Friday, March 30, 2018

Rolex The Swiss Inquisition



ROLEX
The Swiss Inquisition

For some reason, I really like this ad from the which is from the mid to late 1960s. It has this early LeRoy Neiman, slash–The Odd Couple was originally airing on TV, kind-of-vibe. 

It is also funny to note what a strong sense of humor Rolex had. This is night and day different compared with the Rolex ads of today. I enjoy vintage Rolex ads every bit as much as I enjoy the beauty of vintage Rolex Watches. BTW., don't ever forget, the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time ;-)



You have to love the end of this ad where Rolex says:

"So now you may begin to understand just how much trouble we go to in making each Rolex. Which is probably why a man like Red Adair fights oil fires while wearing his Rolex Day-Date. And why portraits of most of the worlds leading heads of state line a corridor in our Geneva headquarters, each one testifying that he wears a Rolex watch, too."

When Rolex mentioned, "And why portraits of most of the worlds leading heads of state line a corridor in our Geneva headquarters, each one testifying that he wears a Rolex watch, too." Rolex is specifically referring to the Rolex hallway photos from the ad and photo in this story.

Obviously, Rolex is referring to the President Of The United States, Lyndon Johnson, who wore a Rolex Day-Date while serving as President Of The United States. Actually, Johnson was appointed President in 1963, after JFK was assassinated, and he started wearing his yellow gold Day-Date in 1964, and wore it through the rest of his entire presidency, and continued to wear it proudly until he passed away.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Out To Lunch @ Tiffany's




Out To Lunch @ Tiffany's


Forbes.com 

Compares Rolex to Tiffany & Company

Rolex Retains #1 Position with Reputation Institute


This is an interesting story. Actually, it's really three stories in one. It begins with a fascinating story by Forbes.com titled "Tiffany Fails Where Rolex Wins.This story tied-in their findings with the Reputation Institutes #1 ranking for Rolex, for the third year running. In other words, Rolex is again ranked number one in reputation throughout the world, which is the second story.





Rolex is on a roll today as one of the top brands in the world. As a matter of fact, most Rolex sports watches in stainless steel are so popular today they are almost impossible to find at retail. 



ROLEX V. TIFFANY & CO

Some of the key takeaway points from the Forbes.com article that compare Tiffany unfavorably to Rolex point out:

     • Rolex, by contrast, has successfully evolved into the digital world. “Rolex has successfully built a narrative outside the Rolex brand experience. It has transcended in its innovative use of the digital landscape and used digital assets to expand and enhance its story.

     • Whereas it used to be more aloof, opaque and secretive, today Rolex has inculcated a culture of greater openness and transparency, which has paid dividends in the quality of people it attracts.

     • Rolex’ bigger story is about redefining winning. To illustrate that, Rolex works with tennis champ Roger Federer as a role model for underprivileged kids to help them define winning in their own terms. “It is less about Federer as celebrity and more about how he gives back to the community as a spokesperson for Rolex.

     • Rolex, by comparison, has elegantly maintained its prestige at the same time achieved status as a good global citizen being both honest and altruistic. “Rolex has done an incredible job of telling its brand story, staying relevant, aligning with the changing world of the 21st century and truly building a brand experience that transcends the analog into the digital world.”

Below is a fascinating infographic from the Reputation Institute that show the top 100 companies for 2018, and we see Rolex is in the Number 1 position. 




Speaking of Rolex and Tiffany...this brings us to the thirds story here, which is that Tiffany & Company used to sell Rolex watches, and they would screen print the "TIFFANY & CO" logo on the dial as seen on the vintage Pepsi GMT-Master below. For some reason Tiffany stopped selling Rolex watches, and I think that was a mistake. Speaking of Tiffany & Company Rolex watches, I wrote a fascinating story on this subject back in 2010 I highly recommend checking out!


The Forbes.com story really kind of bashes Tiffany & Company, by comparing it to Rolex, although it makes some really good points. I think Tiffany & Company should bring back their super iconic Art-Nouveau table lamps, and sell them in their stores. Tiffany and Company lamps were so cool!







