Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rolex MoonPhase Madness at Phillips Auction House In Hong Kong

Rolex MoonPhase Madness

Rolex Reference 8171

Auctioned for over $1Million!!!

Back in November I ran a story on the upcoming Phillips Rolex Milestones Auction that took place on November 29, 2016. Two different Rolex Mooonphase models from the 1950s shattered the already high estimates. Before I talk about the astronomical (no pun intended) prices these watches sold for, I have to divulge that I have LOVED Rolex Moonphase models ever since I first saw them four decades ago. If you want to see more amazing vintage Rolex watches from the Phillips Auction click here.

1950 Rolex MoonPhase 
Reference 8021

The first watch seen below came from lot 823, which is a stainless steel Rolex Triple-Date Moonphase, which sold for just over $1Million!!!! This watch was made in 1950, at which time it probably retailed for a few hundred dollars!?!!!

    • Catalogue Essay

      Reference 8171 is lovingly dubbed ‘Padellone’, which translate to ‘large frying pan’ in Italian. Boasting a generous 38 mm case, it is slightly larger than its waterproof ‘Oyster’ sibling, reference 6062. It is interesting to note that both reference 8171 and 6062 were the only two ‘complicated’ models that Rolex ever produced, giving both references a mythical reputation and cult-like following.
      Most interestingly, both models were produced for a very short period of time in the early 1950s. To acquire even one of these watches has become a dream for many collectors today.
      Reference 8171 and 6062 were available in yellow gold, pink gold, and most exclusively, in stainless steel.

      A similar example, cased in stainless steel, was sold at Phillips’ The Geneva Watch Auction: TWO, lot 167, for an astounding 905,000 CHF.

      John Goldberger's Opinion 
      The present watch captivates and surprises in so many ways. The case is crisp, with sharp finishing to the bezel and the top of the lugs. The central band, too, retains immaculate satin-finishes. The same can be said for the case back, which displays a sharp coronet and crisp case numbers. The lines, curves, and finishes are all completely original.

      As with all ‘Padellone’ watches, the beauty lies in the dial. Those in original condition, such as this one, are few and far between, appearing infrequently on the market. The sharp track, where the moon phase aperture meets the rim of the subsidiary dial, is incredibly precise and correct. The sharp dagger numerals complement the ivory dial, and drawattention to the perfect blue outer date ring. One would expect to see significant spotting to the dial considering that this watch is not waterproof and over 60 years old. Yet, it remains clear of blemishes.

      At the time of production, watches dressed in yellow gold or pink gold livery were considered the most valuable, with stainless steel examples often chosen for everyday wear. As such, one is more likely to find an untouched example in gold. To find such an immaculate and original example, cased in stainless steel, has been a real pleasure for me.

1952 Rolex MoonPhase 
Reference 6062

The next watch seen below is from lot 816, and it features a yellow gold Rolex Triple-Date MoonPhase Oyster Perpetual on a matching Rolex Jubilee Bracelet.  It achieved an auction price of $660,000!!! The fundamental difference between the Reference 6062 model which is seen below, and its predecessor, which is seen above is that the Rolex 8021 was not waterproof.

    • Catalogue Essay

      Reference 6062 is one of two Rolex models to feature a triple calendar complication paired with a moon phase indication. While reference 6062 features a screw down Oyster case back, reference 8171 features a snap-on case back.

      Launched at the Basel fair in 1950, reference 6062 was the first automatic wristwatch with date and moon phase housed in a waterproof case. Cased in stainless steel, yellow gold and pink gold, the model was fitted with a number of dial variants. The most exclusive and desirable version is, without a doubt, one fitted with eight faceted stars in lieu of hour numerals. Such is the desirability, and popularity of the watch, that collectors have dubbed it ‘Stelline’, meaning 'starlet' in Italian.

      This example of a reference 6062 is furthermore completely fresh to the market, having surfaced to the public just recently. We are incredibly honored to present this watch. It is an opportunity to satiate even the most demanding of collectors and watch scholars.

      John Goldberger's Opinion
      The present 'Stelline', preserved in incredible condition, is one if the most beautiful examples of the reference.

      The dial condition can only be described as incredible – most examples are spotted throughout, due to aging and exposure to environmental elements. This dial is free of imperfections. The numerals on the outer track are inky blue, and the day and date apertures are sharp and angular, demonstrating the originality of the dial.

