Sunday, May 22, 2016

Vintage Rolex Hotness Ads...Through Time


...Rolex Hotness...


The Rolex Woman
What Kind Of Woman Wears A Rolex?

The Evolution Of The Female Rolex Archetype 

They say you can tell a lot about a man by observing what kind of watch he wears, as well as the by the kind of shoes he wears. But what about a woman? They say with a woman you can tell a lot about her by her handbag, as well as her shoes. What about her watch? Does that tell you anything?


I have noticed from many decades of observing women's watches, that women who wear Rolex watches have certain worldview characteristics: They are typically Ladylike, Timeless, Chic, Charismatic and relatively traditional. More like a Ralph Lauren model than punk rocker... When I think of women wearing Rolex, I think more Elle MacPherson than Cyndi Lauper. 


I realize beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and thus, highly subjective. When I think of the ultimate woman wearing a Rolex today, Ingrid Hoffman comes to mind. Ingrid is ambitious, outgoing, stylish, chic, feminine, wholesome, and naturally beautiful...




There are many other beautiful women that come to mind when I think of women wearing Rolex, including Sofia Vergara, and Jennifer Aniston.


It is fascinating to note that starting in the 1960s, women began wearing men's Rolex tool watches, like the Rolex Submariner, Rolex GMT-Master, etc. Today I notice more women wearing men's Rolex models that are 40MM, than I do the smaller, more petite models. The supreme irony in this is the fact that up until the 1990s, Rolex was known for being "THE Big Watch Company", but today Rolex makes typically smaller watches!!?


Rolex ads have always fascinated me, so I thought it would be interesting to put together a story that chronicles Rolex ads that feature females in chronological order. Looking at these ads in chronological order is so interesting for so many different reason. First, from an anthropological perspective it is fascinating to see how social mores toward women have evolved over the last ninety years. Secondly to see how different generations of Rolex Leadership handled marketing material, and to see how Rolex branding evolved from typically including verbose language into taking a very simple approach.


You can't help but notice that in early Rolex ads, Rolex was ALWAYS trying to prove themselves, then in the 1990s, all of a sudden, they didn't seem like they had anything to prove any more.


So let's get in the Rolex Time Machine and travel back to the mid 1920s...








1926
Ladies Rolex Oyster Ad

Rolex introduced the famous Rolex Oyster in 1926, and began a world-wide marketing campaign to familiarize the world with the many benefits of owning a truly waterproof watch. 

The following Rolex ad from 1926 is the earliest know Rolex Oyster magazine ad I am aware of, and of course you can always learn much more about The Complete History Of The Rolex Oyster on Jake's Rolex World.




In this article we will learn that the first Rolex brand ambassador was a woman, not a man, and that Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf brilliantly marketed to females.


1926 

Italian Rolex Mermaid Oyster Poster


Hans came up with the idea of associating the fantasy of mermaids with the waterproof Rolex Oyster as seen in the 1926 Italian Rolex advertisement seen below.







1927 
Rolex Oyster Introduction Brochure 


This next illustration depicts Mercedes Gleitze as she emerges from the English Channel. In the past I wrote a detailed article about Mercedes Glietze swimming the English Channel titled, "The Oyster and The Mermaid."




1927 
Rolex Oyster Introduction Advertorial


The Rolex photo below from the late 1920s features actress Evelyn Laye, as she demonstrates the waterproof quality of her Rolex Oyster, by submerging it in a fishbowl.





1929
THE ROLEX OYSTER
Watch & Clock Maker

This is a fascinating art-deco style Rolex ad from 1929. In particular it is interesting they refer to what we refer to today as a wristwatch as a wristlet. This ad was obviously published after the advent of the Rolex Oyster, but before the Oyster Perpetual. Notice how similar the art-deco case in the bottom left looks to an early Panerai.







