Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Top Gun Maverick Debut

...Vintage Rolex Coolness...



After 34 years, including three years of delays, the long awaited Tom Cruise Top Gun (1986) sequel is debuting tomorrow in Theaters, with some great surprises. I am dedicating this article to my great pal, Captain Danny who mentioned he was inspired to become a commercial pilot when he watched the original Top Gun movie.

Mad Men actor, John Hamm plays a vice admiral whose callsign is "Cyclone" in Top Gun Maverick as we seen in the two photos below.

It's a small world, as I just mentioned Jon Hamm in my recent Rolex MAD MEN book story, and we see Jon pictured below rocking his Rolex Explorer from Mad Men.

Val Kilmer

The Iceman Returneth

Val Kilmer has lived an amazing life which includes being a very successful Hollywood actor. For some reason when I think of Val Kilmer I think of the role he played as Iceman in the 1986 mega-hit movie, Top Gun. The photos below of Val are from Top Gun and they show Val rockin' a Pepsi GMT-Master.

I Feel The Need...

...The Need For Speed!

We see Val Kilmer seems to appear in Top Gun Maverick, where he plays Tom "Iceman" Kazanksky, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Val Kilmer is pictured below taking a selfie that shows him wearing his "COOL AS ICE" Top Gun T-Shirt taken back in 2018.

The artwork on Val Kilmer's t-short seen above is a line drawing illustration taken from the classic photo of Val seen below sporting his equally classic Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master.

Val Kilmer apparently wore two different Rolex models in Top Gun as we see him below sporting a two-tone Rolex Datejust (which is totally 1980s :-) as opposed to the GMT-Master on his wrist which is seen above. 

What is more eighties than wearing a Rolex GMT-Master and a two-tone Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet? The only thing I can think of is Tom Selleck as Magnum PI!!!

Speaking of which, we saw the remake of Magnum PI, which came out back in 2018.

Val Kilmer is pictured below with Tom Cruise in the epic 1986 movie Top Gun and notice Tom is wearing a black Porsche Pilot's Chronograph watch which features a Lemania 5100 movement. 

Below is the original trailer for Top Gun which starred Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.

Top Gun


This is an interesting piece of Rolex Top Gun movie trivia. In the original Top Gun movie, toward the end of the movie, when Tom Cruise's character is helping Iceman, he pulls the brake on the Russian Mig, and we see Tom Cruise's wrist with a Rolex Submariner [Reference 5513] on it as seen in the photos below.

The "continuity error" showed a real U.S. Navy Fighter pilots wrist who happened to be wearing a Rolex Submariner, despite the fact that Cruise wore a Porsche Chronograph :-)

Take My Breath Away by Berlin was the title soundtrack to Top Gun which reached the Number 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1986. Talk about Deja Vu all over again!!! The Top Gun soundtrack was a huge hit and reached the number one position in the 1986 U.S. Billboard 200.

Danger Zone was another epic and iconic 80s song from the Top Gun Album, which was performed by Kenny Loggins.

If you have ever wondered where the Top Gun metaphor came from you can find out below as we see from the original 1955 Top Gun movie poster.

FA-18 Hornet Fighter Pilot
Rolex GMT-Master

Speaking of real Top Guns and since we are on the subject of a Top Gun pilot wearing a Rolex GMT-Master, I thought it would be cool to share this story with you. What's the coolest job in the world? Perhaps being an actual U.S. Navy FA-18 Fighter Pilot like the actors portray in Top Gun. As we see in the photo below, the real-life FA-18 pilot is sporting a two-tone Rolex GMT-Master. FA-18s cost $38 Million each, and are amazing flying machines.

The screenshot above that shows the FA-18 pilot wearing a Rolex GMT-Master was taken from the video below.

An Amazing Career

Val Kilmer has enjoyed an amazing acting career, from playing Iceman in Top Gun (1986) to playing Batman in Batman Forever (1995,) to playing Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991) to playing Doc Holiday in Tombstone (1993). He was also in Willow (1988), and played Simon Templar in the 1997 adaptation of The Saint. In 2006 he played FBI Special Agent Paul Pryzwarra in Déjà Vu, and Dieter Von Cunth in MacGruber (2101).