      The outer track has furthermore aged slightly faster than the center, enhancing the dial's two-tone appearance. The luminous stars, the most important aspect of the dial, are untouched. Each luminous within is perfectly rounded, placed precisely within each star. The “Officially Certified Chronometer” designation within the moon phase subsidiary dial is a particularly nice touch.

      The yellow gold case, preserved in excellent condition, displays a sharp hallmark to the bottom of the lug. There is light tarnishing in the form of patina, which really gives this watch so much character and history, furthermore attesting to its untouched condition. The Super Oyster crown is original, as is the Jubilee bracelet, stamped for the third quarter of 1952.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fidel Castro's Sons & Rolex

...Like Father Like Sons...

Castro Family & Rolex

Cuban revolutionary and dictator, Fidel Castro recently passed away, and I wrote a story on his passing. Of course, I have written extensively on Fidel Castro's Rolex watches in the past. Fidel Casto was and remains in many ways an enigmatic historical figure, but at the end-of-the-day, he was just like you and me. He put his pants on one leg at a time.

So you go to law school but you don't become a lawyer. Instead, you decide you don't like the way things are going in your beautiful Caribbean paradise, so you get the American's to support your overthrowing of the Batista government. You put a Rolex on your wrist, create a revolution, overthrow the government, and take over. 

Then decide you don't like the American's or capitalism, so you convert your island nation from Capitalism to Communism and you go up against President Kennedy and completely scare him silly, along with the rest of the western hemisphere. You have a collection of Rolex watches and you often wear a few of them at a time. You have an unlimited supply of the best Cuban cigars in the world, along with swimming pools full of the best Cuban Rum.

Beautiful Women love and idolize you. They throw themselves at you constantly, and can't seem to keep their hands off you.

Gorgeous women just walk up and randomly kiss you all the time. So what happens next? I'll let you do the math on that one :-)

Fidel Castro had 9 recognized children in total—with 5 different women. I say he had '9 recognized' children, as it is rumored he had several other children he kept a secret. Looks like Fidel Castro has Mick Jagger beat in this department!! Actually, Mick Jagger at age 72 is about to have his eighth baby, so the rock star can still match or beat the dictator!!!

Fidelito Castro 
Fidel Castro's First Son

Fidel Castro's oldest son is named Fidelito Castro, and he is pictured below with his father Fidel Castro in 1959 at the Havana Hilton Hotel in Cuba, (More on the irony of this a little later in the story). In the photo below Fidelito is inspecting his father's Rolex Day-Date with an early Rolex 'President' bracelet. We also see Fidel wearing his Rolex GMT-Master on his left wrist along with another watch that is flipped-around out of view. 

Fidel used to wear two or three watches a the same time, and I have speculated for many years, he did this to keep time in Cuba and in Moscow. Either that or he just liked wearing multiple Rolex watches like Drake!?!!

The recent photo below is of Fidel Castro's son, Fidelito Castro, and we see he is wearing a stainless steel and gold Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee Bracelet. So Doesn't Fidelito Castro look just like his father!?!! It is ironic that Fidelito pictured above, inspecting his father's Rolex 'El Presidente', is pictured below 57 years later, wearing a somewhat similar looking Rolex Datejust!?!!

The recent video below features Fidel Castro's son Fidelito, in an interview which is in Spanish.

The selfie photo below was taken by Paris Hilton in Havana, Cuba, and she is posing with Fidel Castro's son Fidelito who is a nuclear physicist and obviously looks very similar to had father. Ironically, Paris Hilton's paternal grandfather, Conrad Hilton, built the Havana Hilton Hotel that Fidelito's father, Fidel Castro confiscated from him. Ironically, this is the same Havana Hilton pictured in the photo 3 photos above that shows young Fidelito with his father, checking out his Rolex Day-Date.

Things are obviously changing quickly in Cuba. There seems to be a new openness or perestroika emerging, and perhaps this photo of Paris Hilton and Fidelito Castro is like seeing the first photos of the Berlin Wall being torn-down back in the Ronald Reagan ERA.

Antonio Castro
Fidel Castro's Son

In the photo below we see Fidel Castro's son, Antonio Castro smoking a Cuban cigar. Antonio Castro is a Doctor in Cuba.

In the photo below we see Fidel Castro meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Cuba in 2012. We see Fidel Castro's son, Antonio Castro between them, and he is wearing a Rolex Explorer II, with a polar white dial.

