Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rolex Cloisonné World Dial Sets Record Antiquorum Auction Sold for $722,000!!!

...All Time Record For Non-Complicated Rolex Sale Price...

Rolex Cloisonné World Dial Sets Record
Antiquorum Auction Sold for $722,000!!!
[34mm 1950 Rolex: Reference 6284]

Earlier this week we were looking at a 1952 Rolex Galleon Hand Enameled dial [Reference 6100] and today we are examining another.

The hand-enameled Rolex picture below set an all-time sales record for a non-complicated Rolex on Sunday, at the Antiquorum Auction in Switzerland when it sold for $$772,000!!! The dial was hand-enamled by Margueritte Koch who worked for Stern Frères. Only six of these 14kt gold Rolex watches were made.

This Rolex watch set an all-time record for a non-complcated Rolex. The all-time record for a Rolex was in May or 1996, at Antiquorum, for a Split Reference 4113 from the Mondani Collection, which sold for $800,851.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Return Of The Orange Hand Generations of the Rolex Explorer II

...Rolex Wrist Shot Of The Day...

The Return Of The Orange Hand
Generations of the Rolex Explorer II
[Reference 216570 v. Reference 1655]

Ben took this photo at BaselWorld in Switzerland that shows the all-new Rolex Explorer II that Rolex just debuted, next to its great-grandfather, which is the original "Orange Hand" Explorer from 1971 known which is a Reference 1655, which is affectionately known by collectors as the "Freccione."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ted Koppel of Nightline fame wearing his Trademark Yellow Gold Day-Date...

Rolex Coolness: Ted Koppel
An Amazing Career With Rolex Keeping His Time

Randy Nopasri sent in this recent photo of Ted Koppel wearing a Midnight Rolex Explorer II. Ted Koppel was the host of ABC's Nightline for a quarter century, beginning in 1980 and ending in 2005.

Here are some more photos of Ted Koppel wearing his Stainless Steel Rolex GMT Master.

In the next photo (below) Ted Koppel is sporting his stainless steel Rolex Explorer II while wearing a tuxedo. The last man I can remember sporting a stainless steel Rolex sports watch was Sean Connery as James Bond.

When Ted Koppel was the host of ABC's Nightline, he regularly wore a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date as seen in the photo below.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Time to Tighten Up!!!

It's Time to Tighten Up!!!

I can't seem to help myself!?!?!? I seem to be having another "Tighten-Up" moment, just trippin' on all the Rolex Explorer II Supercase pics, and I couldn't let this rare moment pass without sharing it with you!!!

If you are a true WIS or RIS, or just a daily reader of Jake's Rolex World, you know what time it is!!! Time to Tighten Up!!!!

If you don't have any idea what I am talking about, all you have to do is:

Step 1: Scroll down to the "Tighten Up" video in this post and hit the play button, and turn the volume way up!!!!!!

Step 2: Slowly scroll down the page and stare and trip on each photo of the Rolex Explorer from the BaselWorld coverage so far this year.

Step 3: There is no step three. Just enjoy the passage of time ;-)

Step 4: Do it all over again, but don't try to explain the "Tighten Up" experience because people will respond by looking at you funny ;-) It only works if you are starring at pics on Jake's Rolex World!!!!

Step 5: This is an advanced bonus step. If you are really getting carried away, you can use your mouse or trackpad and move it up and down like a DJ scratchin' records, to make the screen quickly jump up and down. Doing so will allow you to make the photos quickly jump around to the music...


Incoming Rolex Explorer II v. Outgoing Explorer II Design Analysis and Comparison

Incoming Rolex Explorer II v. Outgoing Explorer II
Design Analysis and Comparison

Night & Day Design Detail

Bravo Rolex!!!!!!!

The incoming all-new 2011 Rolex Explorer "Orange Hand" really is Night and Day compared to it outgoing predecessor as you can clearly see in the photo comparison below. Rolex changed the dated "Logan's Run" typeface on the bezel and made it smaller and bolder, which gives the watch a much more streamlined look.

The 2011 version has the much fatter and bolder hour and minute hands, and the "retro" safety orange arrow hand is also bolder and more outstanding that the classic version. To my design mind, the hands and markers on the outgoing Explorer II look skinny, feminine and anemic. The new hands and markers look bold, masculine and strong. It is really amazing how such subtle design changes, complete change the vibe and look of the watch!!!!

