Monday, July 16, 2018

Three Generations of Cousteau's...

Update: July 17. I will be working on updating this amazing story over the next several days until it is done. I am doing this in celebration of Céline Cousteau launching her Kickstarter campaign on July 19th for her amazing new Documentary named Tribes on The Edge.


When is started Jake's Rolex World eleven years ago, my goal was to capture as much of Rolex's amazing history as possible, as well as to separate the fact from the fiction on falsely perpetuated myths. At the time I could not help but notice there were two people who seemed to not exist on the web, and that was Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf and explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau. With Hans Wilsdorf, there were only two photos of him on the entire web, the one with the crazy hair and the one when he was a young man. This struck me as being almost a crime against humanity as I realized he was arguably one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. 

The second person missing from the internet was Jacques-Yves Cousteau, which struck me as being really strange since he was so popular during my childhood. I set out on a mission to extensively document both Hans Wilsdorf and Jacques-Yves Cousteau's career achievements and ended up creating the single largest stories on each man, which included the largest repositories on photos from both men.

When I first interviewed Céline Cousteau she asked me about her grandfather and his relationship with Rolex. I took her on a tour of his Rolex history, and then when I interviewed Jean-Michel Cousteau who is Jacques-Yves Cousteau's son, he did not seem that familiar with his father's history with Rolex. That is one of the reasons I decided to write this story, so as to put in one cohesive place a story that chronicles the Cousteau legacy and at the same time showcases in a comprehensive manner Jacques-Yves Cousteau's relationship with Rolex.

The First Family Of Exploration

Céline Cousteau

I recently interviewed Céline Cousteau and we had the most amazing conversation about her career achievements as well as discussing the entire Cousteau family today—were they are, and what they are doing...I believe it is safe to say that the torch has been passed to the next generation who are all doing amazing things to protect earth...

In the image below from the December 2013 cover of Town & Country Magazine we see Céline Cousteau with her brother Fabian Cousteau. 

Return To The Amazon

Céline Cousteau's grandfather lead his team and brought the Calpyso on an expedition in 1982 down the Amazon river.  

Mission Amazon ended up being a 5 part series that aired on ABC. Ted Turner financed the expedition and Jean-Michel helped produce it. Below is the original TV trailer for Cousteau's Amazon Expedition.

In the photo below we see Céline Cousteau piloting her zodiac down the Amazon with her grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso in the background. Céline and I discussed her first trip down the Amazon which her father Jean-Michel Cousteau took her on with her grandfather and she mentioned how engaged and fascinated she was with expedition and in particular meeting the native people. This resulted in her returning decades later with her father Jean-Michel on an expedition he did to return to the Amazon. 

In 2013 Céline Cousteau returned a third time to the Amazon to start filming her own documentary on the native tribes of the Amazon and their plight. This exciting documentary will be released soon as she it still putting the finishing touches on he documentary.

ABC News just published this story about Céline Cousteau's upcoming project and also mentioned her upcoming Kickstarter campaign which is scheduled to launch later this week on July 19, 2018. BTW, the Nell Newman Foundation is supporting Céline Cousteau's upcoming documentary named Tribes On The Edge with a donation.

Céline Cousteau is pictured below with her legendary grandfather, Jacque-Yves Cousteau when she was a little girl. After having interviewed Céline I could not help but notice she shares her grandfather's Spirit of Inquiry and Exploration.

Below we see a trailer for Céline Cousteau's upcoming documentary named "Vale do Javari: Tribes on the Edge." Céline wrote an article about this upcoming documentary which is very interesting.

The Amazon River as seen in the photo below is the largest river in the world by discharge, and at 4,350 miles in length is filled with mystic surprises which include close to 3000 known species of fish that live in the river. Also, 20% of earths oxygen is generated by the vast Amazon rain-forest in Brazil.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Leading Ocean Environmentalist

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking in detail with Jean Michel Cousteau who is the head of Jean-Michel Cousteau is Royalty in the world of exploration as he is the son of the greatest explorer in history, Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Jean-Michel and I took a stroll down memory lane as we discussed so many different aspects of his history as well as his father's history.

Jean-Michel Cousteau is pictured below in 1989 in Papaua, New Guinea with his father, Jacques-Cousteau aboard the Calypso, and notice he is wearing his Rolex SEA-DWELLER. I asked Jean-Michel what his first recollection was of wearing a Rolex Submariner and he told me it was when he was stationed in Madagascar in 1958.

In the photo below we see Jean-Michel Cousteau with his father Jacques, mother Simone, and brother Philippe in the 1940s.

In the famous photo below we see Jacques-Yves, Philippe and Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Jean-Michel Cousteau is in the photo below that was inspired by the family portrait above, with his children Fabian and Céline Cousteau. 

