Monday, July 16, 2018

Three Generations of Cousteau's...


Update: July 22nd. I just finished a massive update on this story! Be sure to make a donation to Céline Cousteau's Kickstarter campaign which can be seen below:


Céline Cousteau

Tribes On The Edge 

Documentary Launched on Kickstarter


Céline Cousteau just launched her Kickstarter project for her documentary titled Tribes On The Edge. Please click on the play button below to see her exciting project and be sure to support her Kickstarter campaign to help her finish her film.









In Search Of 


Jacques-Yves Cousteau



''People protect what they love." 

—Jacques-Yves Cousteau




When I started Jake's Rolex World eleven years ago, my goal was to capture as much of Rolex's amazing history as possible, as well as to separate-the-fact-from-the-fiction on falsely perpetuated myths. At the time, I could not help but notice there were two Rolex related people who surprisingly seemed to not exist on the world-wide-web, and that was Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf and explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau. 

With Hans Wilsdorf, there were only two photos of him on the entire web—the one with the crazy hair, and the one when he was a young handsome man with a mustache. This struck me as being almost a crime against humanity as I realized Wilsdorf was arguably one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. I wanted to know his story and assumed many of my readers did as well.






Whatever Happened

To Jacques Cousteau?

The second person missing from the internet was Jacques-Yves Cousteau, which struck me as being really peculiar since he was so popular during my childhood!?!! There were some low resolution photos of Jacques, and tidbits of writing, but nothing cohesive on substantial.

As a result of my frustration, I set out on a mission to extensively document both Hans Wilsdorf and Jacques-Yves Cousteau's career achievements, and ended up creating the single largest story on each man, located on the web, which included the largest repositories of photos for both men. I did the same for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.

When I first interviewed Céline Cousteau she asked me about her grandfather and his relationship with Rolex. I took her on a tour of his Rolex history, and then when I interviewed Jean-Michel Cousteau who is Jacques-Yves Cousteau's son, he did not seem that familiar with his father's history with Rolex. That is one of the reasons I decided to write this story, to put in one cohesive place a story that chronicles the Cousteau legacy and at the same time showcases in a comprehensive manner Jacques-Yves Cousteau's relationship with Rolex. Also, this story offers an update all off Jacques Cousteau's adult progeny.




The First Family Of Exploration


Céline Cousteau


I recently interviewed Céline Cousteau and we had the most amazing conversation about her career achievements as well as discussing the entire Cousteau family today—were they are, and what they are doing...I believe it's safe to say the torch has been passed to the next generation who are all doing amazing things to protect earth...




In the photo below Céline Cousteau is swimming through the ocean with dolphins. Notice Celine is NOT wearing a tank but just a snorkel. Radical!!!! Check out the length of those flippers!!! She must get some serious speed going with those!!!





In the next photo we see Céline diving with a school of fish in the ocean.




In the image below from the December 2013 cover of Town & Country Magazine we see Céline Cousteau with her brother Fabien Cousteau. 










Return To The Amazon

Céline Cousteau's grandfather lead his team and brought the Calpyso on an expedition in 1982 down the Amazon river.  




Mission Amazon ended up being a 5 part series that aired on ABC. 


Jacques-Yves Cousteau with Ted Turner

Ted Turner financed the expedition and Jacques-Yves son, Jean-Michel helped produce it. Below is the original TV trailer for Cousteau's Amazon Expedition.


In the photo below we see Céline Cousteau piloting her zodiac boat down the Amazon with her grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso in the background. Céline and I discussed her first trip down the Amazon which her father Jean-Michel Cousteau took her on with her grandfather and she mentioned how engaged and fascinated she was with expedition, and in particular meeting the native people. This resulted in her returning decades later with her father Jean-Michel on a return expedition to the Amazon.

 Céline Cousteau 1982-1983 Piloting Zodiac on the Amazon River 
on Expedition with her father and grandfather



When we watch documentaries, which Céline's grandfather basically invented, we spend an hour watching not realizing how painstaking and time consuming the background work was. 

This next photo which was taken by Carrie Vonderhaar, appears courtesy of Ocean Futures Society, and shows the "Long Commute" to work and we see Director of Photography Matt Ferraro napping, while Céline's brother Fabien Cousteau is contemplating, and we see Céline doing stretching exercises during their 33-hour trip to the Vale do Javari conference at Rio Novo during their father, Jean-Michel Cousteau's 2006-2007 Amazon expedition. 


