Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Introducing Miami Vice Monday: Don Johnson Rolex Datejust...

Miami Vice Monday
Season 1 [Episode 1, Pilot: Brother's Keeper]
Original Air Date: September 16, 1984

Don Johnson wore many different Rolex watches on the 1980s hit show, Miami Vice and Marrk pointed out that some of the first episodes of Miami Vice are pretty good, so yesterday, I figured I would start Miami Vice Monday, since Monday alliterates with Miami.

It is hard to fathom Miami Vice debuted 25 Years ago!!! It is also interesting to note Miami Vice and Flipper were both filmed in Florida and if you think about it, Miami Vice is kinda like I Spy meets Flipper–you have a black and a white undercover cop who wear shoulder harness holsters under their jackets, running around Florida wearing Rolex watches. On Flipper they have a pet dolphin named Flipper and on Miami Vice Crockett has a pet alligator name Elvis.

Rolex "Presidential"

When I know characters in a TV series wore Rolex, I am always curious to see if they wore Rolex in the first episode from the first season–known as the pilot. In the pilot of Miami Vice, I was shocked to see how many characters wear yellow gold Rolex Day-Date models, also referred to as a "Presidential" or "Rolex President." As a matter of fact, in this episode, one of the characters refers to his Rolex Day-Date as "Presidential."

The star of the show is Don Johnson's character named Crockett and throughout the first episode, he wears a Rolex Day-Date as pictured below. At the time, in 1984, when Miami Vice deputed, Don Johnson was a very handsome actor and considered to be a major fashion plate with his dressy casual look.

Prior to this era in fashion, men never wore sports coats with T-shirts, but Don Johnson made that a very popular look along with his light colored pastel and white color palette.

In the photo above and below we see Don Johnson sporting his yellow gold Rolex Day-Date and in the photo above we also see Don with his casual look with the sunglasses hanging on his T-shirt when he is not wearing them.

In the photo below we see more of the T-shirt with the light colored pastel sport coat look. At the time, Don Johnson was considered to be the most G.Q. dude in the world.

In the photo below, we see Don Johnson in a restaurant with his partner Tubbs.

This next photo below of Don Johnson's wrist shows a close-up shot of his Rolex Day-Date.

In the next photo (below) another one of the characters is wearing a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date.

Ironically, on Miami Vice, both the good guys and the bad guys wear Rolex Day-Date models. The guy pictured below is the main kingpin that Crockett and Tubbs are after and as you can see, he is also wearing a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date.

The shot below is a close-up wrist shot of the kingpin pictured above.

Fashion Impact of Miami Vice

The photo below of Don Johnson is from a later season of Miami Vice and Don Johnson's character has changed from wearing Elvis style aviator sunglasses to Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and he is also wearing a two-tone Rolex Datejust.

Ironically, Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses have become very popular again today. I know in a later season of Miami Vice, Don Johnson's character switches sunglass brands to Persol, which are probably the best made sunglasses in the world. Persol sunglasses are made in Italy and Persol makes their lenses from hardened crystal instead of glass, because crystal has better optical characteristics.

Amazing Soundtrack

Anther one of the amazing elements of the pilot was the soundtrack which features the Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, and Jan Hammer. When was the last time you saw a TV episode playing Rolling Stones music? Actually it was on the last season of the Sopranos.

Miami Vice Monday

Here is the full-length trailer for Miami Vice. I will post a new episode every Monday with screenshots if the show remains good. Back in the 80s I only saw a few episodes so it might be fun to watch and check out the Rolex watches. I must say that I thought this first episode was surprisingly good:

Speaking of Wayfarers, JFK is pictured below sporting his Ray Ban Wayfarers. Now that I think about it, Ray Ban Wayfarers are classic like a Rolex Submariner.


Marrk said...

Don Johnson peaked with _Miami Vice_. He did some great things. Some of those early episodes are really worth going back to, esp. the pilot.

Jake Ehrlich said...

Great Call Marrk!!!

Miami Vice Monday It Will Be...

Thank Pal,


Marrk said...

Jake, you've done a lot of good work here on _Miami Vice_!

I remember 1984. At that time, Don Johnson was an interesting actor, but not quite the star that he was to become. I mean, until _M.V._, he was going somewhere, but nobody knew quite where. After _M.V._, he was a mega tv star.

The show turned out to be a fashion trend setter. The Versaci clothes that you have referenced (t-shirt with suits, pastel colors, etc.), men wearing ponytails and, in particular, the unshaven look. Johnson said that he was trying to look like a guy who hadn't slept in his own bed the night before. After Don Johnson and _M.V._, men around the world stopped shaving.

Also, the score of the shows was considered quite trendsetting. Jan Hammer was the composer.

Also, the good guys and the bad guys both wore Rolexes b/c Crockett and Tubbs were suppposed to be undercover cops posing as drug dealers.

Also, some of the acting was considered really cool. Edward James Olmos invented a character (the police captain boss of Crockett and Tubbs) who used very little dailog but really made an impression. And the secondary characters, the other detectives, were quite funny and interesting.

_M.V._ took things as far as they could go without being "over the top." I'll stand by my statement that the pilot episode is a good example of the show at its best.

Thanks, Jake, for bringing this show onto the blog.

Jake Ehrlich said...

Well said Marrk,

Thanks for sharing...


Marrk said...

I forgot to mention two other "fashion trends" of the show that people used to talk about:

1) The Bren Ten and, later, the custom automatics that Don Johnson used to carry as his duty weapons.

2) The vintage Ferrari Daytona that Johnson drove early on in the show. It was later replaced with a 1980s Testarossa. As far as I know, both cars were "prop cars," not real Ferraris.

Robert-Jan said...

Hi Jake,

I hope you do realize that the Rolex Don Johnson wore in Miami Vice is fake. This is quite common knowledge I think, have a google :)