Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stainless Steel & Platinum Yacht-Master Cobalt Blue Sunray Dial!!!

...Best New Rolex Model Of 2012 Award...

Stainless Steel & Platinum Yacht-Master

Cobalt Blue Sunray Dial
[40mm: Reference 116622]

As we all prepare for 2013, I thought it would make sense to take a look back and decide what the best new Rolex model was for 2012, and my favorite is the all-new Platinum & Stainless Steel Yachtmaster with Blue Dial. Why? Rolex very, very rarely introduces all-new models, but when they originally introduced the Yacht-Master in 1992 it was a Reference 16628 in 18kt gold, with a white dial and 3135 movement, which was the same movement used in the Rolex Submariner. 

All New Blue Dial Yacht-Master Photo By Jurgen

At BaselWorld in 1999 Rolex suprised everyone when the introduced the stainless steel and platinum version. Rolex refers to the combination of Stainless Steel and Platinum as Rolesium. This all-new model was the first to bring back the timeless Maxi Markers and fat hands. Since then Rolex has slowly returned all sports models to incorporate Maxi Markers and fat hands-Thank God!!! 

The stainless and platinum Yacht-Master dial and bezel were made out of platinum but, the challenge was that the watch had no contrast. It was beautiful but it looked albino and had no pop. That all changed this rear at BaselWorld when Rolex introduced the new 40mm Reference 116622 with a Cobalt Blue Sunray dial, which is just stunning. With this new version Rolex also updated the case design, by giving the Yacht-Master a Supercase, which means, they made the lugs much thicker.

If you want to learn more about the origins of the Rolex Yacht-Master be sure to check out my story titled, "The Complete History Of The Rolex Yacht-Master."

Monday, December 24, 2012

Rolex Coolness: Jack Klugman Two Absolute Classics

Rolex Coolness: Jack Klugman
The Twilight Zone
The Odd Couple
Quincy M.E.

Jack Klugman passed away today, and now belongs to the ages. Jack was born Jacob Joachim "Jack" Klugman on April 27, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., and passed away on Christmas Eve 2012. He was one of the most beloved and great American character actors in film, stage and television, with amazing career achievements, and as we see below, his trademark Rolex GMT Master is as classic as he is.

Jack Klugman began his acting career during World War II in the United States Army and was roommates with in New York City with Charles Bronson prior to either actor becoming famous.

Jack Klugman began his film career in 1957 in 12 Angry Men and in 1962 he starred in Days Of Wine And Roses. Jack is perhaps best know for his TV career. He and Burgess Meredith are tied for the most appearances on the Twilight Zone with 4 appearances each. The Twilight zone was a Science Fiction Mystery-thriller that is still considered to this day to be a work of art.

"There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone." –Rod Serling.

Jack Klugman was an early TV pioneer and began his TV career in 1950 on The Actor's Studio.

In 1961, Jack Klugman stared in an episode of the Twilight Zone titled "A Game Of Pool" and Jonathan Winters co-stared with him.

In the Game Of Pool episode of Twilight Zone, Jack Klugman plays Jesse Cardiff, a pool shark in Chicago. Johnathan Winters plays Fats Brown as seen above and below. In the Opening narration it to this episode it says "Jesse Cardiff, pool shark on Randolf Street, will soon learn that trying to be the best at anything carries its own special risks, in or out of the Twilight Zone.

The closing Narration says "Mr. Jesse Cardiff, who became a legend by beating one, but who has found out after his funeral that being the best of anything carries with it a special obligation to keep proving it. Mr. Fats Brown, on the other hand having relinquished the champion's mantle, has gone fishing. These are the ground rules, in the Twilight Zone."

In Praise Of Pip
Twilight Zone Episode
[Original Air Date, September 27, 1963]

In Praise Of Pip is considered to be one of the best episodes of the Twilight Zone and you can watch the episode below. It is interesting to note that JFK was the President of The United States when this originally aired, and less than 2 months later, JFK belonged to the ages.

