Sunday, July 22, 2012

Was Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins The First NASA Astronaut to wear a Rolex Watch?

The Apollo 11 Story

Michael Collins
First Documented Rolex At NASA
Rolex Turn-O-Graph

Putting together Jake's Rolex Watch Blog is really fun because it is like a history lesson for me.

I feel like a Rolex Explorer (Pun not intended).

The Apollo 11 mission was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. Apollo 11 launched from The Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969 and landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Neal Armstrong and Buzz Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin were the first humans to land on the Moon while Michael Collins orbited above.

It has been said that Rolex was not the first watch on the moon and I don't know because I was not there, but this image of American Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins is very interesting. The photo of him was taken on April 16, 1969 during centrifuge training as he prepared to go to the moon three months later.

As you can tell by clicking on the images below for close ups of Apollo Astronaut Michael Collins he is unequivocally wearing a Stainless Steel Rolex. I believe it is a Stainless Steel Rolex Turn-O-Graph which was a precursor to the Submariner. 

Pictured above and below are the prime crew of Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Left to right are Neil Armstrong, Commander; Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot and Edwin "Buzz" Aldren Jr., Lunar Module Pilot (May 1, 1969). Notice in the photo above that Michael Collins is wearing his Rolex on his right wrist as he posses with his fellow crew members, in front of the Saturn V at the Kennedy Space Center that would soon take them to the moon and back.

...The Rolex President...
U.S. President: Lyndon Johnson
Apollo 11 Lift-off

In this next photo we see U.S. President Lyndon Johnson wearing his trademark yellow gold "Rolex President" Day-Date as he watches Apollo 11 take-off for the moon on July 16, 1969 at 9:32am EDT. U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew is pictured on Johnson's right and Lady Bird is on his left.

Historical Note: The photo above of U.S. President Johnson is a bit ironic because he was no longer President when this photo was taken. At the time Richard Nixon was the President of The United States and he did not attend since he was paranoid the launch might fail. Instead he watched the launch live on TV from the Oval Office.

The EAGLE has landed.