Thursday, March 27, 2014

All-New Tudor Model Introduction

All-New Tudor Model Introduction

...BaselWorld 2014 Introduction...

Midnight Blue Tudor Heritage Black Bay
41MM Reference 79220B

Tudor is owned by Rolex and they just introduced a 41MM Midnight Blue version of their Tudor Heritage Black Bay, and it looks great!

Tudor is on fire, and this all new Tudor Baselworld 2014 video has got to be one of the coolest videos I have ever seen!!! It was filmed at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, which was made famous in 1960 in the movie, La Dolce Vita. The video features Nat King Cole singing "LOVE" in french, which is beyond sublime!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A New Rolex Moonphase?

A New Rolex Moonphase?

...BaselWorld 2014 Introduction...

ROLEX Cellini Dual Time
39MM Reference 50529 in Everose Gold

Rolex introduced a new dress watch today, and it is called a Cellini Dual Time, and it kind of looks like a classic moonphase, and I definetely has a nice symmetrical balance. This all new model has an AM/PM complication that switches between an icon of the sun and moon, which looks kind of cool. The watch also has beautifully engraved "Guilloche" dial, what offers a great deal of visual interest. The version below is made from Rolex Everose gold.

This innovative new model has an automatic movement and keeps time in two different zones. It achieves this by having the standard time on the big hands, and the time in the second zone, on the sub-dial hands. This is much easier to understand than keeping time in a second time-zone, like on a GMT-Master.

In my opinion, Rolex needs to ditch the "Cellini" designations and only make "Rolex Watches." "Cellini" is a genuinely beautiful Italian name, but it dilutes the "Rolex" brand name, and is confusing, and unnecessary. This Rolex dress watch model should be a "Rolex Dual Time", not a "Rolex, Cellini, Dual Time."

Rolex is also offering the Dual Time Cellini in white gold, as seen below.

A True Blue Milgauss

A True Blue GV Milgauss

...BaselWorld 2014 Introduction...

40MM Reference 116400GVA

Rolex introduced a new version of the Milgauss, with a brilliant blue sunburst dial, which contrasts in an interesting way with the green GV crystal.

SEA-DWELLER 4000 40MM Reference 116600A

The Return Of The SEA-DWELLER

...BaselWorld 2014 Introduction...

40MM Reference 116600A

Rolex finally re-introduced the standard SEA-DWELLER, and it looks great! I especially like the bezel insert with sixty minute makers...very cool...

The Return Of The Pepsi

The Return Of The Pepsi

...BaselWorld 2014 Introduction...

White Gold GMT
Red and Blue Ceramic Bezel
40MM Reference 116719BLROA

Some things seem to be inevitable, so I am happy to see Rolex finally figured out how to create a ceramic Pepsi bezel insert, and they are first introducing it on a white gold version of the GMT-Master, complete with Supercase, Max-Markers, and Fat hands in a 40MM form factor...

The obvious question, when will we see a stainless steel Pepsi Rolex GMT, and only Rolex knows!?!? Hopefully next year at Baselworld 2015. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

The Following text comes from the Rolex GMT-Master press kit:


Oyster Perpetual GMT-MASTER II 

Some things do not exist for a very simple reason: they are considered impossible to create. That is what was said about two-colour ceramic. No one had managed to discover a way of manufacturing a watch component in high-technology ceramic with bulk colouring in two distinct colours. No one before Rolex...


The Cerachrom bezel insert in blue and black introduced by Rolex in 2013 was a world first. It was made in a single piece and the clear-cut demarcation of colours on each half of the insert was perfectly executed. This year, Rolex has pushed the technical and aesthetic prowess yet further on its Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II, unveiling a red and blue Cerachrom bezel insert, echoing the first GMT-Master bezel of 1955. An exceptional achievement on two counts: firstly, red is an extremely difficult colour to obtain and, therefore, an unusual colour for ceramic; secondly, having succeeded in creating a red insert, Rolex then found a way to locally modify the chemical composition of each grain, right to the core of the ceramic, and change the colour of half the insert from red to blue, while ensuring a sharp delineation between the two colors.