Tom Cruise

Risky Business

Tripping on all this Top Gun movie info made me feel really nostalgic so I thought I would share more about Tom Cruise. I distinctively remember what an icon movie Risky Business was when it debuted in 1983.

Tom Cruise was so cool with his Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses and driving his parents Porsche 928. I remember back in the early 1980s, the Porsche 928 was all the rage and then some.

1984 Rolex Daytona Brochure Cover

I remember back in 1984, how the Porsche was the coolest car, and here is a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona brochure cover featuring the Porsche 928S. Very Cool...

Speaking of the Porsche 928, here is an original brochure from Jake's Car World.

Back to Tom Cruise and Risky Business. Below is the original theatrical trailer for Risky Business, which is like a deja vu time machine.

Tom Cruise is pictured below with Rebecca De Mornay who costarred with Tom in Risky Business. Tom is sporting his Ray-Ban Wayfarers and Polo Ralph Lauren shirt in the photo below.

Rebecca De Mornay is pictured below years later wearing her two-tone Rolex Ladies Datejust.

Tom & Rolex

Tom Cruise is famous for wearing Rolex watches in movies as well as in his personal life. Below is a historic timeline of Tom and Rolex not only wearing them but also staring in his movies.

The Color Of Money 

The first time I ever noticed Tom Cruise with a Rolex was in the Academy Award Winning 1986 movie titled The Color Of Money.

The Money Shot
Tom Cruise Holding Paul Newman's Rolex Datejust

In the next photo, we see a screen-shot taken from The Color Of Money, that shows Tom Cruise playing with Paul Newman's Rolex Datejust in the movie. Of course, this close-up helps to make a solid positive I.D., as a stainless steel Rolex Datejust. Notice the bezel has no fluting, thus making it a straight stainless steel bezel.

Rain Man 

After finding out his autistic brother can count a deck of cards, Charlie Babbitt, played by Tom Cruise, pawns his yellow-gold Day-Date to buy suits for him and his brother (Dustin Hoffman) and a seat at a blackjack table at the Caesars Palace Casino.


Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go, Jamaica

Off the Florida Keys, there's a place called Kokomo
That's where you want to go to get away from it all
Bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand
We'll be falling in love to the rhythm of a steel drum band
Down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go
oh I want to take you down to
Kokomo, we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
That's where we want to go, way down in Kokomo

Martinique, that Montserrat mystique
We'll put out to sea and we'll perfect our chemistry
And by and by we'll defy a little bit of gravity
Afternoon delight, cocktails and moonlit nights
That dreamy look in your eye, give me a tropical contact high
Way down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go
oh I want to take you down to
Kokomo, we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
That's where we want to go, way down in Kokomo

Port au Prince, I want to catch a glimpse

Everybody knows a little place like Kokomo
Now if you want to go and get away from it all
Go down to Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go
oh I want to take you down to
Kokomo, we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
That's where we want to go, way down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go

Tom & Suri


Tom Cruise is pictured below holding his adorable daughter, Suri. Tom is wearing his stainless steel Rolex Datejust on an Oyster band. In the photo, Suri is trying to cover her ears, because they are just getting ready to go for a helicopter ride above New York. What a great and fun dad!!!

Knight & Day


In 2010 Tom Cruise starred in Knight & Day with Cameron Diaz who wore a Submariner as seen below.

Mission Impossible

Ghost Protocol


In 2011 Tom Cruise starred in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, which was the fourth in the series of Mission Impossible movies. Basically, Tom Cruise plays an American James Bond kind-of-guy. I actually really enjoyed watching the movie because it was so well done, and the special effects were great! In Mission Impossible, Tom wore a Tudor Heritage Chronograph as seen below.

Jeremy Renner is pictured below sporting his stainless steel Rolex Submariner in the Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

15th Anniversary Announcement: All-New 5 Volume Rolex History Book Series Coming!!!!

15th Anniversary 


Hi Everybody!