In 2013 Céline Cousteau returned a third time to the Amazon to start filming her own documentary on some of the native tribes of the Amazon and their plight as we see in the photo below.



This interesting documentary will be released soon as she it still putting the finishing touches on he documentary.

ABC News just published this story about Céline Cousteau's upcoming project and also mentioned her upcoming Kickstarter campaign which is scheduled to launch later this week on July 19, 2018. BTW, the Nell Newman Foundation is supporting Céline Cousteau's upcoming documentary named Tribes On The Edge with a donation. 



Céline Cousteau is pictured below with her legendary grandfather, Jacque-Yves Cousteau when she was a little girl. After having interviewed Céline I could not help but notice she shares her grandfather's Spirit of Inquiry and Exploration.



Below we see a trailer for Céline Cousteau's upcoming documentary named "Vale do Javari: Tribes on the Edge." Céline wrote an article about this upcoming documentary which is very interesting.



The Amazon River—as seen in the photo below—is the largest river in the world by discharge, and at 4,350 miles in length is filled with mystic surprises which include close to 3000 known species of fish that live in the river. Also, 20% of earths oxygen is generated by the vast Amazon rain-forest in Brazil.



It was both a privilege and absolute pleasure to speak with Céline Cousteau. Céline mentioned a number of other fascinating projects she is working on and I look forward on covering them in the future.








Jean-Michel Cousteau

Leading Ocean Environmentalist

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking in detail with Jean Michel Cousteau who is the head of OceanFutures.org. Jean-Michel Cousteau is Royalty in the world of exploration as he is the son of the greatest explorer in history, Jacques-Yves Cousteau. He is also Céline & Fabien Cousteau's father. Jean-Michel and I took a stroll down memory lane as we discussed so many different aspects of his history as well as his legendary father's history.


Jean-Michel Cousteau is pictured below in 1989 in Papaua, New Guinea with his father, Jacques-Cousteau aboard the Calypso, and notice he is wearing his Rolex SEA-DWELLER. I asked Jean-Michel what his first recollection was of wearing a Rolex Submariner and he told me it was when he was stationed in Madagascar in 1958.





The Life Aquatic

In the photo below we see Jean-Michel Cousteau with his father Jacques, mother Simone, and brother Philippe SCUBA diving in the 1940s. Jacques-Yves was one of the pioneers of early SCUBA diving.


In the famous photo below we see Jacques-Yves with his two sons, Philippe and Jean-Michel Cousteau.



Jean-Michel Cousteau is in the photo below that was inspired by the family portrait above, with his children Fabien and Céline Cousteau. 



Jean-Michel Cousteau is pictured below SCUBA Diving with his daughter Céline and son Fabien Cousteau.



In this next photo we see Jean-Michel Cousteau with his daughter Céline and son Fabien Cousteau.








Fabien Cousteau

Fabien Cousteau is Jean-Michel's son and is pictured below on his grandfather, Jacques-Yves Cousteau's shoulders. 




Below is a Ted Talk Fabien Cousteau gave which is amazing!!!




Jean-Michel and I were talking about his career and he mentioned he is an architect by training. He told me his father asked him what he wanted to do after he got out of the mandatory French military service and he told his father he wanted to design and build cities underneath the ocean, so he ended up going to architectural school. 




Jean-Michel mentioned that one of his great lifetime achievements was in designing the predecessor to the Calypso which is named the Alcyone (daughter of the wind), which is a dual turbosail propulsion ship (pictured above). He also mentioned he designed a Calypso II, which has yet to be built. How cool would it be if the Cousteau family built the Calypso II and they started making documentaries aboard the ship!?!!

Jacques-Yves Cousteau passed away in 1997 at age 87. According to the 1997 New York Times obituary for Jacques-Yves Cousteau: Jean-Michel said: "The work of my father was a hymn to life. On the wall of my office there is a quotation from my father: 'The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.'"

In the future, I will be publishing a detailed story on my interview with Jean-Michel Cousteau which I believe will put together the final pieces of the Cousteau Rolex history puzzle, but in the meantime enjoy the Ted talk video below:








Jacques-Yves Coustea

Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who is Jean-Michel's father and Céline Cousteau's grandfather is the greatest explore that has ever lived—bar none. Not only did Jacques-Yves invent the documentary film, but he won three Academy Awards making them.

I remember when I was a small child, every Sunday night my family would gather in front of the TV set to watch "The Underwater World Of Jacques Cousteau" which ran from 1968 to 1976. On this amazing show Captain Cousteau and his sons would take us on board his famous Calypso ship to explore all over the world.

