Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Spy a Rolex GMT Pepsi...

I Spy a Rolex GMT Pepsi

Speaking of I Spy, Bill Cosby and Robert Culp both wore Pepsi Rolex GMTs on the show as you can see below. In case you are not familiar with I Spy, it was an American TV show about the adventures of two American Secret Agents named Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott.

I Spy ran for three seasons from 1965 to 1968 and completed a total of 82 Episodes, and was about international espionage agents and the dangerous missions they went on all over the world.

I Spy was unusual in the sense the show was always shot on location at exotic locales all over earth, which set a new standard for television dramas.

Kelly Robinson played by Robert Culp poses as a tennis player who lives an extravagant playboy lifestyle, and Alexander Scott played by Bill Cosby poses undercover as his tennis trainer. As they travel the globe while exhibiting exceptional savoir-faire, and everlasting coolness, they are constantly matching wits with one another.

Robert Culp's figure of Kelly Robinson always wore ascots which I have always thought was a great, elegant look. Very, very Cary Grant–Once again, homage to Cary Grant being the real James Bond in "To Catch A thief" shot in 1955.

I spy was the first American TV series to feature an African American actor in the lead role. The fact that Bill Cosby's character was of African American heritage was never mentioned in the show. Bill Cosby won 3 Emmy Awards (1966,1967, and 1968).

I must admit that since I have been wearing Rolex watches, for more than a quarter century I always thought that wearing a stainless steel Rolex Submariner or GMT Master was not correct, but after checking out I Spy and the Gary Seven Star Trek episode it has changed my mind. I know think it is a kinda off cool look.

I also really enjoyed watching the episodes of I Spy. They have a kind of campy, kitschy, fun, Grooovy Baby–Yeah!!! Austin Power's–Man Of International Mystery vibe. I think I like watching this old stuff for the same reason I appreciate other older shows like Star Trek and Jacques Cousteau Odyssey.

Watching the episodes of I Spy, left me wanting more. So I plan to purchase all the DVD episodes and watch them all and hopefully I can get some higher quality screen captures of Rolex shots.

Bill Cosby and Robert Culp also made a movie named I Spy returns in 1994.

Highly Collectable Rolex Watches Defying Economic Crisis...

Highly Collectable Rolex Watch Value Enduring

John Goldberger who wrote the amazing 100 Superlative Rolex Watches is one of the top vintage Rolex collectors on planet earth. If you missed it, I recorded a detailed podcast along with a superb preview of his book which you can see by clicking here.

I talk with John on a pretty regular basis and we were discussing how Rolex would perform at the recent Antiquorum action and then at the even more recent Christie's Important Watches auction in Geneva on November 17, 2008.

John said "Christie's and Antiquorum had good results and a high percentage of items sold. Regarding the Christie's auction, the high quality Rolex watches achieved huge auction results–especially the classic models like the Prince, Bubbleback, Moonphase 8171, Chrono 3525–the kind or watches illustrated in my book."

"I think the era of high prices for Comex, Cosmographs with brown dials, low quality Sports models, and other overpaid amenities is over. In times of crisis the classic models with rare dials, in great condition will be the only good investment. Remember, quality always pays."

You can watch a video news story of the Christie's auction in French that features an interview with John Goldberger by clicking here.

One of the star performers at the Christie's Auction was this magnificent and very rare, Pink-Gold Rolex Triple-Date Moonphase [Reference 8171] which was made in 1949. Christie's points out in their auction catalog "Rolex has produced only two different models of moonphase wristwatches, reference 8171 and 6062. Both models are automatic, however reference 8171 has a snap on back, while reference 6062, the Oyster version, is fitted with a water-resistant type screw back."

"Reference 8171 was made in a small series between 1949 and 1952, mostly in yellow gold. Examples in pink gold or stainless steel are very rare."

This magnificent Rolex Moonphase [Reference 8171] significantly exceeded the estimated sales price at the Christie's auction [LOT 16/Sale 1357] on November 17, 2008 in Geneva of between $140k - $220K to sell for $250K. You can learn more about this beautiful watch by visiting the  Christie's auction page for this watch by clicking here.

The Start of Star Trek...

The Start of Star Trek Movie

What does Star Trek have to do with Jake's Rolex Watch Blog beside the fact that William Shatner wears a Rolex? Two things:

1. In my podcast I did with Mercury astronaut, Scott Carpenter, I mentioned that in the upcoming Star Trek movie trailer that just before Leonard Nimoy says the now famous, "Space, the final frontier" that you hear a sound-byte from JFK's moon speech and then you hear Scott Carpenter say, "Godspeed, John Glenn."

2. In my Podcast with International Space Station astronaut, Leroy Chiao, he mentioned that a Star Trek character named Gary 7 is shown wearing a Rolex Submariner on the original TV show.