First Known Tiffany & CO. Rolex Submariner Ad

The Elusive Big-Crown 
James Bond Submariner
[Reference 5510]

I think this Tiffany & CO., Ad is from 1960 and it is the earliest one I have ever seen that showcases a Rolex Submariner. Very Cool!!! The Reference 5508 Submariner was rated to 100 meters, and the 5510 was the first to be rated to 200 meters.






1962

Breakfast At Tiffany's
Ladies Rolex Catalog 




Speaking of Rolex and Tiffany's, the following Rolex image comes 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...




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."






This next image shows a ladies yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual with a Tiffany Blue dial that has the Tiffany & Co. dial designation, which is very cool...

I was going through my archive of saved images, and I found this Hodinkee.com image of a vintage yellow gold Tiffany & Co. Rolex Datejust, which is awesome!!!



Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New V. Old Pepsi GMT Master





New V. Old 


Pepsi GMT Master


The video below from WatchAdvisor compares and contrasts the incoming stainless steel Pepsi GMT-MASTER with the last generation version Pepsi which was discontinued in 2008. One of the most notable details is the change in coloring on the bezel insert. The original had more of a cobalt blue bezel, and the new one seems to have more of a purple undertone. Also, the new model features a supercase, along with Maxi Markers. So these two watches are so close, yet so far away in detail. Also, in this video he covers how the basic dual time zone feature function works:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Why? Because Wei Koh!!!!




Wei Koh @ Basel World 2018

Why? Because Wei Koh!!!!

I Love Wei Koh!!! Wei is one funny, charismatic and intellectually stimulating dude and he always keeps it real with his matter of fact style of communication, even when he is doing shtick, as he does with his coverage of Basel World 2018, which I highly recommend watching below:

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Basel World 2018 Introduction...RAINBOW Daytona...






Basel World 2018 Introduction


RAINBOW

Daytona


Everose Reference 116595 RBOW 


Back in 2013, when Rolex invited me to tour all four of their production facilities located in Switzerland, I was super excited! I really had no idea what to expect. One of the most memorable moments was when I toured the Rolex Gem-setting department. I was completely blown away with what I saw. In particular, I remember there were gem setters sitting at tables with microscopes connected to large screen TV's so you could watch the master Rolex gem setters working, and it blew my mind.



One detail that really stood out, was when the Rolex representative handed me a bejeweled Rainbow Daytona bezel to examine! They placed it in my hand and I could not believe how beautiful it was. I joked with my fellow bloggers by gesturing like I was putting it in my mouth to eat it, saying something like "It looks so delicious!" When you see these bejeweled Rolex watches in person they are stunningly beautiful, and to see them being made in person was incredible!



One of the key features that differentiates this new Everose Rainbow model from the last generation version is this one has color coordinated baguette 5 minute markers, which gives it even more of a rainbow vibe. Rainbows have always been popular in fashion, and particularly in the late 1970s, like Mork from Ork wearing his rainbow suspenders...Shazbot, Nanoo—Nanoo!!! All kidding aside, this is a magnificent masterpiece from Rolex...



Rolex is a company that constantly pushes the envelope, and they have done so with this next generation Rainbow Daytona. I could not help but notice that people get really polarized over these watches. Some people love them, some people hate them, and some people are ambivalent about them. This watch retails for over $100,000, but it is almost impossible to find them at retail. From what I have heard, they sell for close to double that today since they are so rare.



The reality is that it takes a special kind of person who can pull wearing these bejeweled Rolex watches as we seen in the photo below of the gorgeous Russian model, Victoria Lopyreva, who is wearing a bejeweled GMT in the photo below. Victoria also owns and wears a Rainbow Daytona.



Speaking of special people, in the photo below we see legendary actor, Sylvester Stallone rockin' a bejeweled GMT-Master, which looks really cool.




So in getting back to the Rainbow Daytona, when we look at it up close, from the side view, you notice that the lugs and crown guard structures are covered with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds. Also, I believe that on the rainbow bezel, there is one ruby at 12 O'Clock and the rest of the stones are sapphires. 