''From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to the Earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free. Buoyed by water, he can fly in any direction—up, down, sideways—by merely flipping his hand. Under water, man becomes an archangel.'' 


—Jaques-Yves Cousteau







The First Rolex Submariner

Have you ever wondered why the Rolex Submariner is named Submariner? Submariner is most commonly pronounced Suhb-mar-uh-ner, but it's original and proper pronunciation is Suhb-muh-ree-ner. Meaning the watch was designed for a Submarine Captain, NOT a Mariner who was Sub-par. I first recall learning this from NASA Mercury Astronaut and SEALAB Aquanaut, Scott Carpenter, (pictured below) and have been reminded/corrected about this mispronunciation several times by SEALAB mission leader, Bob Barth. 



It is a fact that Jacque-Yves Cousteau worked with Rolex on the original Submariner, which I learned from former Rolex U.S.A. executive, T. Walker Lloyd. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was close friends with Rolex Geneva Director, Rene-Paul Jeanneret.

From all my deep research I would argue the Rolex Submariner was inspired by and named after Jacques-Yves Cousteau and here is why:

The very rare photo below shows Jacques-Yves Cousteau with legendary Swiss Physicist, Auguste Piccard in 1948, in front of the Bathyscaphe F.N.R.S II Submarine. The F.N.R.S. II was what Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau referred to as the "Original Deep-Boat." 


Auguste Piccard & Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1948 in front of the Bathyscaphe F.N.R.S. II

In December of 1953 Jacques Cousteau comandeered the F.N.R.S III and took her down 4000 feet so set a world depth record. Keep in mind Jacques Cousteau took the F.N.R.S III Submersible down twenty-five times deeper than a standard submarine could go at that time in history. 

The F.N.R.S. III Submersible in 1953 in front of the Calypso

Later in 1953, August Piccard and his son Jacques Piccard, had built a submersible based upon a similar design, which they named The Trieste that went even deeper, setting a new world depth record at 10,350 feet which beat Cousteau's record, and Piccard's Bathyscaphe Trieste had a Rolex DEEP-SEA prototype attached to the outside of the submersible which came back up to the surface in perfect working order.

On February 15, 1954, Cousteau and the F.N.R.S. III dove 4,050 meters (13,290 ft) 160 miles off Dakar, Senegal in the Atlantic Ocean, beating Piccard's 1953 record, set by the Trieste, by 900 meters to (the floor of the Mediterranean off Naples, 10,392 feet (3,167 m). 


This record was not broken until Piccard had sold his  Trieste to the U.S. Navy in 1958, and on January 23,  1960, it set the all-time depth record in the Challenger Deep, off the coast of Guam when she dove to 10,911 meters (35,797 ft), in the deepest known part of the Earth's oceans, the Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench near Guam in the Pacific. 


Jacques Yves-Cousteau is considered to be the father of Scuba Diving and modern underwater exploration, and he worked with Rolex in the early 1950s to develop the Rolex Submariner as seen on his wrist below in 1953. 



I believe Rolex named the Submariner was an homage to Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was close friends with Rolex Director, Rene-Paul Jeanneret, who he worked with on the development of the Rolex 'Submariner' Diving Watch. I believe Rolex named the Submariner as a tribute to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and I believe "Submariner" was intended to mean, "Mariner who explores below (Sub) the Sea, or pilots a Submarine". It is a important to also take into consideration in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Submarines were a huge deal. All these amazing Submarine events occurred long before President Eisenhower established NASA in 1958. Captain Cousteau was as close as the world came to a real Buck Rogers in the 21st Century... 

Jacques-Yves was instrumental in the development of the Rolex Submariner, and Jean-Michel and I discussed the image below taken in 1953 when his father was testing Rolex Submariner prototypes with his team aboard the Calypso in the Mediterranean.



The close up photo above of Jacques-Yves Cousteau shows him wearing an early Rolex Submariner with pencil hands that looks like the similar vintage model seen below.

The document below confirms Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team were testing Rolex Submariner prototypes in early 1953.














Below we see a 1966 Rolex Submariner magazine advertisement that talks about how Rolex came up with the Submariner and how it was designed for seagoing men.








The First SEA-DWELLER's In History

We just learned why the Rolex Submariner was named the Submariner? But where did the Rolex SEA-DWELLER get its name from? You are about to find out!