The Odd Couple
[Originally Aired from September 24, 1970 to July 4, 1975]

Jack Klugman is perhaps best known for his Role as Oscar Madison in the classic TV series The Odd Couple which was written by Neil Simon and based upon the play by the same title. When I was a kid growing up, I remember this show was really popular and I have fond memories of watching it with family members.

The Odd Couple was about the super-neat, Felix Unger character played by Tony Randall and his super sloppy roommate Oscar Madison played flawlessly by Jack Klugman.

Watching the opening scene above and listening to the soundtrack is the ultimate Deja Vu mindblower if you are familiar with the show. Here is a sample episode of The Odd Couple:

On the show, Felix and Oscar are both divorced bachelors living with each other. The TV show was actually based on the 1968 film version of the stage play of The Odd Couple that starred Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison and Jack Lemmon as Felix Unger.

The Odd Couple was a great TV show that originally bounced back and forth over its 6 year run between Thursday and Friday evenings. Both Jack Klugman and Tony Randall were nominated for Emmy Awards each year the show aired. Jack Klugman won two Emmy Awards for his role on the Odd Couple in 1971 and 1973. He also won two Golden Globe awards–one in 1972 and again in 1974.

The Odd Couple was an amazing show because of the superb chemistry between Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Of course the supreme irony is that Jack Klugman's character, Oscar Madison was a complete slog and Tony Randall's character of Felix Unger was a neat freak, but in reality they were the opposite.

Quincy, M.E.
The First CSI Show...
[Originally Aired from October 3, 1976 to September 4, 1983]

After Jack Klugman's success with the Odd Couple, he went on to play Dr. R. Quincy who is a very principled Medical Examiner (forensic coroner) in Los Angeles County who specializes in trying to solve mysterious and suspicious deaths.

Quincy, M.E. was another huge success and it ran for a total of 8 seasons. It also stared Robert Ito who was Quincy's right hand man in solving mysteries deaths.

Here is the opening theme to Quincy, M.E. Once again, if you are familiar with the music it is a Deja Vu trip!!!

Canon Copier Spokesman

After Jack Klugman completed the Quincy, M.E., show he had become one of America's most trusted figures, perhaps similarly to Walter Cronkite. Canon hired Jack to become the trusted face of their Canon Personal Copier line and in many of the Canon ads, Jack Klugman wore his trademark Rolex GMT.

The image above of Jack Klugman wearing his trusted trademark Rolex GMT Master would be used over and over again in Canon TV commercials to show how their copiers could print and scale photos. The screen shot below is from a 1980s Canon TV commercial.

Over the years that followed The Odd Couple, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall remained close pals, until Tony Randall unfortunately passed away.

Jack Klugman was also good pals with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and is pictured below with them.

Jack Klugman was a heavy smoker and in 1974 he was diagnosed with throat cancer and in 1989 he lost a vocal cord to cancer. Fortunately he survived the cancer and continued to act on TV and on stage. Since he lost a vocal cord, today he speaks with a scratchy voice.

Jack Klugman is pictured below in a recent photo taken when he was 87 years young. Jack Klugman's acting career has spanned 6 decades and in my personal opinion, he is one of the best actors in modern history and a man of amazing achievment, and all I can say is Bravo!!!!!! Bravo!!!!!! Bravo!!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

...Introducing... The BulletTrain SAFE Wallet for iPhone 5 and iPhone 4/4s


The BulletTrain SAFE Wallet 
for iPhone 5 and iPhone 4/4s

If you are a daily reader of Jake's Rolex World, you know I am a designer, and I also own a company named BulletTrain, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California.  BulletTrain makes super-innovative accessories for Apple products

I am really excited because we just launched an amazing new product I have been working on designing for a few years, and it is named The BulletTrain SAFE Wallet for iPhone. The BulletTrain SAFE Wallet is pictured below, and it is a complete wallet replacement that offers amazing space savings while allowing you to finally get rid of your old-fashioned wallet.

As you can see in the photo below, the SAFE Wallet allows you to carry everything you need, in a beautifully streamlined, trim wallet that is really easy to use. In the photo below you see the contents of my SAFE Wallet which include house keys, a credit card, drivers license, VISA debit card, and a hundred dollar bill. This allows me to leave my home everyday, without having to carry a separate wallet, iPhone and keys.

