Wednesday, May 07, 2014


...Rolex Super-Coolness...

ROLEX Returns to the Fastest Track


Bespoke ROLEX Speedometer & ROLEX Chronograph 
Built For Pushing The Envelope–Again

Rolex recently released a great deal of detail on the upcoming plan for their support of the BLOODHOUND SSC project, which has the goal to set an all-time new land-speed record of over 1000MPH, which is 239 Miles An Hour faster than Supersonic, which is Mach 1.

The photo below shows the bespoke Rolex Speedometer and Chronograph instruments that were custom-made for the cockpit of the BLOODHOUND SSC.

In the photo below, we see Andy Green's Rolex Dayona as he engages the cockpit dashboard controls in the BLOODHOUND SSC.

In the photo below we see the BLOODHOUND SSC experimental vehicle parked in its garage where it was hand-built.

Before we examine more detail on the BLOODHOUND SSC, let's first explore the history of Rolex in setting international speed records:

Rolex's Conquest Of Speed

Deeper, higher, faster...Rolex is undisputedly the king of the DEEP-SEA, and the two men who first summited Mt. Everest in 1953 wore Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches, but many people are not aware of Rolex's speed prowess, wether it is in the air, or on land. Chuck Yeager was the first person in history to break the speed of sound barrier in 1947, and he did so wearing a Rolex Oyster Perpetual.

U.S. Air Force Test Pilot and NASA Astronaut, William J. "Pete" Knight flew into the history books in 1967 when he set the all-time air speed record when he flew his X-15 experimental aircraft at Mach 6.7, a record for level flight speed that remains unbroken to this day. And of course, he was wearing his trusted Rolex GMT-MASTER to measure his timing.

The Hypersonic North American X-15 was America's first spaceship, meaning it could leave earths orbit and return safely to land on earth. A great deal of X-15 technology was later incorporated into NASA's Space Shuttle design, all the way down to using the abatement white paint on the panels to aid in keeping the spaceship cool upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

In 1967, Pete Knight set the all-time speed record for level flight when he flew his X-15 at Mach 6.7, which is 4,250 Miles per hour, or 7,274 Kilometers per hour, and he did so wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master.

If you carefully examine the design of the X-15 is shares a similar design to the Bloodhound SSC.

The photo below shows William J. "Pete" Night as he pilots his experimental NASA X-15 up into the heavens to set the all-time speed record for level flight.

Record breaking U.S. Air Force Test-Pilot and NASA Astronaut William J. "Pete" Knight is pictured below holding a model of his X-15, and notice he is wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master.

The Speed King

Rolex's history of supporting men who have pushed the limits of speed is without precedent, and since timing is of vital importance is high-speed endeavors men like Sir Malcolm Campbell have depended on Rolex for keeping their time.

Sir Malcolm Campbell is pictured below sporing his trusted Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch he wore when he set the all-time land speed record many times.

Sir Malcolm Campbell is pictured below in his early  Blue Bird Sunbeam experimental vehicle in 1922 at Saltburn Sands, in North Yorkshire, England. This Blue Bird had a V-12 engine that had 350 horsepower. On June 17, 1922 he broke the all-time speed record when he drove his Blue Bird at 138.08 Miles Per Hour.

On February 4, 1927, Sir Malcolm Campbell set another international land-speed record when he achieved 174.88 MPH (279.81 KPH) as pictured below.

Back in the U.S.A.

In this next image taken on May 22, 1931, Sir Malcom Campbell's Bluebird is being pushed out backwards from the Napier works on its way to the Brooklands race track near Weybridge in Surrey, England. The car had to be pushed backward because it had no reverse gear. Earlier in the year on February 5, 1931, he had set another world land-record in the United States at Daytona beach when he drove the Bluebird at 245.73 MPH (393.74 KPH). This new Bluebird had a supercharged 1,450 Horse Power engine.

This new Bluebird had evolved considerably with its aerodynamic bullet-shaped design from the previous iteration, thus allowing him to drive it approximately 75 MPH faster.

On February 24th, 1932 at Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.A., only a year later, Malcolm arrived with a new Bluebird design that was much more streamlined with a lower center of gravity.

With his new Bluebird he set yet another record when he hit 253.09 MPH (406.35).