Project Conshelf
From Submariner to SEA-DWELLER

In September 1962, Jacques Cousteau immersed his Calypso crew into their most ambitious adventure to date known as the Conshelf Project. The Conshelf project was the brainchild of a U.S. Navy Medical Corps., Captain named Dr. George Bond. Dr. Bond conceived a new method of diving known as the "saturation method" which became know as "saturation diving."


The photo below was taken in 1968, and it shows U.S. Navy Doctor George Bond being interviewed with his close associate, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau. In the interview, they were discussing U.S. Navy SEALAB III.

"What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what's going on." –Jacques-Yves Cousteau 






Saturation diving created an underwater habitat where the divers could live in an underwater house/structure/habitat so they could work on the sea floor, without having to decompress by coming up to the ocean's surface after each dive.

Dr. Bond submitted his plan to build this underwater habitat for saturated divers to the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Navy initially rejected the idea–so Dr. Bond submitted his idea to Jacques Cousteau and his Calypso diving team–and after careful evaluation Cousteau decided to undertake the project.


Conshelf I

Conshelf I [September 1962] Location: Frioul Island, Marseille, France

Conshelf I got underway in September of 1962, and according to Jacques Cousteau, the objective was "Two men living for one week in a small building at a depth of 37 feet and working several hours a day at 65 feet." The Conshelf I structure was essentially a huge drum about the size of an industrial shipping container that was ballasted with an open hatch for the divers to enter and exit the underwater house.

In the photo below we see Conshelf I's barrel shaped habitat being tested for leakage before being submerged for the experiment. I may be wrong, but I think I recognize fellow DEEP-SEA Submariner, Jacques Piccard up on the top deck, leaning back, in the white shirt with dark slacks filming with a camera in his hand. 



Jacques Coustea previously worked with Jacques Piccard on the Bathyscaphe Project, and would work with Piccard again in 1964 on a new floating laboratory nicknamed "Mysterious Island" and again in 1965 from April 13 to May 10 on a geophysical and acoustical mission along the south coast of France. 

It is kind of shocking we have never seen a photo of the two Jacques together, but this may be the first one. Cousteau, of course, is located in the bottom right hand corner of the photo seen above on the deck of the Calypso.

Albert Falco and Claude Wesly of the Calypso diving team (pictured below wearing red caps) swam into history when they became the first "Oceanauts [French]" or "Aquanauts [American]" or "SEA-DWELLERS [ROLEX]" to live or "DWELL" under the sea. Also in the photo below we see Jacques Cousteau visiting with Falco and Wesly inside the Conshelf I habitat. When I interviewed Jacques-Yves Cousteau's son, Jean-Michel Cousteau recently for this article, he mentioned that he also visited Falco and Wesly. I think it is likely that Jean-Michel took the photo below.





So not only was Jacques-Yves Cousteau the inspiration for the original Rolex Submariner, but he was also the inspiration for the Rolex SEA-DWELLER as well. Ironically, it was the U.S. Navy SEALAB Aquanaut, Bob Barth would would develop the helium gas escape valve for the SEA-DWELLER in partnership with T. Walker Lloyd and Rolex in Geneva.


In the photo below taken later in Jacques-Yves Cousteau's life we seen him wearing a Rolex SEA-DWELLER. In my opinion, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was and remains the living personification and embodiment of both the Rolex Submariner and SEA-DWELLER.

''I loved touching water. Physically. Sensually. Water fascinated me.'' —Jacques-Yves Cousteau





Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso was extremely well equipped with innovative technology to capture the mysteries of the ocean including the SP-350 diving saucer submarine that Captain Cousteau designed, which is pictured below as it is prepared for work in the Aegean Sea.







Jacques-Yves is pictured below with his first wife, Simone Melchior Cousteau aboard the Calypso. Simone who was commonly referred to as  “La Bergère”, which when translated from French to English means: "The Shepherdess." In American English we might say she was like the den mother of the Calypso. Simone spent more time aboard the Calypso than anybody else, as loved it. Simone was also renowned for being extremely feminine and always being a perfect lady. As we see in the photo below, she wore a ladies Rolex Datejust.







“To Live on the Land We Must Learn from the Sea” 

–John Denver (Calypso)


Richard Hyman took the photo below onboard the Calypso when they were filming in the Belize Barrier Reef and John Denver gave an impromptu concert for Captain Cousteau and his wife Simone.







Philippe Cousteau

Jacques-Yves Cousteau is pictured below with his two sons, Jean-Michel, and Philippe in 1953 onboard the Calypso.


In this next image also taken in 1954 onboard the Calypso by Harold Edgerton we see Jacques-Yves with his son Philippe.





