Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter From John Goldberger: Paul Newman Daytona...

Happy Easter From John Goldberger

John Golberger is the author of the amazing book 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, and you can check out my review by clicking here. John sent in these photos he took for Easter of his Exotic Dial Paul Newman [Reference 6263, Caliber 727] which was sold in the U.S.A., in 1971. Thanks for sending in the photos John, and a happy Easter to you and everybody!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Paul Newman Daytona Taken Apart

Paul Newman Daytona
The Sum Of Its Parts

Peter Roberts is a watchmaker in the U.K. and he just sent in this image of a stainless steel Rolex Daytona he was recently working on and decided to send it in to share with you. Of you were ever wondering what a Paul Newman Daytona looks like when it is taken apart, here it is...

Friday, March 22, 2013

French Actor: Jean-Paul Belmondo

...Rolex Coolness...

Jean-Paul Belmondo
French Acting Legend

An Amazing Career with Rolex Keeping Time

Jean-Paul Belmondo is a French actor who is also a huge Rolex fan as you can see in all the photos below. In the first 4 images he is wearing a Paul Newman Daytona and in the next last two images he is wearing a Rolex Submariner and a yellow gold Day-Date.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Presidential Watch Sunday: LBJ and Maragret Chase Smith...

Presidential Watch Sunday
An Unprecedented Look At The Presidency

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Last Friday, on Jake's Rolex World, we took at an Rolex ad from 1964 that was part of the Men who guide the destinies of the world wear Rolex watches series, which was clearly referring to Lyndon Johnson wearing his trademark Rolex President so I thought I would share this photo from the Senator Maragret Chase Smith Museum, which has never before been published.

It shows President Johnson at a baseball game with Senator Smith, who was the first female Senator to be elected in the United States. Just in case you are not familiar with the history of the Rolex President, it is pretty fascinating.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saint Francis Yacht Club Rolex Clock

...Rolex Clock Shot Of The Day...

Saint Francis Yacht Club Rolex Clock
San Francisco Marina

I was at the Saint Francis Yacht Club in the San Francisco Marina today and I took this photo of the classic Rolex clock. Notice it says "EST 1927", which ironically was the exact same year Rolex established the Rolex Oyster case.

Friday, March 15, 2013

1964 Magazine Ad Men who guide the destines of the world wear Rolex watches

1964 Magazine Ad

Men who guide the destines
of the world wear Rolex watches

This 1964 Rolex magazine ad really demonstrates that Rolex was really excited and proud to share with the world that many of the top leaders wore Rolex. The most interesting detail is that U.S. President Lyndon Johnson had recently begun wearing what became his trademark yellow-gold Rolex Day-Date in 1964, and it appears Rolex could not wait to indirectly let everybody know. You can always learn much more this subject by checking out my 11 part series on The Complete History Of The Rolex President.

I believe the hats on the table are symbolic of the actual men who wore them, so the obvious question, is who wore those hats? My best guess for who the hats belong to or symbolize would be U.S. General Eisenhower, French General de Gaulle, Swiss General Henri Guisan, U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Lord Mountbatten of the U.K. and U.S. President, Lyndon Johnson. I am a little confused by the unusual hat located closest to the front of the table? Does anybody know what kind of hat that is?

Update: A bunch of people wrote in to answer the question. It turns out it is a Russian Cossacks lambswool hat, which makes you wonder who the ad is referring to? It must be Nikita Khrushchev? I know Nikita's son, Sergei Khruschev wears a yellow gold Rolex. Hmmm!?!? 

Update 2: I am really embarrassed to admit this, but Jake's Rolex World reader, Karl wrote in from Austria and said:

"Have a look at Russian/Soviet Leaders and at Russian/Soviet Hats and your Blog Archive and you will see for what and whom this picture hat stands."

The hat was symbolic of Leonid Brezhnev, who became the General Secretary of the Communist Party in October of 1964. Leonid Brezhnev is pictured below with U.S. President Gerald Ford, and Ford is wearing a Soviet mink hat, which I tried on one, and was stunned with how luxurious, soft and warm it was.

Now that I think about it, that is a trip that in 1964-1968, then U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and U.S.S.R. leader, Leonid Brezhnev were both wearing yellow gold Rolex watches.

I thought I would share this next photo of me back in 1973 when I was 7 years old, and I am wearing a similar U.S. Presidential seal necktie as President Gerald Ford in the photo above...just saying...

Did I make you laugh, or at least smile?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

...Rolex Wrist Shot Of The Day... Karl's Black Dial Explorer II

...Rolex Wrist Shot Of The Day...