Fidel Castro's son, Antonio Castro is pictured below wearing his Rolex Explorer II, with a polar dial. Contrast the fact Antonio Castro is wearing an Adidas jersey, with Oakley sunglasses, while wearing a Rolex Explorer II on his wrist, with his father's standard military uniform with green cargo pants. The times they are a changin'...

Fidel Castro's niece, Mariela Castro is the daughter of Fidel's brother, Raúl Castro, who is currently the President of Cuba. Mariela Castro is pictured below with her husband Paolo Titolo, who is also wearing a Polar Rolex Explorer II. Paolo is from Italy and is a photographer. 

The photo below is of Raúl Castro, who is Fidel Castro's brother and the current President Of Cuba. Raúl Castro fought side by side with his brother Fidel Castro and Che Guevara during the Cuban Revolution. Raúl Castro is pictured below standing next to his son, Raúl Guillermo Rodriguez Castro. I can't make a 100% positive ID, but it sure looks like his son Raúl is wearing a polar white Rolex Explorer II as well...I have also seen photos before of Raúl Castro (the dad) wearing a Rolex during the Cuban Revolution.

It is fascinating to note that the Castro family wearing Rolex for multiple generations is similar to other famous families including The Cousteau family. This is an interesting concept, and one that Patek Philippe has capitalized upon with their slogan that says, "You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation." I don't nessasariy always agree with this idea, but we often see it. Probably much more often with Rolex than with Patek Philippe. This reminds me of Stephen Marche's super-profound quote that says:

“Progress doesn't saunter into the world; it staggers. Grown-ups don't often change their minds about the important political and social questions of their time. Change arrives because their children are born into a whole new set of assumptions different from those of their parents.” –Stephen Marche

David or Goliath?

Now that Fidel Castro belongs to the ages, a key question is whether he was David or Goliath? I would say he began as David, and evolved into Goliath.

One thing for certain is that Fidel Castro is a highly controversial man, and it is fascinating to note Fidel Castro lived to see the day that an American President came to Cuba. In other words, Fidel Castro himself, lived to see Cuba make peace with the U.S.A.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day: David's Super Simple Submariner

...Rolex Studio Lume Shot Of The Day...

David's Super Simple Submariner
[Reference 5513]

Monday, December 5, 2016

DRAKE A Rolex Wrist Bling Fanatic...

...Rolex Rapper...

A Rolex Wrist-Bling Fanatic

Drake is and Grammy Award winning musician, and he is considered to be one of the top recording artists today. Drake was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and was influenced by Kanye WEast, Jay Z, and Little Wayne.

One thing for sure, is that Drake is a Rolex fanatic of the highest order. He owns and wears many, many different Rolex watches.

Drake is pictured below wearing a vintage Rolex OysterQuartz, which is from the 1970s.

Drake is pictured below wearing a yellow gold Rolex Yacht-Master II at the NBA Finals in 2012.

The screenshot bellow is from Drake's music video for "The Motto", and as we see he is driving his car wearing two Rolex Watches...

The video above features Drake and Rihanna, which is one of my favorite Drake songs. Rihanna is also wears many different Rolex models, and in the photo below we see her wearing a Rolex Day-Date on an Oyster Bracelet. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Lume Shot Of The Day: Blue on Green Sub

...Lume Shot Of The Day...

Blue on Green Sub

Hypophyse took this stunning photo of his vintage Submariner which is just amazing!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The First Rolex Mount Everest Ad: It All Began With This Rolex Advertorial

The First Rolex Mount Everest Ad
It All Began With This Rolex Advertorial
[Published 3 Days After Mount Everest Was Conquered]

One of the things we have been exploring for a long time on Jake's Rolex World is the genesis of the Rolex Explorer. To the best of my knowledge, this is the very first Rolex advertorial to celebrate the fact that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were wearing Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches when they summited Everest. It was published just 3 days after Tenzing Norgay & Sir Edmund Hillary conquered Everest!!!

Soon after this amazing historical achievement, Rolex introduced the Rolex Explorer model that was based on this model of Oyster Perpetual. Of course they changed the dial to black, although Rolex also offered early Rolex Explorer models with white dials as well. To learn much more about Rolex conquest of Everest you can check out my article named Rolex Conquers Mount Everest.

1957 Rolex Mount Everest Ad

Friday, December 2, 2016

Rolex Coolness: Marcello Mastroianni La dolce vita

...Rolex Coolness...