I am not a Trekky, but when I was a kid, I loved watching Start Trek with Willaim Shatner as Captian Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock. I was not crazy about any of the Star Trek movies, but this next one looks like it might be amazing. It will be appearing soon in movie theaters. Kind of cool, first James Bond, and now Star Trek...

It takes place before on the time-scale, prior to the original TV series, so we get to learn about how the original characters were formed. It is really a prequel. To watch the amazing trailers click here. I recommend watching the 720p or 1080p if you computer can handle it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

"The First Thanksgiving" painting by Jean Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)

Happy Thanksgiving from Jake!!!

Hi everybody!!!

I would like to wish all my readers a happy Thanksgiving. I realize Thanksgiving is a United States holiday, but I believe the concept is universal.

In my mind, Thanksgiving is a day to pause and deeply reflect on how privileged we are and give thanks to the universe for allowing us to experience this miracle we call life.

I am extremely thankful to be able to explore and share all this great Rolex history with you. I am also very appreciative of all the great friends I have made all over the world through publishing my blog. Thank you all for reading and contributing!!!

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Warmest regards,


Eleven Magazine has a very nice mention about Jake's Rolex Watch Blog...

Osama Eisa from Eleven Magazine posted this very nice mention about Jake's Rolex Watch Blog:

The Rolex Blog

I stumbled upon this blog when wanting to check out some things about Rolex. Rolex is a brand that is associated with rich guys with money to spare, but the reality is that Rolex has a far more complex culture than that.

At Jake’s Rolex Blog, there is a tremendous resource on the brand and its ethos in ways that very few (if any) other places are able to match. The blog is awesome and provides you with an understanding of why people decide to spend that much money on a watch.

The reality is that it is more than just a watch, it is a tool. Astronauts, military men, and explorers have all used and relied upon this watch for one of the most important aspects of our lives: time. If time dictated whether you lived or died, would you trust your life in a Seiko? I think not.

The coolest aspect of the blog that I found was the exploration of how James Bond was known in the Fleming novels as a man who only could wear a Rolex, yet today he wears an Omega.

The article can be found here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rolex Explorer Mark II...

Orange Hand Explorer

Eric Ku from is the top vintage Rolex dealer in the San Francisco, Bay Area. He took these photos of this Rolex Explorer.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Watch Quote of the Day: Albert Einstein on Atomic Power & Watchmaking...

"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker." -Albert Einstein

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The New York Times on Remembering Ian Fleming...

Ian Fleming–James Bond Exhibition

We have been covering much James Bond history lately due to the release of the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace and if you want to learn about ALL the watches worn by James Bond you can do so by clicking here.

A few weeks ago, Jake's Rolex Watch Blog ran a story about Ian Fleming's Rolex Explorer being displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London. A few days ago, The New York Times ran an interesting article about the same exhibition which opened at the Imperial War Museum in London last month. The exhibition explores the relationship between James Bond writer/creator, Ian Fleming and James Bond. The exhibition runs thorough March 2009.

I highly recommend reading the New York Times article which you can find by clicking here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Phillip's Magnificent Rolex Submariner Prototype...

A Fascinating RED Rolex Submariner Prototype

This is an extremely rare Rolex Submariner Prototype [Reference 1680] and it is owned by one of the most fascinating Rolex collectors in the world–Philipp S. 

Philipp is not only a Rolex collector, he says he is addicted.

Technically this Submariner is referred to as a NON-Minute-Track Submariner with Tritium Indices. This Rolex Submariner also referred to as a Red Submariner because the SUBMARINER designation is red. Actually on this version the red is laid down over a white print. This overprinting process was done to make the red pop more.

Philipp does not know for certain exactly why Rolex made this prototype dial without the minute track. It could have been for many reasons, but somehow this watch left the Rolex labs and was sold into the market. In many ways, lacking the minute track gives the Submariner a fascinatingly simple look.

Magnificent Macro Shots

You can tell if a Rolex has Tritium indices by the SWISS – T<25 designation pictured above. Over time the tritium has changed color from white to an off white, almost yellow color. This yellowing also provides evidence that the dial is authentic.

In the photo below Philipp surrounds the trackless Red Submariner with two other Red Submariners from his brilliant collection. Notice the other two have minute tracks.  Philipp is a fascinating collector because he is obsessed with examining and exploring the details on his Rolex watches like not other. Thank you for sharing your stunning images with us Philipp, they are magnificent!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rolex President on Don Johnson in Miami Vice...

Don Johnson Rolex President from Miami Vice

Monday, November 17, 2008

Part 7: James Bond Rolex Mystery Solved...

