Monday, November 26, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Another Elvis Presley Rolex...

...The King Of Rock and Roll...

Elvis Presley's 
Rolex Day-Date Surfaces
[Reference 1803]

On December 8, 2008, I originally published this story about Elvis Presley's Rolex Day-Date, and at the time, I published an image of the engraving of the back which said:

"Elvis. Merry Christmas. Your Pal. Col. Tom Parker."

It turns out that Elvis Presley's Rolex Day-Date surfaced on November 23, and is was offered by the Christie's Auction House, and here is a photo of the watch. According to Christie's, Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker gave the Rolex to Elvis as a Christmas gift in 1976.

The photo below is an exclusive photo of the hand-engraved back of Elvis Presley's Rolex Day-Date.

The following document was provided by Christie's Auction house as part of the provenance for the Elvis Presley watch, but on the day before the auction, Christie's withdrew the watch for unknown reasons.

Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas

Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas is pictured below with his glasses and some of his other personal effects which Graceland exclusively photographed for Jake's Rolex Watch Blog. To learn more about Elvis' Rolex King Midas, please click here.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Introducing Jake's Panerai World

Introducing Jake's Panerai World

It took my a while, but I finally built out Jake's Panerai World. Why? In my 18 Chapter online book, named The Complete History Of The Rolex Submariner & SEA-DWELLER–Rolex's Conquest Of The Ocean, I wrote a super detailed history of Panerai, which was absolutely fascinating. It was titled Panerai & The Italian Royal Navy (The First Rolex Diving Watch). Of course, like any good mystery it yielded more questions than answers.

Over the years, since I originally wrote about the history of Panerai, the story has remained really, really popular, so a few years ago, I toyed with creating Jake's Panerai World. In my mind, for obvious reasons, all vintage Panerai watches are really Rolex watches, and in particular, the first Rolex diving watches. If you want to check out Jake's Panerai World, simply click on the banner above. I also added a banner at the bottom of every page of Jake's Rolex World Blog, so you can always find it later easily. I hope you enjoy!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Single Red Rolex SEA-DWELLER Prototype

Another Ultra-Rare
Single Red Rolex SEA-DWELLER Prototype
Set's New Record Auction Record for Submariner
Sells for $518,000

There are only 6 known examples of the Single Red Rolex SEA-DWELLER prototypes in the world, and this one, which belonged to a Japanese collector just set an all-time Submariner auction record when the Antiquorum Auction house sold it for 490,000 Swiss Francs ($ 518,000). You can learn everything about the Single Red SEA-DWELLER history in my Complete History Of The Rolex Submariner & SEA-DWELLER–Rolex Conquest Of The Ocean 18 Part Series.

Antiquorum Lot 126 was described as:

ROLEX REF 1665 – THE SINGLE RED PROTOTYPE – PATENT PENDING – 500M-1650FT – ONE OF SIX KNOWN Rolex - Ref. 1665 - Single Red Sea-Dweller - Patent Pending, Rolex, "Oyster Perpetual Date, Sea-Dweller, Submariner 1650 ft. = 500 m., Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified," case No. 1602931, Ref. 1665. Made in 1967. Fine and extremely rare rare, center seconds, self-winding, water-resistant, stainless steel diver's chronometer wristwatch with double red Sea-Dweller logo, helium escape valve, date and a stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster Ref. 7206 bracelet with patent pending extension link.

Three-body, polished and brushed, screwed-down case back engraved: "Oyster, Gas Escape Valve, (Patent Pending)," helium escape valve at 9, graduated bi-directional revolving bezel for the decompression times, winding crown protected by the crown guard, inner case stamped IV.67. D. Black with luminous round, triangular and baton indexes, aperture for the date, "Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000" in red letters. Luminous steel skeleton hands. M. Cal. 1570, rhodium-plated, oeil de perdrix decoration, 26 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance adjusted to temperatures and 5 positions, shock absorber, self-compensating free-sprung Breguet balance spring, Microstella regulating screws. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 40 mm. Thickness 15 mm. Approx. overall length 195 mm. Property of a Japanese Collector