Marcello Mastroianni
Acting Legend & Style Icon

Rolex Datejust

Marcello Mastroianni was a major style icon and famous international actor. He was born in Fontana Lori, which is a small village in The Apennines. He grew up in Turin and Rome.

...La dolce vita...

Marcello Mastroianni is perhaps best known for his role in the 1960 Italian Film Noir, La dolce vita which was directed by Frederico Fellini. In the photo below we see Marchello Mastroianni with the stunningly beautiful Swedish model, Anita Ekberg. Of course La dolce vita is Italian for The Good Life.

The video below was released by Tudor at BaselWorld in 2016, and it takes place in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, which is where La Dolce Vita was shot. In case you are not familiar, Tudor is a watch brand owned by Rolex. The video features Nat King Cole singing "LOVE" in french, which is beyond sublime!

Marcello Mastroianni is pictured below in 1972 with his gorgeous and talented wife, Catherine Deneuve, and in this photo we get a clear shot of Marcello Mastroanni's Rolex Datejust.

Speaking of the beautiful Catherine Deneuve! She is pictured below wearing her Rolex Ladies Datejust on an Oyster Bracelet.

Marcello Mastroinni and Catherine Deneuve had a daughter named Chiara Mastroianni, and she is pictured below with her father, Marcello when she was a little girl, and you notice his Rolex.

Chiara Mastroianni is pictured below wearing one of her fathers Rolex Datejust watches. Chiara Mastroianni is a famous actress and singer.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rolex Day-Date 36MM Reference 118138

...Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day...

Rolex Day-Date

36MM Reference 118138

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fidel Castro Belongs To The Ages...

...Rolex Revolutionary...

Fidel Castro

Belongs To The Ages


It had to happen sooner or later. Fidel Castro passed away in Cuba recently, which marks a turning-point in Cuba's future. It has always been amazing to me how polarized people are on their love or hate of the man. Below are some photo of Fidel Castro wearing some of his Rolex watches.

Fidel Castro took control during his Cuban revolution, while wearing a Rolex watch and went on to wear many different Rolex watch models during his reign as head the Prime Minister/President/Dictator of Cuba. In the photo above, we see Castro in 1964 wearing an early Coke Rolex GMT-Master with no crown guards [Reference 6542]. Castro is smiling, and perhaps for good reason. After all, he made JFK stand-down during the Cuban missile crisis, and he was on a role.

In the next photo below we see him years later wearing a GMT-Master with Crown Guards.

In the photo below, we have visual confirmation that Fidel Castro's second GMT-Master was a Pepsi, v. the one above which is a Coke!

The Fidel Castro photo below is a trip if you thing about it!?!! He is driving around with his Rolex GMT-Master Coke on his wrist, which is a reference 6452, and he has a Soviet Kalashnikov AK-47 just behind him in the storage bin, and he is giving an interview!!! What a crazy life being a revolutionary must have been for him.

Rolex El Presidente

Fidel Castro is pictured below in 1959 wearing his yellow gold Rolex Day-Date, which has an unmistakably iconic Rolex President bracelet—easily recognizable from across a room. The irony in this photo that the Rolex Day-Date had just been introduced to the market place several years before this photo was taken.

Castro Rockin' Rolexes in The Kremlin

Years ago, I noticed the fact Fidel Castro was regularly wearing two Rolex watches on his left wrist, I wondered why he would do such a thing?  I think it was symbolic, because he wanted everybody to know he was keeping local Cuban time as well as the time at the Kremlin, in Moscow. In the photos below, we see Castro meeting with Nikita Khruschev at the Kremlin. 

By the way, that is Karl Marx's portrait hanging on the wall, who was also a bearded fellow...It's kind of ironic Castro is smoking a Cuban Cigar and wearing two Rolex watches in the Kremlin while he chats with Khruschev, in front of a Karl Marx picture :-)

The non-verbal body language in this photo is absolutely fascinating! Notice everybody in the room is staring at Castro's cigar, and everybody sitting is smiling with their hands folded in front of them on the table, and the three guys standing below the portrait of Marx, have their arms behind their backs.

Che Guevara

Che Guevara was Fidel Castro's right-hand-man, and we see him pictured below holding a magazine with Fidel Castro pictured on the front. Che Guevara also wore a Rolex GMT-Master, as did Castro, and we see it on his wrist in the photos below.