James Bond Rolex Mystery Solved

In parts 1-6 of this series we explored the mystery of Daniel Craig recently wearing 3 different Rolex watches. We know the first is a Rolex Submariner 6538, the second is a two-tone Rolex Datejust, and the one that I did the story on several days ago has been positively ID's as being a Stainless Steel Rolex Datejust as seen in the photos below.

So what does all this mean if Daniel Craig who plays James Bond wears Omega on screen as James Bond, and Rolex off screen in his real life? Reality, it turns out, is stranger than fiction.

What WISdom can be gained from this mystery finally being solved? Hard to say. It seems like every time we get anther piece of the puzzle we realize their is another piece missing. I would say it definitely appears–like all of us–Daniel Craig has got RISitus worse than anybody could have imagined ;-)

Rolex Announces Winners of International Awards For Enterprise...

Rolex Announces Winners of International Awards For Enterprise 

Five Prizes of US$100,000 and Five of $50,000 Awarded for Ten Groundbreaking Projects Worldwide 

Rolex announced the ten winners of the 2008 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which for more than 30 years have supported pioneering work in science and medicine, technology and innovation, exploration and discovery, the environment and cultural heritage. The award recipients hail from around the globe – from India, Jordan, Mexico, Paraguay, South Africa, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States – and join a global network of 110 visionaries from 38 countries who have received vital project support and recognition from the Swiss watchmaker since the Awards were founded in 1976. 

The Rolex Awards fund new and ongoing projects that demonstrate a spirit of enterprise and address pressing needs around the world, from climate change, to wildlife and habitat preservation, to cultural preservation, to providing water, food, medical supplies and education for impoverished communities. Rolex will present US$100,000 each to five Laureates, who will be honored tomorrow evening (18 November) in a ceremony in Dubai – the first ever Rolex Awards ceremony held in the Middle East. Five Associate Laureates will each receive $50,000 at ceremonies in their home countries. All ten winners will also receive a Rolex chronometer. 

“The Rolex Awards for Enterprise enable the work of global pioneers who are breaking new ground in their fields, and improving lives worldwide,” said Patrick Heiniger, Chief Executive Officer of Rolex. “We are proud to support these truly original thinkers, and salute them for their ingenuity and commitment of purpose.” 

The 2008 Rolex Laureates – chosen from nearly 1,500 applicants in 127 countries by an independent panel of scientists, educators, economists and other experts – are: 

Talal Akasheh (Jordan), 61, who, after devoting 26 years to documenting the ancient monuments of Petra, is creating an information system that will inform future conservation efforts at this beloved, yet threatened, historic site. 
Tim Bauer (U.S.), 31, who is using breakthrough technology to retrofit polluting two-stroke vehicle engines that are common in the Philippines, helping to alleviate a major environmental and public-health risk in South-East Asia. 

Andrew McGonigle (U.K.), 35, a physicist who is developing a new means to safely and reliably predict volcanic eruptions using an unmanned aircraft. 

Andrew Muir (South Africa), 43, a conservationist providing Aids orphans with life skills, training, and jobs in South Africa’s burgeoning ecotourism sector. 

Elsa Zaldívar (Paraguay), 48, who is bringing an eco-friendly solution to her country’s housing shortage by creating composite building materials made of plant and plastic waste to construct affordable housing. 

The 2008 Rolex Associate Laureates are: Alexis Belonio (Philippines), 48, creator of a new technology that transforms the waste from rice production into clean, affordable cooking fuel; Arturo González (Mexico), 44, an explorer and researcher excavating archaeological remains in submerged caves or cenotes on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula; Rodrigo Medellín (Mexico), 50, who is working to save Mexico’s indigenous bats through habitat protection and education; Moji Riba (India), 36, a film-maker helping to preserve and document the rich cultural heritage of India’s Arunachal Pradesh tribes; and Romulus Whitaker (India), 65, a lifelong conservationist who is establishing a network of rainforest research stations to document and protect the biodiversity of southern India. 

The 2008 Rolex Award winners were chosen by an independent, voluntary jury of international experts, chaired by Patrick Heiniger. This year’s Selection Committee members are: Dr Vikram Akula, founder and CEO of SKS Microfinance, based in India and the United States; Etienne Bourgois, head of a French clothing company and expedition leader; Professor Denise Bradley, president of the Australian College of Educators; Dr Geh Min, ophthalmologist, environmentalist and president of the Nature Society of Singapore; Professor Farkhonda Hassan, Egyptian geologist and professor at the American University in Cairo; Dr Rodrigo Jordán, educator and explorer from Chile; Yolanda Kakabadse, Ecuadorian environmentalist and champion of sustainable development; Dr Phil Nuytten, Canadian pioneer of the commercial diving industry; Dr Ivo Pitanguy, plastic surgeon and director of the Ivo Pitanguy Clinic and Institute in Brazil; Dr Anatoly M. Sagalevitch, Russian oceanologist and head of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology’s Laboratory of Manned Submersibles; Professor Emil Salim, professor of economics at the University of Indonesia; and Dr Kathryn D. Sullivan, director of the Battelle Center for Math and Science Education Policy at Ohio State University and former NASA astronaut. 