Black Dial Explorer II
Black Tropical Braided Strap

Jo from Norway took this photo of his black dial Rolex Explorer II on a braided tropical strap, which is a great look!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rolex Super Coolness: Enzo Ferrari 1952 Indianapolis 500 Rolex Chronograph Reference 3055

Ferrari History
Keeping Time with Rolex

...Rolex Super Coolness...

Enzo Ferrari
With Rolex Keeping The Time Of His Life

Rolex Chronograph Reference 3055

Enzo Ferrari is a racing car legend and in many ways, he created a company that is very similar to Rolex. Enzo wore and depended on a Rolex to keep the time of his life for at least 4 decades of his life. Enzo Ferrari is pictured below in 1920 racing and A.L.F.A. 40/60HP.

1952 Indianapolis 500
[Ferrari's First U.S.A. Race]

The photo below was taken of Enzo Ferrari and his top driver Alberto Ascari in Maranello, Italy as they prepare for the Indianapolis 500 car race that would soon take place in the United States.

Enzo Ferrari is pictured on the far right side, sporting his trademark Rolex Chronograph Reference 3055. Enzo is standing next to world champion, Alberto Ascari (center) and the man on the far left is Ing Daccò (tallest).

It is fascinating to take into consideration the in-depth contextual meaning behind these photos, in the sense, that when they were taken, Enzo Ferrari, with his number 1 driver, Alberto Ascari, were making Formula 1 history, and putting Ferrari on the map for the first time.

In the photo above and in the photo below, we see
Alberto Ascari and the Ferrari N.A.R.T. (North American Racing Team) at the 1952 Indianapolis 500 race. The 1952 N.A.R.T. team was owned by Luigi Chinetti, who was the official distributor of Ferrari U.S.A.

It is interesting to note the Ferrari badge appears in both photos, but without the prancing "Ferrari" Horse. This is due to the fact Enzo Ferrari his first participation in the Indianapolis to be unofficial. After Enzo got underway, he changed his mind and decided to add the prancing horse.

Alberto Ascari experienced mechanical challenges during the 1952 Indianapolis 500 and was not able to continue past his 13th lap. The 1952 Indianapolis 500 represented the first time Ferrari raced in the U.S.A, and even though they did not complete the race, it marked a significant milestone in Ferrari history.

In the photo below we see Alberto Ascari racing in a Ferrari F2 in the Belgian Grand Prix

In the photo below we see Alberto Ascari racing in a Ferrari F2 in the British Grand Prix

Enzo Ferrari's Rolex Chronograph (Reference 3055) was the smallest chronograph ever made, at an astounding 30mm diameter.

The next two photos below are of the same model Rolex Chronograph Enzo Ferrari's is wearing. Today Enzo's son, Piero Ferrari owns his father's Rolex Chronograph, Reference 3055.

The Chairman of Ferrari wearing a Rolex is still standard today, as current Ferrari Chariman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has worn a Rolex his whole career.

I would like to thank my pal, John Goldberger for sending in these amazing photos. John Goldberger is the author of 100 Superlative Rolex Watches and he also publishes a Vintage Rolex Application for the iPad which showcases high-defenition photos of beautiful Rolex watches.

1940 Italian Rolex Chronograph Catalog Page
[Reference 3055]

John Goldberger also sent in this vintage Rolex catalog page for the Rolex 3055 Chronograph which appeared in an Italian magazine in 1940. Pretty cool!!!

One of the interesting take-away points is that in 1940, during World War II, Rolex pocket watches were still very popular, as we see in the Rolex catalog below. Rolex began selling the Reference 3055 Chronograph in 1940 and offered the model for sale until 1960.

Enzo Ferrari is pictured below wearing his Rolex Chronograph Reference 3055. He is pictured with American driver, Phil Hill who is the only American born Formula One driver to ever win the World's Drivers' Championship. (Mario Andretti was born in Italy).

Enzo Ferrari is pictured below on the left with Ferrari Racing Legend, Niki Lauda, between him and the current Chairman of Rolex, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo. Niki Lauda is also a big Rolex fan.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is pictured below in the early 1970s sporting his trademark Rolex GMT Master.

Current Ferrari Chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is pictured below in a recent photo, wearing his trademark Rolex GMT Pepsi, as he poses in front of a model of a Ferrari. It is fascinating to note that the men who have guided Ferrari for its entire history are Rolex men!!!

Earlier in his career, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was the director of racing for Ferrari, and you see him in the photo (three photos up the page) with Enzo Ferrari and Niki Lauda. Nicki Lauda was Ferrari's lead driver, and we see him in the photo below as he practices at the Nurburgring race track during the 1976 Grand Prix.