In the future, I will be publishing a detailed story on my interview with Jean-Michel Cousteau which I believe will put together the final pieces of the Cousteau Rolex history puzzle, but in the meantime enjoy the Ted talk video below:

Jacques-Yves Coustea

Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who is Jean-Michel's father and Céline Cousteau's grandfather is the greatest explore that has ever lived—bar none. I remember when I was a small child that every Sunday night my family would gather in front of the TV set to watch "The Underwater World Of Jacques Cousteau" which ran from 1968 to 1976. On this amazing show Captain Cousteau and his sons would take on board his famous Calypso ship to explore all over the world.

The First Submariner

Have you ever wondered why the Rolex Submariner is named Submariner? Submariner is commonly pronounced Suhb-mar-uh-ner, but it's proper pronunciation is Suhb-muh-ree-ner. Meaning the watch was designed for a Submarine Captain, NOT a Mariner who was Sub-par. It is a fact that Jacque-Yves Cousteau worked with Rolex on the original Submariner. From all my deep research I would argue that the Rolex Submariner was inspired by and named after Jacques-Yves Cousteau and here is why:

The very rare photo below shows Jacques-Yves Cousteau with legendary Swiss Physicist, Auguste Piccard in 1948, in front of the Bathyscaphe F.N.R.S II Submarine. The F.N.R.S. II was what Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau referred to as the "Original Deep-Boat." 

Auguste Piccard & Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1948 in front of the Bathyscaphe F.N.R.S. II

In December of 1953 Jacques Cousteau comandeered the F.N.R.S III and took her down 4000 feet. Keep in mind Jacques Cousteau took the F.N.R.S III Submersible down twenty-five times deeper than a standard submarine could go at that time in history. 

The F.N.R.S. III Submersible in 1953 in front of the Calypso

August Piccard and his son Jacques Piccard, with their Bathyscaphe Trieste years later would continue to set all time deep diving records. Just to be clear, Auguste Piccard's son was also name Jacques. The photo above is NOT of his son Jacques Piccard, but of Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Jacques Yves-Cousteau is considered to be the father of Scuba Diving and modern underwater exploration, and he worked with Rolex in the early 1950s to develop the Rolex Submariner as seen on his wrist below in 1953. 

I believe Rolex named the Submariner as an homage to Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was close friends with Rolex Director, Rene-Paul Jeanneret, who he worked with on the development of the Rolex 'Submariner' Diving Watch. I believe Rolex named the Submariner as a tribute to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and I believe "Submariner" was intended to mean, "Mariner who explores below (Sub) the Sea, or pilots a Submarine". It is a important to also take into consideration in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Submarines were a huge deal. All these amazing Submarine events occurred long before President Eisenhower established NASA in 1958. Captain Cousteau was as close as the world came to a real Buck Rogers in the 21st Century... 

As I mentioned earlier Jean-Michel Cousteau's father, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was the greatest explorer in history—bar none. Jacques-Yves was instrumental in the development of the Rolex Submariner, and Jean-Michel and I discussed the image below taken in 1953 when his father was testing Rolex Submariner prototypes with his team aboard the Calypso in the Mediterranean.

The close up photo above of Jacques-Yves Cousteau shows him wearing an early Rolex Submariner with pencil hands that looks like the similar vintage model seen below.

The document below confirms that Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team were testing Rolex Submariner prototypes in early 1953.

The photo below was taken in 1968, and it shows U.S. Navy Doctor George Bond being interviewed with his close associate, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who is the greatest explorer in history. In the interview, they were discussing U.S. Navy SEALAB III.

"What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what's going on." –Jacques-Yves Cousteau 

The First SEA-DWELLER's In History

Have you ever wondered why the Rolex Submariner is named the Submariner? Or where the Rolex SEA-DWELLER got its name from?

Albert Falco and Claude Wesly of the Calypso diving team (pictured below wearing red caps) swam into history when they became the first "Oceanauts [French]" or "Aquanauts [American]" or "SEA-DWELLERS [ROLEX]" to live or "DWELL" under the sea. Also in the photo below we see Jacques Cousteau visiting with Falco and Wesly inside the Conshelf I habitat.

Project Conshelf
From Submariner to SEA-DWELLER

In September 1962, Jacques Cousteau immersed his Calypso crew into their most ambitious adventure to date known as the Conshelf Project. The Conshelf project was the brainchild of a U.S. Navy Medical Corps., Captain named Dr. George Bond. Dr. Bond conceived a new method of diving known as the "saturation method" which became know as "saturation diving."

Saturation diving created an underwater habitat where the divers could live in an underwater house/structure/habitat so they could work on the sea floor, without having to decompress by coming up to the ocean's surface after each dive.