Rolex also developed a special process for the chronograph counter sundials:

"The chronograph counters are in pink Gold Crystals, a material with a particular shimmer effect, created during the crystallization of a pink gold alloy by means of a special process developed by Rolex."


Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

So we've been told
And some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see
Some day we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it's done so far

What's so amazing
That keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see
Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

All of us under its spell, we know that it's probably magic
Have you been half asleep?
And have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound
That called the young sailors?
The voice might be one in the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It's something that I'm supposed to be
Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me
La da da di da da dum da duh da da dum di da ohhh






Thursday, March 22, 2018

Basel World 2018 Introduction...A New DEEPSEA...






Basel World 2018 Introduction


New DEEPSEA





Before we examine the updated version of the Rolex DEEPSEA SEA-DWELLER let's hop in the Rolex time machine and go back in time to learn about its genesis. Leading Hollywood director, James Cameron is also an explorer, and on March 26, 2012 he successfully navigated his custom built submersible down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which is the deepest known part of the ocean floor. The photo below of James Cameron shows him just after he completed his dive.




In August of 2014, Rolex announced the original DEEPSEA SEA-DWELLER D-Blue, which was a tribute to James Cameron's incredible achievement. In the photo below we see James Cameron showing off the 1st generation 'D-Blue' model.



“They may have introduced this new model, but Rolex don’t chase whims, they don’t chase pop culture. They really like tradition, their support of exploration science is tremendous and they love the fact that being part of this exploration closed the ellipse on the Bathyscaphe Trieste expedition in 1960 (the first manned vehicle to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench), because they had a watch then that went down on the outside of that vessel too.” 

–James Cameron 

On The Rolex DEEPSEA D-Blue





“My first watch was a Rolex Submariner. Like I said, it’s pretty simple. I just always saw Rolex as the best dive watches. I mean, they invented the dive watch back in 1926. I just always associated the Rolex Submariner with divers...I've always had a Submariner on my wrist. I've worn one every day for 30 years.” 


–James Cameron 





At Basel World, Rolex just introduced a significantly updated version of the DEEPSEA D-Blue SEA-DWELLER. Rolex is and has always been a very interesting company in the sense that in many ways they continually evolve their watch models. In other words, if they feel they didn't get something perfect the first time they will keep iterating until they feel they got it just perfect, and that is the case (pun intended) with the significantly updated Rolex DEEPSEA model which is pictured below. 


There are two major changes to this watch. The first is an overhaul of the case lugs as well as the Oyster bracelet width being increased to that of the 43MM Single Red SEA-DWELLER which Rolex debuted last year at Basel World


To make a long story short, when Rolex first introduced the DEEPSEA SEA-DWELLER they simply took the Oyster bracelet from the then 40MM SEA-DWELLER and attached it to the DEEPSEA. The challenge is that the DEEPSEA was 4MM larger @ 44MM, so the lack of proper upscaling made it look weird. Many customers complained about this issue, and when Rolex introduced the 43MM Single Red SEA-DWELLER last year, they properly upscaled the Oyster bracelet.



This year, Rolex decided to update the movement in the DEEPSEA to a caliber 3235, which the Single Red was introduced with. The 3235 is a truly remarkable and precise moment which keeps quartz-like accurate time, as I documented in my long-term timekeeping diary.



So basically, Rolex simultaneously updated both the movement and Oyster bracelet in the DEEPSEA to give it parity with the Single Red SEA-DWELLER. So what is my take on this significantly upgraded model? I think it's awesome!!! Rolex did a fantastic job of giving the DEEPSEA a much better balanced bracelet, which makes all the difference in the world. I also love the special DEEPSEA dial gradient which goes from blue to black, coupled with the oversized green DEEPSEA dial designation. I also love the domed low-profile crystal on this watch. This watch is so over engineered in a belt and suspenders kind of way, but that's what makes a Rolex—a Rolex...

