gold on a Jubilee bracelet. 

1956 Basel Fair Rolex Ad introducing the Rolex Day-Date Model

On July 23, 1955, Marc Huguenin from Rolex in Geneva filed a patent application #323982 (pictured below), which featured a seven toothed star wheel which sat on top of a 31 tooth calendar wheel. Both wheels were ratcheted once ever twenty-four hours at midnight.

The "President" bracelet would be added a year later in 1957 with the introduction of the Rolex Reference 6611, which featured an improved caliber 1055 that had a new free sprung Micro-Stella balance. This new model was also the first to feature the "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" designation on the dial. Notice the original Day-Date model pictured above has a dial designation that reads, "Superlative Chronometer by Official Test."

A few years ago I wrote an article for Rolex's paper magazine about the Rolex Day-Date, also known as the Rolex President, and I decided to share it below as part of this amazing Rolex history:





Rolex asked me to write an article about the Rolex Day-Date, A.K.A., The Rolex President for their print Magazine, in Issue Number 4. I decided to title the story as "The Rolex Precedent", which is obviously a play on "The Rolex President." I hope you enjoy reading my article as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Tip: The way to read the story is to click on the first magazine page below, which should make it larger in your browser, then you can use the right and left keys on your keyboard to navigate through the pages.