It's hard to believe I've entered my 15th straight year of publishing Jake's Rolex World @ RolexMagazine.com, and to celebrate this momentous occasion, I have some superb news to share with you! 

I am finally coming out with a series of Books on Rolex History!!! As we see in the graphic above there will be 5 different books and there is a description at the bottom of this story on each book. If you want to learn everything about the REAL history of Rolex, this series of books will completely blow your mind!!!

I was originally planning to write just one book, but once I hit the 1000 page threshold I realized I would need to break up my book into multiple volumes. The book artwork above and below are the original book artwork that show the front, rear and spine of the book.

Essentially, the original book idea was about the Founding Fathers of Rolex and how they built one of the most timeless, successful and prestigious brands in history. 

As mentioned, I was originally going to write just one book, but once I began putting the book together I soon realized one book could not hold all the information, so after a great deal of analysis and contemplation I decided to break it up into 5 separate volumes that cover the entire Rolex History Arc from the beginning of timekeeping up to today. 

I have probably read every book ever written on Rolex, and I can promise you this 5 volume series will radically surpass them!!!

To date, nobody has come even close to capturing Rolex's true history, which is my solemn commitment with this series...

Volume 1: The introductory volume for this upcoming series begins with a brief overview of the history of horology and timekeeping. It then goes into great detail on the life and times of Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf. It offers all kinds of fascinating new insight on Rolex's development of the Rolex Oyster and Rolex Perpetual, and offers tremendous understanding into what made one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history (Hans Wilsdorf) tick. Hans Wilsdorf, if you really think about it, was the archetype for the original Mad Man, in the sense he really understood the power of bold and memorable branding coupled with superb eye-catching advertising that included testimonies.

Below we see an original 1930s art-deco cosmopolitan Rolex Oyster Perpetual poster that features a distinguished regal man with a walking cane strutting through an urban metropolis. This was a new modern world in which anything was possible, and just like today, it was a story about man and his machines.


The 1942 Rolex Error-Proof Oyster Perpetual poster below introduced a new Rolex bubble back model with the now classic "Mercedes" hour hand, as well as the timeless art-deco design language which includes the upside-down luminescent triangle marker at 12, as well as the rectangular makers at 3, 6 & 9, which would later become standard on the Rolex Submariner, GMT-Master, Explorer II and SEA-DWELLER. A bizarre irony of this poster is that ERROR-PROOF RADUIM DIAL is misspelled :-0

The photo below shows a Rolex watchmaker in Geneva, Switzerland in the 1940s working on a Rolex watch under a microscope.

Volume 2: Which is pictured below, focuses on a Rolex executive who up until now people previously new very little about. This volume goes into detail on his background and how he began his career working for Rolex. The following is a short excerpt on our mystery man. 

 The Mysterious

Wizard of ROLEX

Switzerland has long been know for its mysterious neutrality, discretion and secrecy. This would include the Gnomes of Switzerland, which include Swiss bankers. But what about Rolex?

Imagine I told you there was a highly enigmatic, mysterious Swiss Marketing Wizard, responsible for the majority of Rolex’s success, including the development of the Rolex Submariner, SEA-DWELLER, Turn-O-Graph, Daytona, GMT-Master, Day-Date, Datejust, King Midas, & Tudor Monte Carlo, but nobody knows he ever existed—not even the people who run Rolex today even know much about him or would recognize a photo of him (like the one below)? 

That's right!?!! I believe out of all the people who view the photo below of the very cool mystery man, and unsung Rolex hero and marketing pioneer, with the cool aviator sunglasses nobody will recognize him!?!! If you recognize him, please prove me wrong, but I would be willing to bet not a single person who initially reads this story will recognize the man pictured below.