How do I feel about this watch? Watch the video below to find out...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Return of the Pepsi GMT-Master








No Coke!?!! 

Pepsi, Pepsi, Pepsi!!!!!

The Return of the Pepsi GMT-Master 


It seems like it's been an eternity since Rolex discontinued making their stainless steel Rolex GMT-Master with the Red & Blue 'Pepsi' bezel insert. Rolex stopped making it in 2008 just after they introduced the updated stainless super-case GMT in 2007 which was the first all stainless steel Rolex model to feature a ceramic bezel. When I began publishing Jake's Rolex World a decade ago, I continually complained about how discontinuing the Pepsi GMT-Master was a huge mistake. I agued the Pepsi GMT-Master was so iconic and outstanding that it was terrible they got rid of it. What was Rolex thinking?
All-New 2018 Pepsi GMT-Master (Reference 126710BLRO) Pictured Above

Just to be more specific, I remember when I was a young man, back in the 1980s, I would walk into a Rolex Authorized Dealership, and I would look at the smorgasbord of Rolex watches under the glass counter, you would see a sea of stainless steel watches with black and sliver bezels, or two tone, or all gold Rolex watches, and then there would be this one outstanding Pepsi GMT-Master model with its cobalt blue and ruby red bezel—contrasting heavily like the North Star with all the rest of the Rolex models. 



The Pepsi, with its ruby red and cobalt blue bezel was so American Flag patch on an Apollo NASA Astronaut looking. So Evil Knievel, So Ralph Lauren, So I Spy, So U.S. Air Force Test Pilot, So Star Trek, So Dizzy Gillespie, So Stan Barrett, So Magnum PI, So SPORTY... 

The photo below shows a vintage Rolex GMT-Master. Notice it had a much narrower and overall smaller winding crown and crown guards than a Submariner. The new GMT-Master II (pictured above) has a much larger winding crown, along with bigger crown guards, which I believe is the same we would find on the current Submariner. In other words, the GMT-Master II has finally achieved masculinity parity with the Submariner.



Most importantly, with the Pepsi GMT, Rolex had a distinct model that could not be copied, without being copied. Sure Seiko had done a weird diver watch with a black rubber strap, and other brands had tried to copy Rolex by having a red and blue bezel, but none came close to the authenticity of the Pepsi GMT-Master. 



Also, so many famous explorers had worn the Pepsi GMT-Master while achieving the unachievable. How could Rolex let go of such and iconic watch? I kept pleading with Rolex and even suggested they just make the current model with an aluminum Pepsi bezel insert which would have given it a more vintage look—all to no avail, but that all changed today with the return of the Pepsi GMT-Master!!!

Years later Rolex introduced a white gold GMT-Master (pictured below) which came standard with a red and blue 'Pepsi' bezel. The challenge is that it cost $35,000. Rolex said at the time that making the cobalt blue and red bezel in ceramic was technically very, very challenging. I remember somebody saying that it cost Rolex more money to make the red and blue bezel, than it cost to make the actual watch.






In the recent GQ Style photos above and below we see legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist, John Mayer sporting his white gold Pepsi GMT-Master on an Oyster Bracelet.






It turns out Rolex was able to figure out how to make the ceramic bezel insert much less expensively, as the new GMT-Master will retail for around $9,000 USD. Rolex elaborates on the evolution of their skillset in working with ceramics:

Mastering the use of ceramic has enabled Rolex to equip its watches with cutting-edge ceramic bezel inserts and monobloc bezels. This expertise, the result of applied internal research and the creation of a manufacturing process unique to Rolex, heralded the beginning of a new era for the brand.

Thanks to the technical properties of the ceramic it is possible to create particularly durable components that are virtually scratchproof and unaffected by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Whether on a Cosmograph Daytona, Sea-Dweller, Rolex Deepsea, Submariner, Submariner Date, GMT-Master II, Yacht-Master 37, Yacht-Master 40 or Yacht-Master II, these ceramic elements make a strong impact on the watches’ aesthetic appeal and identities, all while improving their longevity.