It is really not until you examine the incoming v. the outgoing images that you realize just how different these watches look. You also really can't help but notice how much bolder the Maxi-Markers look, and it looks like Rolex also fattened up the twin-lock winding crown. Also, the all-new 2011 Explorer II has its "EXPLORER II" designation printed in orange on the dial, which give it a bolder, sportier look!!!

The Return Of The Tool Watch: Day & Night Rolex Explorer II Supercase

...The Return Of The Tool Watch...

Day & Night Rolex Explorer II Supercase

Vintage Meets Modern

The all-new Rolex Explorer II is 100% Tool Watch. No polished center links, this watch is meant to take a licking and keep on ticking. Yesterday we took a look at the "Polar Phantom" Explorer II, meaning the white dial version. Today we are going to take a look at it's twin, which I am dubbing the "Midnight Phantom" meaning it has a black dial (as seen below).

In This story we are also going to take a look at the design ethos of the Rolex Explorer II.

This next image from my pal, Eric Ku is of the first Rolex Explorer II from 1971, which had an Orange Hand and black dial.

Original Rolex Explorer II (Orange Hand) Reference 1655

This Explorer II "Orange Hand" watch has a fascinating history. Unfortunately is was falesy dubbed a the Steve McQueen Explorer, despite the fact Steve McQueen NEVER wore won. On Jake's Rolex World, one of the thing I do is myth-busting and I busted the "Steve McQueen Explorer" Myth, and proved he only wore his trademark Rolex Submariner.

Here is a rare vintage Rolex advertisement for the Rolex Explorer II "Orange Hand."

The History Of The Polar Explorer

We have seen Rolex ads for the original Rolex Explorer like the one below that features the standard 3,6,9 dial.

Even though most people think Sir Edmund Hillary wore a black dial Rolex Explorer when he conquered Everest, he actually wore a white dialed Rolex Oyster Perpetual. The Polar (White) dial Rolex Explorer II really owes its genesis to the actual Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sir Edmund Hillary wore when he conquered Mount Everest in 1953, which is pictured below, and of course you can learn the entire history of the Rolex Explorer by reading The Complete History Of Rolex Conquering Everest.

The first generation Rolex watches that had the 3,6,9 dial markers as well as the "Explorer" dial designation were offered with a white dial, and a black dial. They were introduced in early 1954, and Rolex discontinued the use of white dials on the standard Explorer around 1958. In the photo we see below from Stafano Mazzariol, we see an original white dial "Polar" Rolex Explorer.

The Modern Rolex Explorer II
Rolex Coolness: Ed Viesturs

Ed Viesturs is on of the most accomplished high-altitude climbers in history and he is also a Rolex Ambassador. Ed Viesturs typically wears his now trademark Polar Rolex Explorer II, but he also wears other sports Rolex models.

"Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory." –Ed Viesturs

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All New-Rolex Supercase Explorer II Orange Hand BaselWorld 2011 Review

All New-Rolex Supercase Explorer II Orange Hand
BaselWorld 2011 Introduction & Review

The Polar Phantom Rolex

Mission Control. The Eagle has landed!!!!! Repeat. The Eagle has landed!!!!! Rolex's teaser from last years BaselWorld turned out to be true and it looks like an absolute winner to me!!!! It is particularly impressive that Rolex decided to up the case diameter size from the previous Explorer II, which was 40mm, too 42mm!!!

This is not the largest standard Rolex Sports watch, although it is bigger than the Submariner, and GMT-Master which are 40mm. The new Explorer II is the going to give Rolex Sports watches a whole new, and much needed, larger vibe, which is very exciting!!!

Last But Not Least

The reason I say "Last But Not Least" is because the Rolex Explorer is the last of the Rolex Sports watches to get a major design overhaul, and now it is the Super-Coolness!!!! Methinks there are going to be waiting lists for this amazing new watch which is already an instant classic!!!!!!

Rolex is extremely conservative in many ways, but with the all-new Rolex Explorer II, they really stepped it up and went a bit retro, which is awesome!!!! The Rolex Explorer II is the last sport watch to (finally!!!!) get Maxi-Markers, and wow!!! They look great!!!