The resulting bulk-coloured, single-piece Cerachrom insert is red for the hours between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and blue for the hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. By virtue of being manufactured in a single piece, the insert acquires mechanical resistance properties that respond to the quality and reliability demanded of a Rolex product. Like all Rolex Cerachrom bezel inserts, it offers exceptional scratch and corrosion resistance. Its colours are unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The aesthetic effect is equally spectacular. The ceramic’s sheen gives volume to the insert and enhances the colours in a way that is reminiscent of the Plexiglas insert of the original GMT-Master. The engraved numerals and graduations are coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process patented by Rolex. Their depth and matt finish underscore the contrast with the insert’s polished surface, producing a three-dimensional effect that ensures optimal legibility.


The new GMT-Master II’s two-colour red and blue Cerachrom insert is a unique, high-technology ceramic component, which adds new patents to the Cerachrom insert developed by Rolex in 2005. It combines the exceptional technical performance of the Cerachrom bezel with the GMT-Master’s iconic two-colour appearance. And it perpetuates the Rolex tradition of constantly extending the boundaries of the possible.

Red is an extremely difficult colour to obtain and, therefore, an unusual colour for ceramic. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rolex BaselWorld 2014 Teaser Video

Rolex BaselWorld 2014 Teaser Video

Rolex recently published this Baselworld teaser on their YouTube page. So what could this be? I have no idea!?!?! 

Could it be the return of the Rolex Moonphase? I sure hope so!!! The only reason I speculate it may be a moon phase is because the video focuses on the moon. Also, the fluting on the bezel is unusually small, and unlike any fluting I have ever seen. Also, the case appears to be Everose gold, and it has a very flat, low-profile domed bezel. Perhaps this fluting could be used to change settings like on the Sky-Dweller. Hmmmm!?!?!

Rolex made two different Moonphase models. Below is a photo of an original Rolex Moonphase [Reference 8171] which was made between 1949 and 1952. I have argued that Rolex is crazy not to bring this beauty back to life...

The Reference 8171, which is pictured above is an automatic Rolex Perpetual, but was not an Oyster. Just a few years after the Rolex Reference 8171 was launched, Rolex introduced an improved/updated Moonphase named the Reference 6062, which was an Oyster, meaning it was waterproof, and I included a photo of a Reference 6062 below.

I am an enormous fan of Rolex triple-date Moonphase watches, and I have attempted over the years to chronicle every one ever document. You can see all the ones I have documented over the years by clicking here.

If you are not familiar with Baselworld, it is the annual tradeshow that Rolex attends every years to launch new models. It is held in Basel, Switzerland and it begins Thursday, March 26th. Jake's Rolex World will be providing live coverage of all new model interactions as soon as they are revealed, so stay tuned!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rolex Super Coolness: Chuck Yeager An Amazing Career...

The Complete History Of The Rolex GMT-Master

Rolex X-Files

...Rolex Supersonic Coolness...

General Chuck Yeager
Record Setting U.S. Air Force Test-Pilot

The Right Stuff

First Pilot To Break The Speed Of Sound
8 Decades Wearing Nothing But Rolex

I have been working for a while on putting together a new series named, The Complete History Of The Rolex GMT-Master and one of the chapters is on General Chuck Yeager.

The last Rolex X-Files Air Force Pilot I wrote a detailed story about was when we examined the amazing career achievements of Air Force Test Pilot and Astronaut, Pete Knight. Later this year we will be exploring the amazing career achievements of Chuck Yeager.

This all new story will feature many never before published or documented photos of Chuck Yeager that show him wearing different Rolex watches throughout his career. As a sample, I am sharing this photo with you taken in 1962 of Chuck wearing a Big Crown Rolex Submariner [Reference 6538].

Notice the number on the tail of Chuck Yeager's is 6062, which is the same Reference Number as my favorite Rolex Moonphase [Reference 6062].

The photo above is cropped from the photo below which is mind-boggling if you click on it and check out the detail. It was taken in 1947 and is a photo of Chuck Yeager haulin' in his X-1.

In October 1947, at Edwards Air Force Test Center, Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager forever changed history, when he was the first pilot to fly faster than the Speed of Sound.

And, yes, you guessed it! Chuck Yeager was wearing his Rolex Oyster Perpetual wrist-watch, that he purchased himself. So what does this mean? What kind of man would wear a Rolex Oyster Perpetual in such an environment?

A few days prior to his record flight, Yeager was seriously injured in a horseback-riding accident and suffered two broken ribs. The injury would jeopardize his flight status resulting in the removal from the mission. Scared, he went to a veterinarian for treatment and only told his wife about the accident. He also told his friend and fellow project pilot, Jack Ridley about the accident.