In the next photo (below) you can see the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 5 next to a classic leather wallet with an iPhone 5 and house keys. The Ruby Red SAFE Wallet is carrying everything pictured next to it, in a space which is smaller than the leather wallet, when it is empty!!!

I believe the BulletTrain SAFE Wallet really reinvents the wallet for the 21st century. In the next photo below, we see the SAFE Wallet in BulletTrain Blue, and it is holding two credit cards, a drivers license, a hundred dollar bill and 6 business cards!!! That's a total of 10 cards, which all fit comfortably in the SAFE Wallet case! 

The SAFE Wallet also has a built-in MagicStand™ which allows you to instantly place the SAFE Wallet in portrait or landscape on any flat surface, as you can see in the photo below.

As the designer of the BulletTrain SAFE Wallet, I have been testing prototypes for the last 6 months and I can't believe how useful and powerful the BulletTrain SAFE Wallet is!!!

We just launched the BulletTrain SAFE Wallet for iPhone 5, and iPhone 4/4s on Kickstarer. You can watch our Kickstarter video below to learn much more about this incredibly innovative new product, and if you are interested in Pre-Ordering a BulletTrain SAFE Wallet or learning more, you can do so on the BulletTrain SAFE Wallet Kickstarter page:

If you visit the dedicated SAFE Wallet microsite, you can learn way, way more about this incredible new product. There is also a SAFE Wallet Guide that offers valuable insight for how-to digitize almost everything in your SAFE Wallet

It's time to rethink your wallet strategy. Welcome to Wallet 2.0!

To Pre-Order your own SAFE Wallet, you can go directly to our Kickstarter SAFE Wallet project page.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Rolex Signs Global Partnership with Formula 1

Rolex Signs Global Partnership with Formula 1

Rolex just announced today, in Geneva, Switzerland, their global partnership with Formula 1 racing, which will make Rolex a major long-term partner of Formula from 2013 as the Official Timekeeper and Official Timepiece. Rolex said:

"Rolex sponsorship of Formula 1 racing reinforces Rolex’s commitment to motor racing and its support of global sport at the very highest level."

In the photo above, we see racing legend, and Rolex ambassador, Sir Jackie Steward, Rolex CEO, Gian Riccardo Marini, Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of The Formula One Group, and Olympic Skiing legend, and Rolex Board Of Directors member, Jean-Claude Killy.

In this next photo we see Rolex CEO, Gian Riccardo Marini with Formula 1 CEO, Bernie Ecclestone. Bernie Ecclestone said:

“Without question Rolex is the partner of choice for a world class sporting series like Formula One. The brand’s prestige, the excellence of its watches as well as Rolex’s passionate and long­standing commitment to motor sports gives it true credibility. This partnership is something that many people interested in Formula One will have been waiting for and should rightly be excited about. Rolex has incredible sporting heritage and therefore Formula One is the right place for Rolex to be.”

Rolex CEO, Gian Riccardo Marini said:

“This is an exciting step for us at Rolex as the fit between Formula One and our brand feels very natural and, like all great partnerships, needs little explanation. In our respective fields, Rolex and Formula One embody the spirit of adventure, superla­tive engineering and a strong desire to push the limits of technology. These aspirations are enormously appealing to younger generations.”

“Our self­winding mechanical watches – like the dedicated drivers’ chronograph, the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona – are packed with technological innovation and human know­how, all thanks to our engineers’ and watchmakers’ passion for detail.” 

“Rolex watches are symbolic of the quest for the highest level of performance and reliability that is epitomized by Formula One. Over the last 50 years both Rolex and Formula 1 have grown into world­leading aspirational brands and there will be many fantastic opportunities that we can enjoy together.”

In the image below, we see Rolex CEO, Gian Riccardo Marini sporting a white gold Rolex Submariner, and Formula 1 CEO, Bernie Ecclestone is wearing a White Gold Rolex Daytona.