If you are not familiar with the term "Maxi-Markers" it refers to the size of the 5-Minute Markers on the dial. The last version of the Explorer II had much smaller 5-Minute Markers. Another name for the 5-Minute Markers is "5-Minute Indices." The Maxi-Markers, coupled with the Maxi-Case and Orange 24hour hand give this all-new Rolex a really bold, fresh, masculine, solid, colorful, high-contrast, super-sporty, cool, arctic, popping look!!!!!

Bigger Is Better

So what is the real significance of the all-new Rolex Explorer II growing from 40mm to 42mm? As I mentioned earlier, Rolex is always extremely cautious when it comes to change. The reality is ever since their debut around 1915, wristwatches have continued to grow is size. Why? It is simple. Because humans keep growing, getting taller and bigger overall, so it makes sense that watches should follow. Rolex has been a little slow or reluctant to make their watches larger, but the all-new 42 Explorer II cleary heralds a new size mindset for Rolex.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All New-Rolex Explorer II Orange Hand

All New-Rolex Supercase Explorer II Orange Hand
BaselWorld 2011 Preview

Looks like we get to see the all-new "Orange Hand Explorer II" a little ahead of schedule!!! Looks like an absolute winner to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Start Trek Rolex GMT Master at NASA

...William Shatner's 80th Birthday Celebration...

It's Been A Long, Long Time

It's William Shantner's 80th Birthday today!!!! Hard to believe the old boy is 80, and that he was born in 1931. As a Tribute, to his 80th birthday, I am sharing this post. William Shatner is in a class, all by himself!!!

Another STAR TREK Rolex
Memories Are Made Of This

"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations–to boldly go where no man has ever gone before!!!"

In November of 2008 I wrote the original Star Trek Rolex story which appears below this new introduction. The original Star Trek TV series was a seminal science-fiction institution and it was amazing. To this day, generations of people around the world still enjoy watching the original series which was ahead of its time in many ways.

Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock are as iconic today as the Rolex Submariner and Rolex GMT Master. Somehow their personalities played perfectly off of each other, and how cool were these guys?!!!!!!! So cool...just Super cool...

The photo below of William Shatner posing in front of a spaced-out car is really cool for some reason.

In this story we are going to explore and episode of Star Trek which was shot at NASA and discover how one of the cast members was wearing a Rolex GMT Pepsi, but I also wanted to share this photo from 1974 or Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock), Deforest Kelly (Bones), and William Shatner (Captain Kirk).

In this photo from the L.A. Times Archives, the three are recording their voices for a Star Trek Cartoon. Notice that William Shatner is wearing a Rolex Submariner.

This next photo is of the original cast that starred together in a Star Trek movie. In many ways, since so many of us are so familiar with the cast, they almost seem like family members.

GMT Master at NASA

This is a most fascinating Rolex history story. It all began during a podcast interview which I conducted with one of the most highly decorated NASA astronauts in history, Dr. Leroy Chiao.

Dr. Leroy Chiao served on three Space Shuttle Missions for NASA as a scientific officer and later was the Commander of The International Space Station on Expidition 10. Dr. Chiao lived on the International Space Station for 26 weeks. You can read all about Dr. Chiao and listen to my podcast interview I conducted with him by clicking here.

NASA International Space Station Mission Commander, Dr. Leroy Chiao is pictured above

During my podcast interview with Leroy Chaio, he mentioned he recalled seeing a Rolex on an episode of Star Trek, with a character named Cary Seven, and he also mentioned there were many great NASA shots taken at Cape Canaveral.

Yesterday, I put up the story about the new Star Trek movie coming at Christmas time which takes place when Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock were younger than in the original Star Trek TV show. It looks from the movie trailer like it might just be a superb movie. This got me thinking about he how Dr. Chiao mentioned the Star Trek episode with the Rolex, so I did the research and found it.

The Star Trek episode named Assignment Earth is number 55, and it was the last show from the second season in 1968 which originally aired March 29, 1968 (Season 2, Episode 26). It was also a television pilot for a Star Trek spin-off show Gene Roddenberry hoped to launch based around this really cool new character named Gary Seven. I watched the entire episode and really enjoyed it.

I will do my best to walk you through the Star Trek episode and show you the Rolex GMT that NASA astronaut, Dr. Leroy Chiao discovered.