The Rolex Sea-Dweller is one of the most purpose-fully designed watches that Rolex has ever made, and possible the most important diving watch of the second half of the 20th century. Born from a collaboration with various diving professionals, governmentally agencies, and Rolex, the watch was the fi rst to introduce the idea of the helium gas escape valve. This valve solved the problem of achieving deeper dives while maintaining the functionality and integrity of the watch. As an ongoing development, the Ref. 1665 Sea-Dweller saw many revisions and iterations with the most coveted being the very earliest examples. The watch offered up for auction here is one of those pieces. Never seen at auction before, including this particular example, there are 6 known examples of the “Single Red”. According to research, this may be one of the only two known examples with escape valve. The moniker is given for its one line of text on the dial, “SEA-DWELLER”. It is unique from other examples of the 1665 as the depth rating on the dial is 500m instead of the more common 600m. 

The dials also have a very rough and prototype feeling about their printing as the “DATE” in Oyster Perpetual DATE is much larger and seemingly added to the text as an afterthought. The luminous material on these watches also looks to be hand applied and many still glow, which is an attribute usually associated with the latest production gilt dial sports watches Rolex made in the late 1960s. These watches generally come in two confi gurations. The earliest ones have no helium gas escape valve, nor engravings on the outside of the caseback to denote this. These were the very fi rst examples that were given by Rolex to commercial divers to test in the fi eld. The subsequent ones that did have a gas escape value fi tted had an identical dial, but also bore a hand-engraving along the lip of the case that reads “OYSTER GAS ESCAPE VALVE PATENT PENDING”. This is very different from later examples (Including standard Patent Pending Ref. 1665s) as the engraving is done by hand and looks much more rough and hand made as opposed to being machined.

 The most signifi cant and important example would be this one, which can be argued is the very fi rst watch Rolex made to have the helium gas escape valve. These watches truly were the prototypes for subsequent production models of the Sea-Dweller. Their history, intertwined with the lives and contributions of important divers of the 1960’s make them one of the most historically signifi cant watches that Rolex ever made, and thus one of the most important dive Rolexes to have ever come for auction. A truly superlative example in rarity and condition. Bought by the current consignor in the late 1980's, the watch has remained unworn in the safe since its purchase and has remained in excellent original condition. Published in the Japanese magazine (illustrated above) in 1995, it is without doubt the most important SeaDweller offered at auction until now. We would like to especially thank Eric Ku for his help in researching this timepiece.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rolex SuperHotness: Jessica Simpson...

...Rolex Super Hotness...

Jessica Simpson
Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner

What can I say!?! Youuuuuch!!!!!!! I think I am at an unusual loss for words. Oh yeah, Jessica Simpson is wearing a stainless Rolex Submariner.

Jessica Simpson has to be one of the most beautiful woman in the world!!! Just stunning!!!!

Foxy Lady

I don't know why, but the Jimi Hendrix song, Foxy Lady keeps popping into my head with I look at the photos of Jessica Simpson so I thought I would include this amazing video. Just play it and look at the photos of Jessica ;-)))) Man, Hendrix was really something else!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rolex GMT Masterpiece...

Black Ice Masterpiece

I have never been crazy about precious stones on a Rolex dial or bezel, but I think this new generation of Rolex GMT II is so tastefully done. It really is a masterful work of art.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day: Larry's Stainless Steel Daytona

Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day
Larry's Stainless Steel Daytona

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Look Inside The Rolex Factory

Taking A Look Inside The Rolex Factory

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All Gold Rolex Submariner: Hard To Believe It's Vintage Now

All Gold Rolex Submariner
Hard To Believe It's Vintage Now

It is hard to believe this all yellow gold Rolex Submariner now has vintage Rolex status!?!? The metallic cobalt blue dial and matching bezel insert is loved my many Rolex collectors, and for good reason. This beauty was, of course, replaced with the Supercase Ceramic Submariner that has fatter hands, maxi markers and a Supercase.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Story of Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas [Part 1 or 4]

I originally published this story back in 2008. I thought it would be nice to check it out again, since it is so fascinating...