The Rolex Press Release shares this detail:

In its capacity as Formula 1 Official Timekeeper and Official Timepiece, Rolex will give the time in different locations during each grand Prix. The Rolex logo will also be positioned around the circuit and at several corners during Formula 1 races. Rolex’s presence in Formula 1 is due to develop over the coming seasons.

Time-Honoured Passion For Motor Sports

For Rolex, the partnership with Formula 1 is part of a long history of close ties with motor racing and speed. The brand has been associated since the 1930s with a number of major personalities in the field, including sir Malcolm Campbell, who broke the 300 mile per hour (483 km/h) barrier in 1935 at the wheel of his World land speed Record car BlueBird. Sir Malcolm was wearing a Rolex Oyster.

In the late 1950s, the swiss watchmaker became a partner of the Daytona International speedway in Florida. In 1963, the circuit gave its name to the legendary chronograph Rolex created for racing drivers, the Cosmograph Daytona.

Since the late 1960s, Rolex has counted motor racing legend Sir Jackie stewart, one of the most celebrated Formula 1 drivers of the last 40 years, among its family of promi­nent Testimonees. sir Jackie won three Formula One World Championships (1969, 1971 and 1973) and 27 grand Prix races. He is also widely recognized for his commit­ment to F1 driver safety during the 1970s.

Unerring Commitment To Performance

“I am delighted that Rolex, a very unique brand that chooses its relationships very care­ fully, and Formula One have entered into a partnership,” said Sir Jackie Stewart. “The Rolex Daytona timepiece and its constant technological development over 50 years are fine indicators of Rolex’s unerring commitment to performance and the brand’s timeless values. Having worked with Rolex for more than 40 years and given my ongoing involvement in Formula One, I think this is a superb partnership and one that will be hugely successful,” added sir Jackie.

Partnerships With Strong Symbolic Value

Mr Marini said: “In some respects, through its strong symbolic value and its global reach, our partnership with Formula One mirrors our recent support for initiatives such as James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge expedition to the deepest reaches of the ocean in March 2012. A feat that is both human and technological, and has worldwide resonance”.

In keeping with this spirit of pushing the boundary of technological endeavour, Rolex joined the bloodhound SSC World land speed Record project in 2011 as the Official Timing Partner. The bloodhound team is aiming to set a new record of 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h) with a cutting­edge supersonic jet­ and rocket­powered car, inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

In the same vein, Rolex announced in spring 2012 its support for Neuropolis, a world­ class neuroscience hub based in Switzerland which aims to improve understanding of the human brain using computational biology. This innovative approach, on the frontier of scientific research, builds on the power of supercomputers to simulate biological processes.

Rolex is a major partner of many of the most prestigious and iconic events, organizations and personalities in selected sports, especially golf (e.g. The Open Championship), tennis (e.g. Wimbledon) and yachting (e.g. Rolex sydney hobart).
about Rolex leading brand of the swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivaled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. 

Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first wa­terproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self­winding mechanism introduced in 1931. 

Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in­-house, all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, science, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programs.

About Formula 1

Formula 1, which began in 1950, is the world’s most prestigious motor racing com­ petition and the world’s most popular annual sporting series. In 2012 the FIa Formula One World Championship was watched by over half a billion unique television viewers in 187 territories, and ran from March to November spanning 20 races in 19 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship limited is part of the Formula One group, founded by CEO Bernie Ecclestone and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Rolex Bienne Inauguration Preview

Rolex Bienne Inauguration Preview Video

In late October I wrote a super-detailed overview of Rolex's brand new manufacturing facility located in Bienne, Switzerland. Rolex in conjunction with the super-talented, Caravan Productions in Geneva, Switzerland have been working on a documentary which covers the inauguration of Rolex's all-new facility in Bienne, Switzerland. They had a video up on the web but is seems to have disappeared? Here are a few screenshots...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cheetahs On The Edge

Watch This In Fullscreen

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Introducing Jake's Panerai World

Introducing Jake's Panerai World

It took my a while, but I finally built out Jake's Panerai World. Why? In my 18 Chapter online book, named The Complete History Of The Rolex Submariner & SEA-DWELLER–Rolex's Conquest Of The Ocean, I wrote a super detailed history of Panerai, which was absolutely fascinating. It was titled Panerai & The Italian Royal Navy (The First Rolex Diving Watch). Of course, like any good mystery it yielded more questions than answers.