Assignment Earth [Star Trek. Episode #55, 1968]

Episode #55 begins with the Starship Enterprise traveling through the time-space continuum back to 1968 to conduct a mission as part of an earth history research program. All of a sudden, a man who is trying to beam to earth gets beamed onto the Enterprise transport station by mistake. His introduces himself to Captian Kirk as Gary Seven (played by actor Robert Lansing, who looked a lot like Steve McQueen).

Gary Seven's human ancestors were abducted from Earth around 4000BC and taken to an invisible cloaked planet named System Zeta Gamma 357. Gary comes back to Earth in 1968 on a mission to try and save Earth from nuclear destruction.

Gary Seven travels with his companion pussy cat named Isis and as you can see in the photo below when Captain Kirk first encounters Gary Seven in the transport room, Gary Seven is wearing a Rolex GMT Master Pepsi.

Gary 7 tells Kirk he is from an invisible planet and he has come to Earth to save it from a nuclear holocaust. Kirk does not know what to do so he puts Gary Seven in a holding cell.

Gary Seven, is upset because he is on a time critical mission to save Earth and he does not want to waste time in confinement so he pulls out a pen weapon and uses it to escape, and this in when we get the best close-up shots of his Rolex GMT Master with the Pepsi bezel.

I think Leroy thought Gary Seven was wearing a Rolex Submariner, but it turns out he was wearing a Rolex GMT Master. I was able to discern this from the screen capture as seen below. Ironically this is the same Rolex model that NASA astronaut, Leroy Chiao wears, with the same Pepsi bezel.

After successfully escaping his confinement, Gary Seven goes back to the transporter room and beams down to earth. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock decide they must follow him down to earth so the put on time specific costumes and try to find Gary Seven.

They chase Gary Seven around New York city, and then they all end up at NASA's Cape Canaveral, in Florida, where an Apollo rocket is being launched with a test nuclear warhead on it. Gary Seven sneaks onto the launch-pad and manipulates the Saturn rocket.

I won't ruin the ending for you in case you wish to watch it yourself, but like all Star Trek episodes, everything works out in the end. Gary Seven's secretary, Ms. Roberta Lincoln was played by the young Teri Garr. The Gary Seven pilot was never picked up, which is a shame, but my best guess is that Gary Seven would have been like a James Bond agent, but from a different planet.

I had to put share this picture of the beautiful Ohura with her Bluetooth headset. It is fascinating how much technology from Star Trek has actually come to reality.

The screen shot below from episode 55 of Star Trek is of Doctor McCoy, a.k.a., Bones. My grandfather Jake Ehrlich Sr., had an amazing connection to Deforest Kelley who played Bones as well as Gene Roddenberry who wrote and produced Star Trek.

Several years before Star Trek, Gene Roedenburry created another made for TV pilot that was based upon my grandfather, Jake Ehrlich Sr.'s legal career, in which Deforest Kelly plays the role of my grandfather Jake. You can learn more about Gene Roddenberry, Deforest Kelly and my grandfather's relationship with them as well as watch the pilot by clicking here.

You can watch the complete episode of Star Trek, Assignment Earth free by clicking anywhere on the picture below. Tip: you can also watch any other episode of the original Star Trek once you click the below image. As Spock says at the end of the episode, "May you live long and prosper."

Baselworld Countdown...

...Baselworld 2011 Coverage...

Rolex Announcements Tomorrow!!!

The clock is counting-down!!! Baselworld is the largest and most significant watch show in the world and Rolex introduces its new models every year at Baselworld in Basel, Switzerland.

We will be learning tomorrow what new Rolex models will be introduced and or updated. In the meantime,, has a teaser preview and it is hard to say what they are showing off? I took a screen-grab which you see in the first image, then I enhanced it and lit it up in the second image. My best guess, is that we are looking at the updated, and hopefully larger Rolex Explorer II.

The reason, I believe it looks like a Rolex Explorer II, is because it has all satin/brushed finished links on the Rolex Oyster bracelet. This means it is a tool watch, and the only real tool watches today are the DEEPSEA, Submariner and Explorer. Also, it appears to have a Super-Case, and also it appears to have a non-rotating bezel. Stay tuned, for complete BaselWorld 2011 coverage on Jake's Rolex World!!!!