Dr. Bond submitted his plan to build this underwater habitat for saturated divers to the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Navy initially rejected the idea–so Dr. Bond submitted his idea to Jacques Cousteau and his Calypso diving team–and after careful evaluation Cousteau decided to undertake the project.

Conshelf I

Conshelf I [September 1962] Location: Frioul Island, Marseille, France

Conshelf I got underway in September of 1962, and according to Jacques Cousteau, the objective was "Two men living for one week in a small building at a depth of 37 feet and working several hours a day at 65 feet." The Conshelf I structure was essentially a huge drum about the size of an industrial shipping container that was ballasted with an open hatch for the divers to enter and exit the underwater house.

In the photo below we see Conshelf I's barrel shaped habitat being tested for leakage before being submerged for the experiment. I may be wrong, but I think I recognize fellow DEEP-SEA Submariner, Jacques Piccard up on the top deck, leaning back, in the white shirt with dark slacks filming with a camera in his hand. 

Jacques Coustea previously worked with Jacques Piccard on the Bathyscaphe Project, and would work with Piccard again in 1964 on a new floating laboratory nicknamed "Mysterious Island" and again in 1965 from April 13 to May 10 on a geophysical and acoustical mission along the south coast of France. 

It is kind of shocking we have never seen a photo of the two Jacques together, but this may be the first one. Cousteau, of course, is located in the bottom right hand corner of the photo on the deck of the Calypso.

So not only was Jacques-Yves Cousteau the inspiration for the original Rolex Submariner, but he was also the inspiration for the SEA-DWELLER as well. I spoke with Jean-Michel Cousteau about Operation Conshelf I, and he told me he dove down to visit Albert Falco in the underwater habitat as it was only 35 feet below sea level, where Falco was "Dwelling in the Sea."

In the photo below taken later in Jacques-Yves Cousteau's life we seen him wearing a Rolex SEA-DWELLER. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was and remains the living personification and embodiment of both the Rolex Submariner and SEA-DWELLER.

The Calypso was extremely well equipped with innovative technology to capture the mysteries of the ocean including the SP-350 diving saucer  submarine that Captain Cousteau designed, which is pictured below as it is prepared for work in the Aegean Sea.

“To Live on the Land We Must Learn from the Sea” 

–John Denver (Calypso)

Richard Hyman took the photo below onboard the Calypso when they were filming in the Belize Barrier Reef and John Denver gave an impromptu concert for Captain Cousteau and his wife Simone who was commonly referred to as  “La Bergère”, which when translated from French to English means "The Shepherdess."

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Angelique Kerber Wins Wimbledon Ladies Singles

Angelique Kerber

Wins Wimbledon Ladies Singles 

Rolex Daytona

Angelique Kerber just beat Serena Williams to win the ladies singles at Wimbledon, and as we see whit was sporting her stainless steel Rolex Daytona during the award ceremony.

Friday, July 13, 2018

White Gold Rolex Daytona As Seen on in 2007

...Rolex Time Machine...

White Gold Rolex Daytona
As Seen on in 2007

Before I started Jake's Rolex World in 2008, I took these screen grabs in 2007, just cause I thought this watch was so cool looking, and I just found them, so I thought I would share them. Very cool looking...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Speaking of Beautiful Women Wearing Mens Rolex Watches...

...Super Leggy Model...

Filippa Hamilton Palmstierna
Stainless Rolex Daytona

Sorry, I could not resist this image of Super-Leggy-Model Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele sporting a mens Stainless Steel Rolex Daytona with a Black Dial. Ouuuuuuuuch!!! Oh Behave!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Rolex World Of Yachting

Rolex World Of Yachting

They say you learn something new everyday, and that's on-point for this story as  I just discovered that Rolex has a Rolex World Of Yachting YouTube channel I never new existed! I noticed a couple of really cool sailing videos I thought I would share. This first one features the Rolex Giraglia 2018 Race, and in it we see former Rolex CEO, Gian Riccardo Marini who is now the Managing Director of Rolex Italia.

This next Rolex documentary showcases the Rolex China Sea Race 2018 and is also really fascinating. 

It's worth noting the sun never sets in the world of Rolex as they are sold all over earth at a rate of more than one watch per minute, every minute of every day of the year!!! 

[Note: The math behind this logic is 60 Minutes per hour multiplied by 24 hours in a day give you 1440 minutes per day. Multiply 1440 minutes per day times 365 days per year equals 525,6000 minutes per year. Since Rolex likely makes around 800,000 watches per year that would be more than 1.52 watches sold per minute—every minute of every hour of every day!!! That is a lot of Rolex watches...]