Mysterious Pioneering Rolex Marketing Director

What if I told you this Rolex marketing connoisseur (pictured above) was so discreet he evaded history, yet left an indelible imprint on Rolex's ethos & DNA, including the fact he was responsible for developing and bringing the following ultra-iconic Rolex watch models to market?:

  • 1945: Rolex Datejust
  • 1954: Rolex Explorer
  • 1954: Rolex Turn-O-Graph
  • 1954: Rolex Submariner
  • 1954: Rolex Millgauss
  • 1956: Rolex Day-Date
  • 1956: Rolex GMT-Master
  • 1957: Rolex President Bracelet
  • 1962: Rolex King Midas
  • 1963: Rolex Daytona
  • 1967: Rolex SEA-DWELLER
  • 1970: Tudor Monte Carlo
  • 1971: Rolex Explorer II

Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? It turns out reality IS stranger than fiction, as such a man existed, and his historical significance represents the holy grail missing Rolex nexus puzzle piece, which for the first time will be revealed and documented in great detail in this set of 5 Rolex History books...

Rolex Revelation

I must begin by thanking Dominique Jeanneret (pictured below) for sharing all of her kind assistance, gracious insight, photos and most importantly, making an indispensable contribution to this exceedingly timely and momentous Book. Dominique Jeanneret is the daughter of our previously mentioned mystery man, former Rolex Director and maverick marketing MAD MAN (literally), René-Paul Jeanneret, and she is also the goddaughter of Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf

René-Paul Jeanneret's daughter, Dominique Jeanneret 

(Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf's goddaughter) pictured above 

Dominique Jeanneret's first person accounting as a primary source with her highly insightful recollections and anecdotes regarding her father, René-Paul Jeanneret are invaluable as she witnessed many significant Rolex history events first-hand, which vividly come to life in this spectacular story...Dominique worked for Rolex U.S.A., back in the 1960s which I also cover...

Former Rolex Director, René-Paul Jeanneret's Rolex Crown Money Clip
 appears courtesy of Dominique Jeanneret & Piguet Auction House

The Rolex Executive Who 

Developed The Submariner

René-Paul Jeanneret was not only the Marketing Director for Rolex in Geneva, Switzerland, but was also an avid SCUBA diver who developed the Rolex Submariner & SEA-DWELLER for Rolex. Anonymous photos of René-Paul Jeanneret SCUBA Diving were featured in many vintage Rolex Submariner magazine advertisements including the French one below...(Just to be clear, that is a photo of René-Paul Jeanneret testing an early Rolex Submariner prototype as he SCUBA dives in the early 1950s in Cannes on the French Riviera featured in the Rolex Ad below)! This scholarship level series of books goes into great detail on the previously undocumented development of the Rolex Submariner...

Volume 3: Is ultra-fascinating, with a great deal of previously undocumented history on the development of the Rolex Professional Tool watches as well as many specialty models like the star dialed Rolex Galaxy pictured below from 1953.

All of these volumes have been deeply researched and offer a completely new perspective on a great deal of Rolex history, as well as adding a new level of precision to the Rolex historical timeline.

If you are wondering why I originally planned to name my book ROLEX MAD MEN: How they Created The International Mark of Success, and why I ended up giving that name to Volume 3, it has to do with the fact that there are 2 men in history that were literal MAD MEN, that ended up working for Rolex in Geneva. The parallels between these men and the TV show are uncanny as I go into much more detail in my books. Below is an excerpt from my books which contextualizes the meaning:


Since the roaring 1920s, Madison Avenue (named after the fourth President of the United States—James Madison) has been highly metonymous with the American Advertising establishment

Madison Avenue is a North-South borough of Manhattan in New York City and is considered by many to be the advertising mecca of the world. As we will learn later in this story several of the maverick pioneers of Madison Avenue Marketing in the 1920s ended up having a tremendous impact and influence on Rolex's future success and longevity. Thus, this is the story of ROLEX MAD MEN.

Rolex U.S.A. Headquarters are located one street over from Madison Avenue on 5th Avenue in New York City as we see in the aerial map above. Our Captain Danny posited this was likely not a coincidence as Rolex built their U.S.A. Headquarters so close to Madison Avenue in the 1970s.