Over the years, since I originally wrote about the history of Panerai, the story has remained really, really popular, so a few years ago, I toyed with creating Jake's Panerai World. In my mind, for obvious reasons, all vintage Panerai watches are really Rolex watches, and in particular, the first Rolex diving watches. If you want to check out Jake's Panerai World, simply click on the banner above. I also added a banner at the bottom of every page of Jake's Rolex World Blog, so you can always find it later easily. I hope you enjoy!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rolex SuperHotness: Jessica Simpson...

...Rolex Super Hotness...

Jessica Simpson
Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner

What can I say!?! Youuuuuch!!!!!!! I think I am at an unusual loss for words. Oh yeah, Jessica Simpson is wearing a stainless Rolex Submariner.

Jessica Simpson has to be one of the most beautiful woman in the world!!! Just stunning!!!!

Foxy Lady

I don't know why, but the Jimi Hendrix song, Foxy Lady keeps popping into my head with I look at the photos of Jessica Simpson so I thought I would include this amazing video. Just play it and look at the photos of Jessica ;-)))) Man, Hendrix was really something else!!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

A Look Inside The Rolex Factory

Taking A Look Inside The Rolex Factory

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

All Gold Rolex Submariner: Hard To Believe It's Vintage Now

All Gold Rolex Submariner
Hard To Believe It's Vintage Now

It is hard to believe this all yellow gold Rolex Submariner now has vintage Rolex status!?!? The metallic cobalt blue dial and matching bezel insert is loved my many Rolex collectors, and for good reason. This beauty was, of course, replaced with the Supercase Ceramic Submariner that has fatter hands, maxi markers and a Supercase.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day Volecs Explorer II

Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day
Volecs Black Dial Explorer II

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Inside Rolex, Rolex Manufacturing Facility in Bienne, Switzerland

Inside Rolex

Brand-New Rolex Manufacturing 
Facility in Bienne, Switzerland Inaugurated

Rolex is one of the most secretive, successful and most recognized brands in the world. Earlier this week Rolex did something very unusual. 

Rolex opened up the doors to showcase a set of new Rolex movement manufacturing buildings in Bienne, Switzerland, so I thought I would take you on a tour of the new facility, but first I thought I would begin with an overview of all the major Rolex buildings in Switzerland.

Rolex World Headquarters

Geneva, Switzerland

Today, Rolex is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland but this was not always so. As a matter of fact, Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex headquarters in London, England in 1908, and moved it to Geneva in 1919. 

Rolex headquarters is the epicenter of all things Rolex. This Rolex facility houses all the senior executives, as well as the international marketing department, and the Rolex R&D design center.

Rolex Headquarters today in Geneva Switzerland

Rolex Plan-Les-Site

Geneva, Switzerland
Rolex Foundry, Case & Bracelet Making Facility

Today, Rolex is a vertically integrated company, which means they produce and manufacture 100% of the components used in their watches. Rolex is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, but has facilities located all over Switzerland. 

The photo above shows the Rolex Plan-Les-Quates facility which contains the Rolex foundry where Rolex melts gold, platinum and steel to use in the production of their watches. The photo below shows liquified gold being poured at the Rolex foundry. 

Rolex Plan-Les-Quates site today in Geneva Switzerland

Rolex also builds and assembles Oyster cases and bracelets at the Plan-Les-Quates facility.

Rolex Dial and Bezel Facility

Chêne-Bourg, Switzerland

The Rolex facility in Chêne-Bourg, Switzerland specializes in dial making as well as making watch hands, bezels and crystals. 

Rolex watch cases and bracelets, as well as all parts are made with CNC machines, but all parts are still hand assembled by Rolex trained master watchmakers.

The Rolex facility in Chêne-Bourg workshops also specialize is inserting precious stones onto dials and on bezels as seen below.

Rolex Movement Making Facility

Bienne, Switzerland

This last week, Rolex completed a new manufacturing facility in Bienne, Switzerland that specializes in making all movements for their watches. 