We see Niki Lauda in a more recent photo below, sporting his trademark vintage Rolex Daytona.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Does Not Make Sense

Daylight Savings Time
Does Not Make Sense

Moving your Rolex forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time always seems like a wast of time for me. Ever wonder why we even have this crazy thing called Daylight Savings time? This video does a superb job of explaining the history and implications of Daylight Savings Time. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Studio Shot Of The Day: Stefano's Rolex Cosmograph

Studio Shot Of The Day
Stefano's Rolex Cosmograph
[Reference 6239]

Pictured below is a Rolex Cosmograph brochure from 1970. Notice in 1970 that Rolex still put "Founder, H. Wilsdorf" on their collateral material. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rolex Coolness: Channing Tatum

Rolex Coolness: Channing Tatum
From GQ to GI Joe
Rolex Daytona

Monday, March 4, 2013

Former Rolex CEO Patrick Heiniger Died Today

Former Rolex CEO
Patrick Heiniger
Belongs To The Ages

Former Rolex CEO, Patrick Heiniger passed away earlier today in Monaco at age 62. Patrick Heiniger went to law school in Geneva, Switzerland and went on to became an intellectual property attorney in New York and founded his own law firm specializing in intellectual property and international law before. In 1986 he came on-board taking over as the Director of Marketing for Rolex. 

Next, he went on to take over the reins of Rolex from his father, André Heiniger in 1992. Patrick Heiniger abruptly left Rolex in 2008 for "personal reasons", which were never publicly divulged, but were heavily speculated upon. 

On Jake's Rolex World, I specialize in separating the fact from the fiction, and that is my goal since there was so much speculation on why he stepped down as CEO or Rolex. Patrick Heiniger was a heavy cigarette smoker. From the research I have uncovered, I was told by a highly credible and unofficial source that one day Mr. Heiniger had a very soar throat, and went to the doctor who diagnosed him with throat cancer. Mr. Heiniger returned to Rolex Headquarters and resigned immediately so he could treat his cancer.

Patrick Heiniger is pictured above–sporting his trademark Platinum Rolex Day-Date. He was born on August 26, 1950 in Beunos Aires, Argentina in South America to André and Odette Heiniger. Patrick's father, André Heiniger ran Rolex South America. André Heiniger joined Rolex in 1948 and grew to become a close and trusted associate of Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf who is pictured below.

Hans Wilsdorf, sent André Heiniger to Buenos Aires, Argentina to develop the South American Rolex market, which he achieved brilliantly. Hans Wilsdorf died in 1960 leaving Rolex leaderless. 

Between 1960 and late 1962, Rene-Paul Jeanneret directed Rolex and in late-1962, early 1963,  André Heiniger (pictured below in 1963) was appointed Director General of Rolex, which is the equivalent title of CEO in the United States. 

André Heiniger is pictured below, between golf legend and Rolex Ambassador, Arnold Palmer and his son Patrick Heiniger.

André Heiniger successfully ran Rolex from 1963 to 1992, when he passed the Rolex leadership baton to his heir-apparent son, Patrick Heiniger.

Patrick Heiniger achieved many things as the CEO or Rolex, including the drive to turn Rolex into a completely integrated vertical company, which means he bought up all of Rolex's suppliers to bring all manufacturing in-house.

"The stars of Rolex are the timepieces, not the directors." –Patrick Heiniger

Patrick Heiniger is pictured below with auto racing legend, and long time Rolex Ambassador, Sir Jackie Stewart, at a reception in 2002 after being awarded The Knight of the Legion of Honour by the French Government.

Patrick Heiniger is picture below with Olympic Skiing Superstar and Rolex Board Member, Jean-Claude Killy.

Patrick Heiniger is pictured below when he was the CEO of Rolex, and he is pictured below on 2005 just having been awarded the Commander in The Order of Arts And Letters by the French Government.

Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative
Founded by Patrick Heiniger in 2002

This next set of six photos appears courtesy of This first image shows Patrick Heiniger with his girlfriend, Nina Stevens on December 5, 2005 at the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative Gala. Patrick Heiniger developed the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in 2002 to help talented young artists realize their potential.

This next image shows Patrick Heiniger with Nina Stevens and legendary actress, Joan Collins at the same Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiatve Gala on December 5, 2005.

This next image below, shows from left to right, TV producer George Schlatter, Wolfgang Puck, Nina Stevens, Nikki Haskell, Patrick Heiniger, and New York Art Dealer, Tony Shafrazzi. It was taken at the Nikki Haskell Dinner on January 13, 2006.