On February 22, 1933, Sir Malcolm set another world speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.A., this time he achieved 272.46 MPH (435.94 KPH). This version of the Bluebird must have been the inspiration for the Batmobile in the Batman movies.

You can always learn much more about Sir Malcolm Campbell and his amazing career by checking out my article named "Sir Malcolm Campbell: The First Rolex At Daytona."

Into The Mystic

As we have recently witnessed, Rolex has been diving back into the world of exploration in a big way lately, and Rolex recently announced in great detail, their partnership with the BLOODHOUND SSC program. 

The objective with the BLOODHOUND SSC project is to once again, push the envelope of SPEED, with Rolex again keeping time with the conquest of shattering all previous records...Again...

Andy Green is the is the driver of the BLOODHOUND SSC and he is pictured below with his BLOODHOUND team:

As stated below: "The BLOODHOUND Project is primarily about bringing science and technology to life for a new generation. We are actually trying to create an engineering adventure to push back the boundaries of physics, to push back the limits technology and share it with a global audience. The way we are doing it is to build this, the world's first 1,000mph car, take it to South Africa and run it for the next two years."

Below is the text from the official Rolex Press Release titled "ROLEX MEDIA TRIP FOR THE UNVEILING OF THE ROLEX INSTRUMENTS FOR BLOODHOUND."


Bristol, 30 April 2014 – Rolex, the leading luxury watchmaking brand, has revealed the two bespoke instruments it exclusively developed and manufac- tured for BLOODHOUND SSC, the supersonic car. True to its philosophy, Rolex has combined world-class technology with exacting standards of precision and reliability to create these highly accurate instruments that will be installed in the cockpit of BLOODHOUND SSC as it aims to set a new World Land Speed Record of 1,000 miles per hour (1609.34 km/h) in South Africa in 2015/2016 and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Rolex joined the BLOODHOUND SSC project in 2011 as the Official Timing Partner and thanks to its in-house engineering expertise, was in the best position to meet BLOODHOUND SSC driver Andy Green’s needs for two key cockpit instruments: an analogue speedometer and chronograph.

These two vital instruments, with characteristic Rolex analogue dials, will sit either side of Andy Green’s hands on the left and right of the dashboard. The speedometer and the chronograph will be essential and independent complements to the central electronic screens that will display data during BLOODHOUND SSC’s runs.

Building on Rolex’s legendary reliability, these highly accurate instruments will provide a necessary visual reference and fail-safe back-up for some of the on-screen readouts during the two critical phases in the record bid: assisting precision braking from 1,000 mph on the 20-kilometre track and for timekeeping during the turnaround in-between the two mandatory record runs.

BLOODHOUND SSC will be fully assembled by mid-2015 and will then start running in the UK and South Africa ahead of its World Land Speed Record attempt in 2016.

Mr Arnaud Boetsch, Communication & image Director of Rolex SA, said: “As the leading luxury watchmaking brand, Rolex felt the nature and the global appeal of the partnership with BLOODHOUND SSC was of clear interest and in line with Rolex’s strategy to partner with projects that have strong symbolic value.

The BLOODHOUND SSC project is one of the most highly technological global ini- tiatives driven by a spirit of extraordinary human endeavour. The association marks Rolex’s support for projects that share a passion for performance and precision, founded on their pursuit of excellence in technology and innovative engineering.

Given Rolex’s history in the world of speed, which goes back to an association with Sir Malcolm Campbell during his World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, and BLOODHOUND SSC’s mission to inspire the next generation to embrace science and technology, the partnership with BLOODHOUND SSC is a natural fit.”

Andy Green, BLOODHOUND SSC driver, said: “BLOODHOUND SSC is a project with strong symbolic values, not only designing and building the fastest car on earth but ultimately inspiring the next generation to take on careers in science and tech- nology. We are delighted to have Rolex supporting this project both from a technical and inspirational point of view.

We were looking to have independent and reliable devices to measure speed and time during the record attempt. These high-precision instruments will not only give me a visual reference of the speed, both in acceleration and most importantly on braking, but also help during the precise turnaround the car will have to go through in a limited time. Given their technical and engineering expertise, Rolex was the perfect partner to develop such unique and important instruments.”

To learn much more about the details of the BLOODHOUND SSC and ROLEX program click here.