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The John Player Special...Exotic Dial Up Close...

...Rolex Macro Shot Of The Day...

The John Player Special

Yellow Gold Rolex Daytona

Can it be that it was all so simple then...

...or has TIME rewritten every line?

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Queen of Cool—Neile Adams McQueen

The Queen of Cool

Neile Adams McQueen

Steve McQueen remains the undisputed King of Cool, and Every King has a Queen, especially if your last name is McQueen. 

I recently interviewed Neile Adams McQueen, who was married to Steve McQueen from 1956 to 1972 and is the matriarch of the McQueen family today. We spoke about many things including the provenance of Loren Janes Rolex Submariner, which I will be including details of in my next update on that subject coming later this week.

Neile Adams McQueen's life journey is absolutely amazing! It has been said that behind every great man there is a great woman, and that certainly was the case with Steve McQueen as Neile helped him every step of the way with his early and middle career. Even after Steve and Neile were divorced Steve McQueen still heavily depended on her opinions and instincts.

1965 Monaco Grand Prix 

Neile supported her husband Steve in many of his endeavors and hobbies. We see Neile and Steve McQueen in this next set of photos attending the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix where Steve was absolutely fascinating with the racers.

In the photo below we see Grand Prix racers Graham Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart chatting with Steve McQueen. This photo is interesting as they both seem equally fascinated with each other.

In this next photo we see Steve McQueen wrapping out with legendary Formula One race car driver, Sir Stirling Moss.

The McQueen Family

Steve McQueen was a dedicated family man and was madly in love with his two children. 

In particular, his daughter Terry was the apple of his eye and we see Terry pictured above with Neile and Steve as well as in the photo below where Steve is walking with Terry in Los Angeles in 1964.

In the family portrait below from the early 1970s we see Chad, Steve, Neile and Terry McQueen.

Steve McQueen's Love of Rolex

Neile and I had a great conversation about The King Of Cool and his appreciation of Rolex. Neile said, "Steve was very fond of Rolex." I mentioned to Neile that I have spent thousands of hours over the past decade searching for photos of Steve McQueen wearing his Rolex Submariner and that the first time I was aware of him wearing one was when he was racing at Sebring in 1970. 

Neile said, "I remember when we were on Christmas vacation in Switzerland in 1969 Steve bought some Rolex watches, which he was very fond of."

Below is a photo of Steve McQueen at Sebring with wife Neile, son Chad, and daughter Terry talking with Steve during a break.

In the photo above and below we see Steve McQueen at Sebring in 1970 wearing his Rolex Submariner he wore while he performed in the endurance race.

Below we see a photo of Steve and Neile on the set of Sand Pebbles, taken in 1966 in Honk Kong.

In the photos below, we see Neile and Steve McQueen in a convertible Mercedes 300SL in New York.

The next set of photos below were taken on the set of The Thomas Crown Affair, and the first one shows Neile McQueen with Steve.

Neile has worn a Rolex Lady-Date for many decades and mentioned that her son Chad wears his father's Submariner and her granddaughter, Molly wears her daughter Terry's Rolex today. Terry McQueen who was Steve & Neile McQueen's daughter is pictured below on the left with her daughter Molly, and notice Terry is wearing her Rolex LadyDate. Unfortunately Terry passed away from a rare disease when Molly was ten years old, so her grandmother Neile raised her. Neile and Molly are pictured on the right and notice Neile wearing her ladies Rolex two-tone Datejust.

In the photo below we see Steve & Neile's daughter Terry McQueen with her daughter Molly on her lap, and we also see Terry wearing her yellow gold Rolex Ladydate.

Neile is pictured below in a more recent photo with her granddaughter Molly.

This means that the entire McQueen nuclear family wore Rolex watches! Neile mentioned "Recently I have really been enjoying wearing my Cartier watch!" 

Neile Adams McQueen is an amazing lady who as achieved so much in her life, and she has played a strong role as being the matriarch of her family and has had a strong influence on her children and grandchildren. Since Steve McQueen was The King of Cool, that makes Neile the Queen of Cool in my mind! Neile is pictured below with her daughter Terry and son Chad.

Steve & Neile McQueen's son Chad is pictured below with his mother Neile and his first wife, Stacey Toten notice Chad is wearing his father's Rolex Submariner. Today Chad McQueen owns two different Rolex Submariner models that belonged to and were worn by his father.

Below we see a photo of Neile McQueen with her son Chad and grandson Steven McQueen, who is Chad's son.

Speaking of COOL—below is a photo of Steven McQueen who is Neile & Steve McQueen's grandson, and his parents are Stacey Toten and Chad McQueen. Steven McQueen is a talented actor, and appears to be down to earth and very friendly.