Reality IS stranger than fiction and when I think of Madison Avenue, of course I think of Mad Men, which starred Jon Hamm who is pictured below rocking an iconic Rolex Explorer. Hamm's role as Don Draper was in many ways similar to the role some of Rolex's top visionary marketing men who once worked for J. Walter Thompson (JWT) in New York played in reality in developing and marketing Rolex. 

It is interesting to note Mad Men star Jon Hamm famously played my Grandfather, JAKE Ehrlich Sr., in the Movie "Howl". It turns out, it is a small world after all...

Rolex went crazy with experimenting with R&D in the early 1950s, and created many experimental prototypes like the Rolex Turn-O-Graph pictured below with a white honeycomb dial and magnificent dauphin hands.

Volume 4: Covers the André-Jean Heiniger reign and goes into great detail on how this maverick leader reinvented the Rolex brand and turned it into one of the most prestigious brands on earth today. So far, this is the largest book in the series as it covers 3 decades of Rolex's amazing history...

André-Jean Heiniger was an absolutely amazing leader and is largely responsible for the modernization of Rolex. In the photo below from the S3C private collection we see André-Jean Heiniger, who was the second Director General of Rolex awarding Björn Borg with a Rolex Datejust for having won the Wimbledon Men's finals in 1980.

Volume 5: The last volume covers the reign of Patrick Heiniger and goes into detail on how he radically consolidated the brand, and rebuilt Rolex for the 21st Century. In this volume I also cover the history of Jake's Rolex World, and share a great deal of fascinating insight on what makes Rolex tick today.

Why I wrote this series of 5 Rolex History books?

Around the time I was born, Rolex had a slogan that said “When a man has a world in his hands you expect to find a Rolex on his wrist.” 

If You Have a Rolex on Your Wrist You Will Soon Have

The Whole World of Rolex in Your Hand! 

For the first time in history, this series of books puts the entire history of Rolex in your hands. Every seminal moment; every key character; every epic and essential historic moment. This is Rolex history as it’s never been seen or known before... 

The Apple Book books version look amazing and is optimized for viewing on an iPhone, so if you ever get stuck in line somewhere, time will fly by as you learn a great deal about Rolex's amazing history...

This book series will be the ultimate Rolex companion. It's hyper-engaging and will keep you enthralled for countless hours on end! If you think you’ve see it all in the world of Rolex history you’ll be pleasantly surprised with these books!!! 

This is Rolex’s story about what make them tick as well as my own Rolex journey that made me not only the metaphorical Rolex President of their fan club, but also my story of how I unearthed and shared their forgotten history in many ways...

Just to be clear, these books go far beyond everything I have published to date, and offer a much wider scope and breadth.

Print Book Size: 11 x 14 (will initially be exclusively available for purchase on RolexMagazine.com).

Apple Digital Book Size: 11 x 14 (will be available exclusively on the Apple Books Store, which will be viewable on any Mac, iPhone, or iPad. Digital Apple Books version will continue to be updated as new information and photos are discovered, and will feature exclusive video and audio content not possible in printed version. Apple Books version will make content accessible from everywhere whether on an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Even though I plan to publish paper versions of my series of books, I really like the digital version as it is so portable. So for instance if you go on vacation, it would be much easier to read all 5 books on the airplane on an iPad, than having to carry physical books with you...Not to mention, the Apple Books version has a great deal of bonus video and audio material, not to mention links to stories on Jake's Rolex World, as well as other web sources...

Book Style: Coffee Table Book with easy to read larger text and a zillion high quality photos. 

Chapters: 50+

Page Number: So far I am up beyond 1400 pages, and expect there to be at least 1500 pages when complete. This will break down to around 300 pages per volume.

Pricing: Yet to be determined.

Publication Date RoadmapI plan to publish both a printed paper version of my books as well as a digital version on the Apple Books platform. I think it is likely I will first publish a digital version. I also think with the digital version I will roll it out one volume per month until they are all available.

Current development status: The books are primarily complete. I am now working on fine-tuning all the amazing details.

As soon as I get closer to a first publication date, I will update this article and bring it back up to the top of RolexMagazine.com. If all goes as planned we could see the first volume made available digitally on Apple Books in the July 2022 timeframe.