Rolex Philanthropy 

Since its founding a century ago, Rolex has established a tradition supporting individual excellence and achievement around the globe. Through its two primary philanthropic programmes, the Awards for Enterprise and the Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, Rolex fosters innovation in science, exploration, conservation, and the arts worldwide. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

All The James Bond Watches...From A–Z...

ALL Watches Worn In ALL James Bond Movies

Recently I started writing a super-detailed article about all the watches worn in ALL the James Bond movies and if you saw it, you realized it is very, very large with many high-resolution scans that were slowing down the load time of the blog too much, so I decided to create this overview with a few preview photos and a link to the story. The story has a complete list of all the watches found in every James Bond movie ever made.

Please keep in mind that I will continue to add to this story indefinitely until it is complete. I very highly recommend you check it out. It is amazing...

To read the complete article with many great photos, please click here.

To read the complete article with many great photos, please click here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Upcoming Christie's Auction In Geneva, November 17, 2008...

Christie's Important Watches Auction Next Week In Geneva

Christie's Auction house is having an Important Watches Auction next week on Monday, November 17, 2008 in Geneva Switzerland. There are some really nice Rolex Historical pieces on the auction block and I thought I would share a few beauties with you.

This first piece is a Rolex Oyster reference 2081 Cushion-shaped 32mm wristwatch stamped with the Glasgow import letter for 1937. The reason this watch is very interesting to me is because it was made at the same time as the first Rolex made Paneria watches. The design language between the Panerai and Rolex Oyster are uncanny. [Lot 12. Sold for $3161]

This next stainless steel 36mm Rolex Explorer is most interesting. Its Rolex reference number is 6098 and it was made in 1950. It has a two-tone silvered dial. Christie's points out that at the time the Rolex Explorer was "the largest, hence most practical and readable of all models in production at the time." [Lot 344]

Next is this ultra rare stainless steel Rolex reference 6062 automatic triple calender with moonphases and Jubilee bracelet. This watch is ultra-rare because it is stainless steel. Rolex made many more in gold. This stainless steel Rolex has an estimated range between $140k-$220k. [Lot 349]Next, we have an unusual Rolex Submariner reference 5514 manufactured in 1970 with a helium release valve. 

Chistie's point out "Reference 5514 is an extremely rare variant of the well-known reference 5513, featuring a helium release valve usually reserved for the professional deep sea line, Sea-Dweller. It is understood that only an extremely small number of reference 5514 was ever made and that they were never available to the public. Few professionals and scientific organizations had the privilege of ordering specific and small quantities of the tailor-made versions such as COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d'Expertise), a professional diving operation for the oil industry. In fact, many examples of reference 4414 feature the COMEX-logo on the dial and a COMEX issue number on the case back." [Lot 164]

This next piece is amazing to me. It is a rare and unusual stainless steel automatic Rolex Turn-O-Graph made in 1953, with a reference number 6202 and a white honeycomb dial. 

According to Christie's, "The present watch is a rare example of the celebrated Turn-O-Graph reference 6202 model, fitted with the less common white honeycomb dial. Marketed as a tool watch, the Turn-O-Graph is commonly accepted as one of the godfathers of all Rolex sports watches preceding most notably the Submariner and consequently the Sea Dweller and also the GMT-Master."

"The Turn-O-Graph was presented at the Basel Fair in 1953, the year of production of the present watch. The model was always fitted with a rotating bezel with five minute divisions, referred to as a time-recording-rim by Rolex. Designed to be used as a simplified chronograph version for timing events for up to an hour, it was promoted as being able to calculate the Timing of a transatlantic telephone call, the rate of a machine, a patient's pulse, the speed of a train or the development of a film. The Turn-O-Graph was available with a black dial, the De Luxe Model featured a magnificent white honey-comb dial.

"Despite its brilliant concept, the model was at the time not as successful as excepted by Rolex, mainly due to the simultaneous in-house competition from the Submariner and the GMT-Master." [Lot394]

Note: I refer to this combination of a white Rolex dial with a black bezel as the Oreo Cookie.

Last but not least we see the star of the Rolex Show which is a 35mm reference 3525 stainless steel chronograph with a black dial and pulsometre scale on an early riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet, which was made during the middle of World War II in 1941. This watch is estimated to get between $140k-$220k and its provenance is from the Mondani Collection. [Lot 80]

To learn more about this Christie's Important Watches Auction and see all the watches please visit