Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rolex: The Right Stuff and The Two Fastest Men That Ever Lived...

Rolex and The Right Stuff
The World's Fastest Men

This is a story about two men who achieved the unachievable when they broke the two greatest speed records in flight history.

They both took off from and landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California, and each of them was wearing their trusted Rolex watch when they broke all the speed records.

Tip: Click on all images to see more detail

We start with Chuck Yeager (wearing his Rolex Oyster above) who was the first man to break the sound barrier when he flew faster than the speed of sound on October 14, 1947 in the Bell X-1 pictured below.

Chuck Yeager is wearing his Stainless Rolex Submariner, which ironically is a James Bond Reference 6538 with the Big Crown. (click on image above to see the close up detail on his Rolex Submariner, and notice his bezel is upside down ;-)

Chuck Yeager pictured above coming back from flying faster than Mach 2.
Chuck Yeager holding up a photo of his Bell X-1 next to a model of the X-15 high-speed, high-altitude research aircraft. When this photo was taken he was a Colonel and Commandant of the United States Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School at the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Chuck Yeager broke several speed records, the torch was passed to William Night who flew the X-15 pictured above and below.

The X-15 side view.

The World's Fastest Man, William J. "Pete" Knight. Knight became the world's fastest man on October 3, 1967, while flying the hypersonic X-15 when he flew at Mach 6.7 (4,520 miles per hour which is nearly seven times the speed of sound.)

This flight remains the absolute highest speed ever attained by a manned aircraft and of course, Pete Knight was wearing his trusted Rolex GMT Master.

The photo below is of the X-15's hypersonic contrail after launch as it screams toward the heavens.

If you enjoyed this article you will be happy to know I am working on a Definitive Rolex Series on Chuck Yeager that is mind-blowing and I will have it up as soon as I can get it done.