Rolex cases, bracelets and dials have always been made in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as final assembly. Rolex movements have always been made in Bienne, Switzerland. The founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf wrote in his memoirs:

"We want to leave to our factory in Bienne exclusively the production of watch movements, while we ourselves create in Geneva, case models adapted to the refined taste of the Genevans."

Many years ago, Hans Wilsdorf made a partial investment in Aegler, and in 2004 Rolex completely bought-out the Aegeler/Borer family to obtain 100% ownership in Aegler S.A. For more than a century Rolex made all movements in Bienne, and then transported them to Geneva for installation into the final casing.

Rolex is one of the most secretive companies in the world, and today we are in for a real treat, because for the first time in history, Rolex is giving us a glimpse of their world-class facility where all their watch movements are made.

The first photo below shows the extension of the new Rolex manufacturing facility in Bienne, Switzerland, which now consists of over 250,000 cubic meters of space. 

Rolex Building 7 Just Completed in 2012 pictured above

All movement parts, from hairsprings to mainplates, are made in Bienne. Rolex does not publish their annual production output, but it is estimated approximately 2000 employees produce 50 million movement components annually–which end up in more than 750,000 Rolex automatic movements assembled per year in Bienne. 

[Note: How do we know that Rolex produces more than 750,000 movements annually, if Rolex is a privately-held company that does not publish such numbers? Because the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, is required to publish the exact number of movement (COSC) certificates for each brand, and in 2011, they published Rolex figures at 751,000 COSC movements.]

Before the movements are installed into Rolex cases in Geneva, they first travel to the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, where they are tested for Swiss Chronometer accuracy, and assuming they pass, are award the prestigious  C.O.S.C. certification.

This next photo shows the entire Rolex campus located in Bienne, Switzerland, in an industrial section, known as Champs-de-Boujean, with the Jura mountain range seen in the background.

Before we examine the all new extension, let's take a trip back in time to learn about the history of Rolex movement making in Bienne, Switzerland.

Hans Wilsdorf

Founder of Rolex

Hans Wilsdorf (pictured below) founded Rolex in 1908 in London, England. If you are not familiar with The Hans Wilsdorf Story, you are in for a real treat.

Hans Hilsdorf, Founder of Rolex pictured above in 1905

Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex originally partnered with Aegler (in 1905). Aegler S.A. was located in Bienne, Switzerland, which specialized in making high-quality watch movements. Jean Aegler, founder of Aegler S.A. is pictured below. He passed away in 1891, at which time his son Hermann Aegler took over the family business.

Jean Aegler, Founder of Aegler S.A. is pictured above

Aegler S.A. original movement making headquarters were erected in 1878 and located in Bienne, Switzerland on a hillside that overlooked Bienne's Old Town. The old Aegler manufacturing facility is pictured below in this 1955 photo. 

Notice the Rolex signs on the two buildings pictured on the right side of the photos below. The Rolex extension was erected in 1914 by Hermann Aegler. Today these buildings are are officially a Bienne landmark, which represents a significant chapter of Bienne's watchmaking history.

The Aegler/Rolex Bienne Factory is picture above in 1955

Aegler S.A. was founded in 1878 by Jean and Anna Maria Aegler at a time when Bienne was becoming a significant watchmaking capital. 

The Aegler/Rolex Bienne Factory is picture above in 1955

Aegler was renowned for making very precise, small watch movements, which is exactly what Hans Wildforf was looking for to place into his Rolex wrist watches. 

In the photo below we see a Rolex draftsmen in 1955 at the Aegler facility working on designing the first true "in-house" Rolex movement, known as the Caliber 1500, which was formally introduced in 1957. 

The Rolex Caliber 1500 ended up being a work horse movement and was used by Rolex in watches up until 1990. It is fascinating to see that the draftsman had to stand up and draw a movement. The Rolex Caliber 1500 was the first Rolex movement that instantly changed the date. Rolex began replacing the Caliber 1500 in 1977 with the Caliber 3035. The Caliber 3135 Rolex movement eventually began replacing the Caliber 3035 in 1988.

The Aegler/Rolex Bienne Factory is picture above in 1955

For many decades, Aegler grew as Rolex grew and they continued as the primary supplier for Rolex movements. This next rare vintage photo shows Aegler watchmakers making Rolex movements in the Aegler facility in Bienne, Switzeraland. 

The Aegler/Rolex Bienne Factory is picture above in 1955

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual
The First Waterproof Self-Winding Watch

The Development of the Rolex Oyster in 1926 was an incredible horological achievement, but the challenge was it made it more difficult to manually wind the watch because you had to unscrew it first, then wind it, then re-screw the Oyster crown. 

After Hans Wilsdorf successfully brought the Rolex Oyster to market, he turned his attention to the other Achilles' heel of wrist-watches, and that was the lack of their ability to self-wind themselves.

Inventing the automatic, or perhaps auto-magic, wristwatch which could wind itself represented the dream of the ages in the horological world. For centuries, many famous watchmakers tried to perfect the automatic or self-winding watch, but none were successful. 

This fascinating Rolex ad from the 1950s tells the story about how Rolex's brilliant chief technical director, M. Emile (Emil) Borer figured out how to perfect Abraham-Louis Perrelet's self-winding watch he invented centuries prior in 1770.

Emile Borer
Chief Technical Director
Aegler Workshop. Beil, Switzerland

Emile Borer, (pictured below) the Chief Technical Director of Rolex was mentioned in the ad above, as having been the person at Rolex who is credited with figuring out how to make the automatic movement work correctly by inventing and perfecting the modern rotor system.

Emile was the son-in-law of Jean Aegler. Jean Aegler was the founder of Aegler Workshop, who provided Rolex with all their movements. Emile Borer joined Aegler Workshop as an engineer during World War I, and he soon become responsible for developing new technology. In 1944, Emile Borer became the General Manager of the Aegler Workshop, which remained the primary supplier of Rolex movements until Rolex purchased Aegler Workshop in 2004.

In 1931 Rolex patented the Perpetual rotor which automatically wound the watch, thus eliminating the need to ever wind it again!!! This not only made it more convenient but also more accurate because the wrist watch would never stop automatically winding itself, so long as you wore it.

For those too young to remember, manual-wind wrist watches, required you wind them daily which was an inconvenience for most people, although some people, like train conductors liked it ;-))))))

The watch pictured pictured above and below was made in 1931, and Rolex put an exhibition caseback on it to easily show potential consumers how it worked. 

As you can see in the photo below there is a rotor that says "Rolex Auto Rotor" which automatically spins clockwise or counter-clockwise just from the movement of your wrist, thus "Automatically" winding the mainspring. In other words, even the slightest movement of your wrist (using gravity) will wind the watch, thus keeping the mainspring at optimum tension.

Rolex based the design of their perpetual rotor system on one that Abraham Louis Perelet developed in 1770, and in the years before Rolex perfected their methodology, there was a company named Harwood that created a self-winding rotor system that only moved clockwise, but had many challenges.

By creating an auto-winding or self-winding wristwatch, Rolex once again revolutionized the watch–and again, Rolex was not the first to explore creating a self-winding watch, but Hans Wilsdorf and Rolex were the first to perfect it, patent, and mass market it successfully.

The patent on the Rolex perpetual eventually ran out in 1948 at which time everybody was free to develop their own automatic rotor systems that used gravity to wind their movements–and they did...

Rolex Movement Making Facility

Bienne, Switzerland

Earlier this week, Rolex showcased their all-new expansion to the press.

Here is a fascinating video tour or the new Rolex movement factory located in Bienne, Switzerland. The Journal has a fascinating article about the all-new Rolex movement factory

This following photos were all taken on site at Rolex's all-new Building 7 located in Bienne, Switzerland where all the Rolex movements are made.

This all-new structure began construction in 2009. It was designed to be extremely efficient and comfortable. The two photos below show how the skylights flood the building with natural light all-day long.

This next photo (below) shows a super, state-of-the-art robotized storage system, which allows Rolex to store and later recall watch movement parts.