Yeager, on the day of the record flight, had trouble manipulating the closure of the X-1's hatch, and could not seal it properly. His pal, Jack Ridley, improvised a clever leverage device made from a broom handle, to assist Yeager with sealing the hatch, thus, allowing him to break the "speed of sound" record.

Chuck Yeager was so impressed with his Rolex, he sent an autographed picture (seen below) of his record flight to Rolex in Geneva. For the record, this is the first time this signed photo, from General Chuck Yeager, to Rolex, has ever been published. (And remember, you are seeing it for the first time here on Jakes Rolex World!!!)

Rolex Coolness: Chuck Yeager
Now & Then

Recently I have been going through the archive and I noticed how similar these two images of Chuck Yeager are.

Chuck is wearing a Coke GMT in the photo above and in the photo below taken more than a half-century ago, he is wearing his big crown, no-crown-guard Submariner [Reference 6538] with the lollipop second hand and the orange triangle "carrot-top" bezel insert.

I have been wearing Rolex for more than thirty years, but Chuck is going on at least his 67th year of wearing Rolex!!! DeBeer's slogan is "A Diamond Is Forever." Maybe Rolex should adopt a similar slogan!!! A Rolex Is Forever!?!?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

David Concannon and Jeff Bezos Retrieve Apollo 11 F-1 Rocket Engine

Spirit Of Exploration

...Rolex Super-Coolness...

Successful Bermuda Triangle DEEP-SEA
Apollo 11 F-1 Engine Recovery Expedition
Receives Explorers Club Citation of Merit 
for An Outstanding Feat Of Exploration

The Spirit of Exploration is alive and well in the world we all share, and I am happy to report that a friend of mine, and fellow Rolex Fanatic/WIS, David Concannon was the project leader for the amazingly successful Apollo F-1 Engine Recovery Expedition.

This amazing expedition was the brainchild of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, and this last weekend in New York City, the Explorers Club awarded the team led by David Concannon, The Citation Of Merit for An Outstanding Feat Of Exploration. The award was presented by NASA Apollo 11 Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin at the 110th Explorers Club Annual Dinner in New York City.

David Concannon & Jeff Bezos

David Concannon is pictured above and below with Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, and David is one of the top Expedition Attorneys in the world, and he has personally led many DEEP-SEA expeditions to the Titanic. David is pictured above shaking hands with Jeff Bezos, who's he worked with to undertake the  retrieval of Apollo F-1 Engines from the Ocean floor through his Bezos Expeditions group.

Basically, Bezos Expeditions located and recovered many of the F-1 Rockets from the NASA Apollo Moon Missions located three miles below the Atlantic Ocean, and this was all achieved in very DEEP-SEAS, that were a mile deeper than the Titanic!!!!!!

The photo below shows expedition workers examining a recovered F-1 Thrust Chamber.

In the two photos below, we see Expedition Leader, David Concannon sporting his Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master, which was also the personal watch choice of many NASA Apollo Astronauts.

Jeff Bezos said, when he announced to the world that the team was heading into Cape Canaveral, with the engines on the SeaBed Worker:

"While I spent a reasonable chunk of time in my cabin emailing and working, it didn't keep me from getting to know the team. I'd like to call out a bunch of thank you’s. First of all to David Concannon who pulled together this team. The whole thing would simply have been impossible without the A-team, and I'm not sure anyone other than Dave could have brought them together."

Photo of Jeff Bezos and David Concannon appears courtesy of Josh Bernstein

I very highly recommend you check out this amazing video from Bezos Expeditions that tells the amazing story of Exploration, and if you look closely, you will notice David Concannon sporting his Pepsi GMT-Master II. David is a dyed in the wool Rolex fanatic!!!

This next video show remote controlled robots recovering Apollo F-1 Engines, from the expedition.

It is challenging to put into words, how deeply profound this achievement it, and certainly the video above does a great job. You can learn much more about this fascinating expedition by visiting Bezos Expiditions F-1 Engine Recovery webpage.