The King's King

Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas

I would like to thank Graceland for their extremely kind and gracious assistance with taking the exclusive photos of Elvis Presley's Limited Edition Rolex King Midas for Jake's Rolex Watch Blog. I would also like to thank my pal Leo (The Idle Swede) for not only being such a great friend, but also for his invaluable contribution with this story.

Elvis Presley is known as The King of Rock & Roll. Elvis Presley changed the world with his amazing music. Elvis was extremely handsome, charismatic and ultra-talented. Elvis is pictured below with his pal, Bobby Darin, and Elvis is wearing his iconic Hamilton.

Very few people knew Elvis wore a Rolex, but it was not just any Rolex. Elvis wore a limited edition Rolex King Midas (Model Reference Number 9630) which Rolex only made 1000 examples of. The King Midas at the time was the most expensive Rolex money could buy. As a matter of fact, in 1970 a Rolex Day-Date retailed for $1825 and a King Midas retailed for $2500. In 1975 a Day-Date retailed for $3300 and a King Midas retailed for $5500.

This very, very rare limited edition Rolex King Midas was given to Elvis as a token of appreciation for playing 6 days of sold-out concerts in 1970 at the Houston Astrodome Livestock Show & Rodeo.

Elvis is pictured above with his Rolex King Midas in his right hand along with the special Rolex King Midas case that was shaped like an urn.

The following photos were recently taken by a Graceland photographer exclusively for Jake's Rolex Watch Blog. This first image has Elvis Presley's Limited Edition Yellow Gold Rolex King Midas on top of Elvis & Priscilla Presley's wedding bible. Lisa Marie Presley is in the photo with her father, Elvis Presley kissing her head. All the artifacts in these Graceland photos personally belonged to Elvis.

The Return of The King

As always, you can click on the images to get a better view.

Elvis' beautiful Limited Edition Rolex King Midas is pictured above with matching trademark custom Sunglasses. His custom 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Colt 45 is pictured on the left. In the photo below you see Elvis' Diamond TCB (Taking Care of Business) pendant and on the far right you see Elvis' Denver Police Captain's badge next to his Hamilton watch.

In the 1970s Elvis became obsessed with Kung Fu and collecting badges. In Part 3 of The Story of Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas we will explore Elvis' obsession with badges.

Elvis wore his Limited Edition Rolex King Midas quite a bit and it appears he wore it swimming or in a hot tub because it appears to have water damage on the dial. The King Midas was a hand wound watch that was not an Oyster.

Rolex made 1000 Original King Midas watches and Elvis owned and wore number 343, which ironically was a left handed special for south paws. The back in engraved and reads "To Elvis Presley From The Houston Livestock Show Officers 1970."

The original Limited Edition King Midas was NOT a Rolex Cellini. It had a standard Rolex Midas designation. The words King Midas were engraved on the side of the watch as seen below, and had a winding crown that was shaped like the sun.

When Rolex originally introduced the King Midas in the early 1960s it was the heaviest gold watch money could buy. Years later, Piaget came out with a model named the Piaget Polo that was three grams heavier.

The clasp had KING MIDAS BY ROLEX OF GENEVA etched into the clasp as seen below on Elvis' watch.

In Part 2 of The Story of Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas, we will look closer at the design details of the Rolex King Midas.

I am currently researching some other Rolex watches that may have been owned by Elvis, but I am not certain they exist. I have some good leads, but I cannot confirm any of them yet. The watch below is a Rolex that Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker allegedly gave Elvis as a Christmas gift, but I cannot confirm its authenticity. If you have photos of Elvis wearing a Rolex, please send them in and I will put them up.

In Chapter 2 named, The Midas Touch we will take a closer look at the Rolex King Midas Limited edition watch and discover its ethos.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day Volecs Explorer II

Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day
Volecs Black Dial Explorer II