1930




1930

Rolex Princesse




1940

French Rolex Ad






1942 
Swiss Rolex Poster

Beyer, Zürich, Switzerland



The poster below was printed in Switzerland between 1942 and 1945, and this particular poster was published by Beyer, which was the only Rolex Authorized Dealer in Zürich, Switzerland at the time. Beyer is still in business today, and they have been in business for over 250 years, making them one of the oldest jewelry storers in the world!



The poster text is in German since Zürich's  primary language is German. Rolex is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, where the primary language is French.






1944
World War II 

Women In Service Rolex Ad









1951






1953

Ladies Rolex Chameleon Ad







1955

Rolex Golden Dream Series








1956

ALL IN GOOD TIME . . . Smart Women







1957 

Vogue Magazine






1957 

Rolex Advertising & Sales Promotion Guide


This 1950s Rolex Advertising and Sales Promotion guide cover is fascinating. The juxtaposition between the sturdy Rolex Submariner (No Crown Guard) diving watch and the beautiful woman is fascinating to me for some reason.










1958








1959

 Commander Whitehead 
& Pauline Trigere Ad

The 1959 Rolex Magazine ad pictured below showcases two really successful and iconic celebrities. The first is Commander Whitehead, who built the Schweppes brand, and the second is fashion designer, Pauline Trigere.






1960

Shelia Scott




Sheila Scott broke over 100 aviation records in her lifetime of flying airplanes. She was the first person to fly over the North Pole in a small aircraft.




Sheila Scott is pictured in the Rolex ad two images above, and in the photo above, we see her sporting her Rolex GMT-Master. I think it is very likely that Sheila Scott was the archetype for the Pussy Galore character in the 1964 James Bond movie, Goldfinger. The image below is a screen grab taken from the end of Goldfinger and is shows Honor Blackman, who plays Pussy Galore, sporting a Coke GMT-Master.








1962

Pauline Trigère








1962

French Rolex Ad
Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

How cool is this totally mod French Rolex Ad from the early 1960s, which features a beautiful woman with her distinguished man sitting on the hood of his Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. Very La Dolce Vita & Mad Men.

"She Knows what a watch means for a man."









1962

Breakfast At Tiffany's
Ladies Rolex Catalog 


The following images come from a 1962 Rolex catalog, and if you read the poetry, it is just amazing!!! It is so DIFFERENT than the Rolex of today...so interesting...



The images in this set are from a ladies Rolex catalog from the early 1960s. My best guess is this theme was inspired by the Audrey Hepburn's character she played in the 1961 movie titled, "Breakfast At Tiffany's"










The next image below is in Spanish and originally appeared in a Mexican Rolex catalog in the early 1960s.










1965

Rolex Ladies Datejust
Rudi Gernreich Ad







1966

Rolex Ladies Magazine Ad








1966

Lady-Date Rolex Ad
Some People Want More Than Just A Pretty Face







1967










1968










1968

The late 1960s add below features Twiggy, who was a super-famous model during that era. Twiggy was know for her tomboy look that was slightly androgynous. All I can say is "Groovy, Baby! Yeah!!!!"









1969














1970

Rolex Lady-Datejust









1970









1970

Hong Kong Rolex President Ad In Chinese






1973

Mrs. Jackie Stewart




1970s Rolex Brochure

Strange as it may or may not sound, I think many Rolex watch designs and brochures are high-art and these images from the 1970 Rolex USA catalog are no exception. I really like this first vintage Rolex Hotness image. It is remarkable how timeless the photo, watch, clothing and hairstyle is, and I love those beautiful light pink nails.








1978

Pauline Trigère





1991

Chris Evert




1993

Lyn St. James










1997

Adrienne Vittadini






1999

Ekaterina Gordee









2002

Picabo Street







Sophie Mautner
Award Winning Pianist


























2005








2007











2008

Riyo Mori





















2009

Ana Ivanovic






2011

Caroline Wozniacki











2014

Sophia Loren






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