The all-new Rolex GMT-Master is still 40MM, and only comes with an updated Rolex Jubilee bracelet with a classic Rolex Flip-Lock clasp, which Rolex refers to as a Professional bracelet, just like the Rolex Oyster bracelet. In other words, Rolex is not offering the new stainless steel Pepsi GMT-Master on an Oyster Bracelet—only on a special Jubilee bracelet. 

This is likely so customers will be able to differentiate between the white gold and stainless steel versions. Rolex also created new nomenclature by referring to the stainless steel as "OYSTERSTEEL". This quirky naming strategy reminds me of how in the 1960s Rolex referred to their stainless steel watches as being made from "Swedish Stainless Steel". I wonder if OYSTERSTEEL exclusively come from Sweden ;-0



This new Pepsi also features a significantly updated new movement named the Calibre 3285. From the photos, the blue on the bezel does not appear to be the same at the previous generation Pepsi, which was a rich, popping cobalt blue. This new blue looks like darker 'Smurf' grey blue.



Notice how on the dial, just below the 6 O'Clock marker it says "SWISS MADE", and there is a miniature Rolex crown logo, which is a new detail I have never seen before on a Rolex watch. It is kind of cool as it reads, "Swiss Rolex Made", if you think about it :-)


If you feel a certain Deja Vu when you look at this new Pepsi GMT on a Jubilee bracelet it may be because you have seen it before on Jake's Rolex World.

The photo below shows the artwork cover of Dizzy Gillespie's seminal 1961 record album titled "An Electrifying Evening With The Dizzy Gillespie Quintet." Notice Dizzy is wearing his stainless steel Pepsi GMT on Jubilee bracelet on the album cover. The iconic photo of Dizzy wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master on a Jubilee bracelet that was taken 57 years ago stands testament to how timeless this updated Rolex GMT-Master is. I am officially giving this new GMT a nickname of "The Dizzy Pepsi GMT", which kind of rhymes with DeepSea (Dip See :-)




Dustin Hoffman 

Pepsi GMT-Master 

Another famous and iconic actor who wore a stainless steel Pepsi GMT-Master on a Jubilee bracelet is Dustin Hoffman as seen in the photos below:



Kramer vs. Kramer
1979

Dustin Hoffman costarred with Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer in 1979, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, Best supporting Actress. Dustin Hoffman is pictured below sporting his Pepsi Rolex GMT Master from the movie.





A Tudor Pepsi!?!!

Rolex owns the Tudor Watch company, and today at Basel World they announced a 41MM Pepsi, Black Bay GMT, but instead of having a ceramic bezel insert like the Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master it has an aluminum bezel insert similar to the last generation Rolex 'Pepsi' GMT-Master. In many ways I prefer an aluminum bezel insert. For one, it cost about a tenth of the money to replace if it gets damaged. 



Also, an aluminum bezel will fade and develop a unique patina over time, and it reflects light much differently than a ceramic bezel. The aluminum bezels get their red and blue look from anodizing, which gives it a metallic/shiny look you can't really achieve with ceramic—at least I have never seen a ceramic bezel that can achieve this metallic look. The cobalt blue bezel color looks so rich and deep on aluminum, but in ceramic it looks flat. I could not help but notice the blue color on the Tudor Pepsi GMT-Master appears to be have a matt finish, and the color is not Cobalt Blue, like on the original Rolex Pepsi, but a dull grey-blue color, that pops a lot less.


I am reserving judgement until I see it in person, but that is what I expect. Also, you can't crack an aluminum bezel insert.

The all-new Tudor GMT is a definite vintage inspired watch as it features a riveted Oyster bracelet and lacks crown guards.





Return of Mocha & Root Beer

Rolex also brought back updated versions of the Mocha GMT-Master as well as the Root Beer GMT, bu these new models incorporate the color black in to the bezel, which offers an interesting color combination as seen in the two photos below:

IF YOU ENJOY JAKE'S ROLEX WORLD BE CERTAIN TO CHECK OUT JAKE'S OTHER BLOGS: