Saturday, May 04, 2013

Complete Overhaul Launched At BaselWorld

...The Return Of Rolex History...

Complete Overhaul
Rolex Celebrates & Showcases Its Amazing History

The BaselWorld 2013 trade show in Basel, Switzerland has just concluded, and the most interesting BaselWorld news ironically is not the all-new watch models Rolex introduced, nor the all-new Rolex BaselWorld Pavillion, but the complete overhaul of the website. It is great to see that Rolex is really beginning to understand and take advantage of the true power of the internet...

"We must not cease from exploration. And the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we began, and to know the place for the first time." –T.S. Elliot

The History Of Rolex
A Century Of Amazing Achievement

First a little background. The last time Rolex completely overhauled was three years ago, in 2010, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Bathyscaphe Trieste achieving the all-time ocean depth record in 1960

Prior to the 2010 overhaul of, the website left much to be desired and it's performance was bogged down by the significant overuse of Adobe Flash. There were no photos of vintage Rolex watches, and no photos of Rolex's innovative founder, Hans Wilsdorf, and no discussion of Rolex's amazing history. Personally, I did not like at that time and thought there was a tremendous amount of room for improvement.

The 2010 overhaul of was fascinating because the whole website improved significantly, and all of a sudden it started to look like Jake's Rolex World, by adding a photo of Rolex's founder, Hans Wilsdorf, as well as photos of vintage Rolex watches. Unfortunately Rolex made a poor decision not to abandon the misuse/overuse of Adobe Flash, and offered a Flash, and a straight HTML version, which was confusing and did not make sense.

In other words, the core-essence of Rolex watches are their intuitive simplicity, and ease of use, and none of the prior websites came anywhere near achieving this Zen-simple-like standard.

The All-New 
Rolex Dives Deeply Into Their History

Last week, as BaselWorld 2013 began, without fanfare, Rolex quietly launched a complete overhaul of, and it is a stunning work of art!!! 

BaselWorld is where Rolex introduces and showcases it latest innovations, but this years greatest BaselWorld introduction did not take place in Switzerland, but internationally–all-over planet earth–with the introduction of the the all-new Adobe Flash is nowhere to be found on the freshly overhauled Instead Adobe Flash has been thankfully replaced with HTML 5.

The new UI (User-Interface) on has been intelligently simplified, and now offers only 5 top-level selections, and a simple, symmetrically placed Rolex crown logo. 

There is a huge all-new Rolex History section on which now appears, front and center when you first land on (at the bottom of the page) and it has a picture of Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex. If you click on his image, you go to the Rolex History section pictured below, which features a 100+ years timeline, broken-up into 5 sections.

The 5 section Rolex History section walks us through some of the greatest Rolex history achievements, which are fascinating. 

Years ago, after I had started Jake's Rolex World, I had a conversation with a then current leading Rolex executive, who I will not mention by name. I mentioned to him how deeply profound Rolex's history was, and he said to me, point-blank: "Rolex does not care about its history. Rolex only cares about selling watches."

Of course, as the worlds leading Rolex historian, I was completely stunned and deeply disappointed to hear these words. 

Another time, in 2010 I had a conversation with a different Rolex executive who said to me, "Rolex does not seem to know much about its own history, does it?" I responded by saying it sure appeared that way. He said he thought it was a shame, and I asked him why he thought Rolex was not into celebrating its rich history? He shook his head in disappointment and said he didn't know.

We both kind of shook our heads in confusion and disappointment. Then he said "I think it might have to do with the fact that after Hans Wilsdorf died, so many employees went to work for Rolex, served their time, so to speak, and then retired, and over the past 50 years since Hans Wilsdorf passed away, the brilliant Rolex history just kind of got lost in the daily shuffle of Rolex corporate life.

I agree with his assessment, and as somebody once put it so eloquently, "History, does not seen like history when you are living through it." The Rolex executive then curiously asked me, "Why do you work so hard on Jake's Rolex World? Clearly it is not for money, and as a fan and daily reader of Jake's Rolex World, I know how passionately you work to discover all this amazing history."

I responded by saying "I have knocked myself out to discover and share all this amazing Rolex history, because I realize if I don't document it, in the not so distant future, it will become lost forever." I also mentioned that many of the men who achieved amazing feats in the 20th century with Rolex watches on their wrists were getting old and dying. 

I said "To my way of thinking, as somebody who loves Rolex, it would be a crime for me not to try to document as much of this amazing history as possible, and share it with the world. To not do so would be a crime against humanity, because so much of Rolex's incredible history is intertwined with the history of the 20th century. Take for example Sir Edmund Hillary, who just died last year."

I can't emphasize this fact enough, that many of Rolex's amazing achievements during the 20th Century have been intertwined with many other great 20th Century achievements, many of which have not been completely documented. I know, because I am working on them.

So I take my hat off to Rolex and sincerely congratulate them on this superb all-new beginning, and at the same time, I challenge Rolex to continue to dive much deeper into their profound history, and share it with the rest of the world on 

It is now evident that Rolex finally realizes the single most invaluable marketing asset they posses is their unparalleled history, and I hope in the years and decades to come that Rolex continues to expand the Rolex History section on

The new Rolex History section on is listed in chronological order, and the last page ends with James Cameron returning to the Mariana Trench with Don Walsh by his side, to return to the deepest known chasm on planet earth

I would like to point out I first fell madly in love with Rolex when I bought my first Rolex Submariner at age 16, which was thirty years ago. 

In my entire adult life, I never witnessed or lived through any significant Rolex history because there was not any to witness.

This changed last year, when I witnessed and documented–in real time–James Cameron's descent into the Challenger Deep, and it was amazing!!! It is my fervent prayer, that Rolex continues on this path by supporting and showcasing many more adventures into the world of exploration and achievement. 

I sincerely believe and hope that Rolex's greatest history is ahead of them, not behind them, and I hope current Rolex leadership has the wisdom and knowledge to recognize and take real and meaningful action on this fact. I feel privileged to have had Jake's Rolex World play a defining role in bringing Rolex history to the forefront where it belongs. Once again, I say BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! Congratulations Rolex!!!!

I highly recommend you check spend some exploring the all-new