Jeff Bezos perfectly summed up his ambitions (which he achieved) with this amazing project in the letter below which he wrote on March 28, 2012:

The F-1 rocket engine is still a modern wonder — one and a half million pounds of thrust, 32 million horsepower, and burning 6,000 pounds of rocket grade kerosene and liquid oxygen every second. On July 16, 1969, the world watched as five particular F-1 engines fired in concert, beginning the historic Apollo 11 mission. Those five F-1s burned for just a few minutes, and then plunged back to Earth into the Atlantic Ocean, just as NASA planned. A few days later, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

F1 Engine Installation Pictured Above

Millions of people were inspired by the Apollo Program. I was five years old when I watched Apollo 11 unfold on television, and without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passions for science, engineering, and exploration. A year or so ago, I started to wonder, with the right team of undersea pros, could we find and potentially recover the F-1 engines that started mankind's mission to the moon?

I'm excited to report that, using state-of-the-art deep sea sonar, the team has found the Apollo 11 engines lying 14,000 feet below the surface, and we're making plans to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor. We don't know yet what condition these engines might be in - they hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in salt water for more than 40 years. On the other hand, they're made of tough stuff, so we'll see.

Though they've been on the ocean floor for a long time, the engines remain the property of NASA. If we are able to recover one of these F-1 engines that started mankind on its first journey to another heavenly body, I imagine that NASA would decide to make it available to the Smithsonian for all to see. If we're able to raise more than one engine, I've asked NASA if they would consider making it available to the excellent Museum of Flight here in Seattle. (For clarity, I'll point out that no public funding will be used to attempt to raise the engines, as it's being undertaken privately.)

NASA is one of the few institutions I know that can inspire five-year-olds. It sure inspired me, and with this endeavor, maybe we can inspire a few more youth to invent and explore.

We'll keep you posted.


Jeff Bezos

Bezos F1-Recovery Expedition Team

Apollo F-1 Rockets

I decided to add some context to the significance of this achievement by Bezos Ventures. Wernher von Braun is pictured below standing in front of Saturn V rocket thrusters he designed that would ultimately put men on the moon, including Mercury Astronaut, Alan Shepard on Apollo 14. The Saturn V rocket possessed 10 percent of the power of an atomic bomb.

The photo of Dr. Wernher von Braun standing next to the F-1 Rocket boosters give you a really great idea scale.

Rolex in Control at NASA

Dr. Wernher von Braun is pictured below at NASA ground control in 1965 during the testing of a Saturn rocket. Dr. von Braun is wearing a yellow gold Rolex and Dr. Kurt Debus who was the director of the Kennedy Space Center is also wearing his Rolex in this photo. Both men were German rocket scientists.

Dr. von Braun was the principal designer of the German V-2 rocket weapon as well as the Saturn V Moon rocket that put NASA astronauts on the Moon.

Pictured from Left to Right: Dr. Kurt Debus & Werhner von Braun

Dr. Wernher von Braun is pictured above at the Kennedy Space Center attending the Saturn 500F, rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on May 26, 1966. Dr. Kurt Debus is pictured next to von Braun and was the Director of the Kennedy Space Center.

Michael Collins
Apollo 11

The EAGLE Has Landed

I have been working on a major update to a Rolex NASA story about Michael Collins Rolex he wore during his Apollo 11 experience,  so I figured with the advent of the Jeff Bezos/ David Concannon story above, that now was as good as any time to publish some of my new findings.

Michael Collins is pictured below at NASA on April 16, 1969 during centrifuge training for Apollo 11. Three short months later he would fly into the history books as part of the first team to land on the Moon and return safely to earth. In the photo below NASA Astronaut Michael Collins is wearing a Rolex Turno-graph.

Years ago, I published lower resolution versions of the images above, and today I am publishing for the first time, the image below of Michael Collins, which shows him as he prepares minutes before the photo above was taken. This photo below is obviously black and white, but he is wearing the orange jumpsuit as pictured above, and you can see him holding his headset in his hands below, that he is wearing in the photo pictured above.

NASA Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Wearing Rolex Watch, April 1969 

Michael Collins was a U.S. Air Force test pilot prior to becoming a NASA Astronaut. So the obvious question, is wether or not Michael Collins wore his Rolex to the moon and back? In the future, I will cover this topic in more detail, but for the time being, it is cool to see that the Michael Collins chose Rolex for his personal watch.

Michael Collins is pictured below (second in line) as he and his Apollo 11 team members leave for the Moon.

The photo below shows Apollo 11 taking off to head for the moon.

In the photo below that was taken on July 20, 2009, we see the three Apollo 11 NASA Astronauts, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, and Neil Armstrong in the Oval Office with President Obama.