This next image shows Patrick Heiniger with Nina Stevens at the same event as pictured above. Apparently Patrick Heiniger was crazy about Nina and she had a significant impact on his design aesthetic for ladies Rolex watch design direction. It is fascinating to note that both Patrick and Nina are wearing 36MM Rolex Day-Date watch models, with his being a standard Platinum version and hers being a heavily jeweled Yellow-Gold version.

"Women are the future of Rolex." –Patrick Heiniger

It was rumored that Patrick Heiniger's girlfriend, Nina Stevens was the catalyst and inspiration for some high-fashion Rolex ladies watches, like the Bejeweled Leopard Rolex Daytona pictured below.

Nina Stevens and Patrick Heiniger are pictured below with actress, Lynn Redgrave on November 12, 2007 at the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative.

Patrick Heiniger is pictured below in a recent photo with Nina Stevens, and friend, Narcisa Tamborindeguy. This photo was taken less than a year ago, and Patrick Heiniger does not look very healthy in this photo.

Patrick Heiniger is survived by his daughter, Alicia Heiniger (pictured below), and his son Sébastien Heiniger. Alicia Heiniger followed in her father and grandfather's footsteps and went to work for Rolex after she graduated from college.

Patrick Heiniger Legacy

Somebody once asked Rolex CEO, Patrick Heiniger what made him feel the proudest about being the leader of Rolex, to which he answered, "Meeting total strangers who are wearing a Rolex." 

Bruno Meier (pictured above), was a Rolex Board Member and Rolex CFO, that was chosen by the board of the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation to replace Patrick Heiniger in 2008, and served as the CEO of Rolex until May 2011. 

Rolex appointed the head of Rolex Italy, Gian Riccardo Marini, as the new CEO in May 2011. Patrick Heiniger is pictured below in Capri in May 2007 with the now current CEO of Rolex, Gian Riccardo Marini, who is pictured opposite of Heiniger.

I believe Patrick Heiniger's early exit from the stage of life surprised and caught many people off-guard. 

So what is Patrick Heiniger's legacy? Rolex only developed one new model under his tenure, which was the Yacht-Master. However, during his 16 years tenure from 1992 to 2008, as CEO, he consolidated Rolex's entire business into four super-state-of-the-art facilities, all located in Switzerland, which resulted in superb economies-of-scale and significantly contributed to improving the quality of modern Rolex watches. 

In the future, I will dive deeper into exploring Patrick Heiniger's legacy. Patrick Heiniger was one of only five men who ran Rolex over more than a century.

On March 5, 2013 Rolex published the following press release:

Geneva, 5 March 2013: The Board of Directors and the General Management of Rolex SA express their deep sorrow on the passing of Patrick Heiniger, former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, in Monaco after a long illness. They would like to pay tribute to the memory of a man who marked the history of the company when he presided over its destiny from 1992 to 2008, and extend their sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Throughout his 16 years as head of the company, Patrick Heiniger was the faithful heir to the spirit of enterprise that has made Rolex an exceptional brand. He combined tradition with the demands of an ever-evolving world and his vision brought the company solidly into the third millennium.

Patrick Heiniger was appointed Managing Director of Rolex in 1992, six years after he joined as Commercial Director. He was also named Chief Executive Officer in 1997. As the company's third Managing Director since it was founded, he followed his father, André J. Heiniger, who in 1963 had succeeded Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex. Born in Argentina in 1950, Patrick Heiniger was a lawyer by training, specializing in international and intellectual property law. He made it his mission to reinforce the defence of the brand throughout the world.

Under his impetus, in the mid-1990s Rolex made a fundamental strategic choice and opted for the vertical integration of its means of production. This strategy was intended to guarantee control over manufacturing of the essential components of the brand's watches and thus to ensure its autonomy.

Rolex decided to group at three industrial sites all of its activities located in the canton of Geneva. This step was designed to reinforce the quality of its products while remaining true to the best watchmaking tradition. The vast vertical integration programme led to the construction of new, state-of-the-art production facilities at Rolex headquarters at Acacias, at Plan-les-Ouates and at Chêne-Bourg in the 2000s, as well as at Bienne in north-western Switzerland, where a new extension building was inaugurated in October 2012.

As a true independent watchmaker of the 21st century, enjoying unprecedented freedom in the design and manufacture of its watches, Rolex could take its ambition for excellence and innovation to new heights.

In 2002, Patrick Heiniger created the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, dedicated to helping promising young artists realize their full potential under the watchful eye of a renowned mentor in their discipline.

That same year, he was awarded the insignia of Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honour and, in 2005, he was appointed Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Patrick Heiniger retired from the helm of Rolex in December 2008.