Philippe Cousteau is pictured board the Calypso with his Father Jacques Cousteau in 1978.


In this next photo we see Philippe-Pierre Cousteau after he grew a serious beard, and it was taken during a Jacques Cousteau documentary named "Voyage To The End Of The World", and notice he is wearing his trademark Rolex SEA-DWELLER in stainless steel.


In the next image below we again see Philippe wearing his Rolex SEA-DWELLER.


Philippe Cousteau was Jacques-Yves Cousteau's younger son, and in the photo below we see Philippe suiting up for a dive during SEALAB III. It is important to note that Philippe Cousteau and his father, Jacques Cousteau were always in close contact with the members of SEALAB, as Operation Conshelf and SEALAB ran concurrently. 



Philippe-Piere Couteau is pictured below with his father Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and Jacques seems to be admiring his sons Rolex SEA-DWELLER.


Philippe Cousteau's Double Red Patent-Pending SEA-DWELLER is pictured below in a recent photo from an Antiquorum Auction. The caseback on this watch has an interior date stamp from the fourth quarter of 1967 that reads IV.67, with the serial number of 1,602,920. Philippe Cousteau's Rolex SEA-DWELLER sold on September 30, 2014 for $183,750 @ Antiquorum Auction House in New York.




Above photo of Philippe Cousteau appears courtesy of John H Harding ©1971


Philippe-Piere Cousteau was quite an explorer and risk taker, and he loved being an airplane pilot. Unfortunately in 1979 Philippe was attempting to land the Cousteau amphibious Flying Calypso airplane boat (seen below) and he crashed it in the Tagus River in Portugal and lost his life. His father Jacques-Yves Cousteau was completely devastated by the supreme tragedy.








Philippe Cousteau Jr.

At the time of Philippe Cousteau's death, his American wife, Jan, was seven months pregnant with their son Philippe Cousteau Jr. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was devastated by his son Philippe's accidental death. The photo below was taken several years later and we see Jacques-Yves with his grandchildren, Alexandra and Philippe Cousteau Jr.


Philippe Cousteau Jr., followed in his father and grandfather's footsteps and said:

"I'll never be able to fill my father's or grandfather's shoes, but hopefully I can stand on their shoulders and reach farther." –Philippe Cousteau Jr.



In the recent photo above, we see Philippe Cousteau Jr., wearing his Rolex SEA-DWELLER. Philippe Cousteau Jr, is also Jacques-Yves Cousteau's grandson, and he received his Rolex SEA-DWELLER as a gift from his mother. In the video below we see Phillips Cousteau giving a Ted Talk which is fascinating.





Alexandra Cousteau 

Alexandra Cousteau is strong ocean advocate and can be seen below in the video talking about an expedition she was on for Oceana.







Cousteau Legacy


Jacques-Yves Cousteau had two boys with his first wife, Simone Melchior and in the photo below we see the next two generations of descendants. In the photo below we Jean-Michel Cousteau standing next to his son Fabien Cousteau, and daughter Céline Cousteau, surrounded by his nephew Philippe Cousteau Jr., and his niece, Alexandra Cousteau. All four Cousteau grandchildren are amazing and have all followed in their grandfather's footsteps. 








Pierre-Yves Cousteau

Jacques-Yves Cousteau was married a second time to Francine Cousteau and they had two children, Pierre-Yves Cousteau, and Diane Cousteau. Pierre-Yves Cousteau is very similar to his father in many ways. 



In particular he is a bold ocean environmentalist and he is pictured below in a recent photo on the Greek island of Santorini.


Back in 2015 I made this mock-up poster as an homage to the Cousteau family and Rolex. In other words even though this might look like an official Rolex poster it is not as I made it for fun...


I have to say that when I first started writing this article I plant to just talk about my interviews with Céline and her father, Jean-Michel Cousteau, but as you can see I got really carried away. I am glad I dug deeper to not only explore the significance Jacques-Yves Cousteau Rolex history, but also how both of his sons were involved in the SEA-DWELLER history.

Also, Jacques-Yves youngest son, Pierre-Yves seems like an amazing man. Not to mention all of Jacques-Yves Cousteau's grandchildren are AMAZING!!!! I strongly believe the world needs Jacques-Yves even more today than at any time in the past. Since he is not here, his sons Jean-Michel and Pierre-Yves, as well as his four grandchildren, Céline, Fabien, Alexandra and Philippe Jr are all doing an amazing job of following in Jacques-Yves footsteps...


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