Friday, December 16, 2016

STAR WARS Rogue One In Theaters Now


Rogue One

In Theaters Now

What is more exciting than an all-new Star Wars movie!?!! Disney now owns Lucasfilm, along with the Star Wars franchise, and they are on a roll with coming out with new Star Wars films. The latest film, named Rogue One: A Star Wars Story debuted in theaters worldwide today. The movie is chronologically fixed between the events that occurred in Revenge Of The Sith, and A New Hope. 

I won't spoil the movie for you, but I will share the fact that Darth Vader is in the film, and Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo is unfortunately not in the film. Maybe that's why he look so grumpy in the photo below :-(

Of course we saw Harrison Ford reprise his role as Han Solo last December when the movie Star Wars, The Force Awakens debuted.

In the photo above and below, we see Harrison Ford wearing his stainless steel Rolex Datejust, with the white gold fluted bezel. In the photo below we see Harrison Ford with the Dalai Lama.

One More Thing

Even though Harrison for is not in Rogue One, he is currently filming his Blade Runner sequel, named 'Blade Runner 2049'

In the recent photo below, taken in Budapest, Hungary in October of 2016, we see, from left to right, Director, Denis Villeneuve, Ridgley Scott, Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, as they chat about details in the new Blade Runner 2049 movie. Notice Ryan Gosling is sporting a vintage Rolex Oyster with a white dial of some kind...

In the photo above it appears that there are two guns on the bar, which appear to be the model Harrison Ford used in the original Blade Runner movie, sitting next to the updated model.

Blade Runner 2049 is scheduled to be released in theaters on October 6, 2017, and it has a lot to live up to. After all, the Original Blade Runner movie which was released in 1982, is considered to be one of the greatest Science Fiction Masterpiece movies of all time. Below is the first movie trailer preview for Blade Runner 2049.

Blade Runner

"You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down... "

The original Blade Runner movie was show in 1981 and released in 1982. The movie itself was supposed to take place in Los Angeles, California in 2019, which is only two short years away. Ironically, the movie Blade Runner takes place in a Los Angeles that seems to have rainy weather all the time, unlike the LA of today, where it almost never rains...

The photo below of Harrison Ford was taken in 1981 when he was filming Blade Runner. Notice he is sporting his stainless steel Rolex Datejust, with a white gold bezel, along with Dark Purple Converse All-Star Sneakers, with red shoelaces :-) He looks so early 80s, and so mod... I can almost hear Vangelis music playing in the background...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Paul Newman Exotic Dial Daytona [Reference 6239]

A Paul Newman Exotic Dial Daytona
From Sotheby's Auction
[1964 Model on a Jubilee Bracelet: Reference 6239]

This vintage Paul Newman Daytona with its red, white and black exotic dial, along with the green Rolex box definitely has a Christmas vibe, so I thought I would share it with you. It is also unusual to see a Paul Newman on a Rolex Jubilee bracelet, which is awesome!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Rolex MoonPhase Madness at Phillips Auction House In Hong Kong

Rolex MoonPhase Madness

Rolex Reference 8171

Auctioned for over $1Million!!!

Back in November I ran a story on the upcoming Phillips Rolex Milestones Auction that took place on November 29, 2016. Two different Rolex Mooonphase models from the 1950s shattered the already high estimates. Before I talk about the astronomical (no pun intended) prices these watches sold for, I have to divulge that I have LOVED Rolex Moonphase models ever since I first saw them four decades ago. If you want to see more amazing vintage Rolex watches from the Phillips Auction click here.

1950 Rolex MoonPhase 
Reference 8171

The first watch seen below came from lot 823, which is a stainless steel Rolex Triple-Date Moonphase, which sold for just over $1Million!!!! This watch was made in 1950, at which time it probably retailed for a few hundred dollars!?!!!

    • Catalogue Essay

      Reference 8171 is lovingly dubbed ‘Padellone’, which translate to ‘large frying pan’ in Italian. Boasting a generous 38 mm case, it is slightly larger than its waterproof ‘Oyster’ sibling, reference 6062. It is interesting to note that both reference 8171 and 6062 were the only two ‘complicated’ models that Rolex ever produced, giving both references a mythical reputation and cult-like following.
      Most interestingly, both models were produced for a very short period of time in the early 1950s. To acquire even one of these watches has become a dream for many collectors today.
      Reference 8171 and 6062 were available in yellow gold, pink gold, and most exclusively, in stainless steel.

      A similar example, cased in stainless steel, was sold at Phillips’ The Geneva Watch Auction: TWO, lot 167, for an astounding 905,000 CHF.

      John Goldberger's Opinion 

      The present watch captivates and surprises in so many ways. The case is crisp, with sharp finishing to the bezel and the top of the lugs. The central band, too, retains immaculate satin-finishes. The same can be said for the case back, which displays a sharp coronet and crisp case numbers. The lines, curves, and finishes are all completely original.

      As with all ‘Padellone’ watches, the beauty lies in the dial. Those in original condition, such as this one, are few and far between, appearing infrequently on the market. The sharp track, where the moon phase aperture meets the rim of the subsidiary dial, is incredibly precise and correct. The sharp dagger numerals complement the ivory dial, and drawattention to the perfect blue outer date ring. One would expect to see significant spotting to the dial considering that this watch is not waterproof and over 60 years old. Yet, it remains clear of blemishes.

      At the time of production, watches dressed in yellow gold or pink gold livery were considered the most valuable, with stainless steel examples often chosen for everyday wear. As such, one is more likely to find an untouched example in gold. To find such an immaculate and original example, cased in stainless steel, has been a real pleasure for me.

1952 Rolex MoonPhase 
Reference 6062

The next watch seen below is from lot 816, and it features a yellow gold Rolex Triple-Date MoonPhase Oyster Perpetual on a matching Rolex Jubilee Bracelet.  It achieved an auction price of $660,000!!! The fundamental difference between the Reference 6062 model which is seen below, and its predecessor, which is seen above is that the Rolex 8021 was not waterproof.

    • Catalogue Essay

      Reference 6062 is one of two Rolex models to feature a triple calendar complication paired with a moon phase indication. While reference 6062 features a screw down Oyster case back, reference 8171 features a snap-on case back.

      Launched at the Basel fair in 1950, reference 6062 was the first automatic wristwatch with date and moon phase housed in a waterproof case. Cased in stainless steel, yellow gold and pink gold, the model was fitted with a number of dial variants. The most exclusive and desirable version is, without a doubt, one fitted with eight faceted stars in lieu of hour numerals. Such is the desirability, and popularity of the watch, that collectors have dubbed it ‘Stelline’, meaning 'starlet' in Italian.

      This example of a reference 6062 is furthermore completely fresh to the market, having surfaced to the public just recently. We are incredibly honored to present this watch. It is an opportunity to satiate even the most demanding of collectors and watch scholars.

      John Goldberger's Opinion

      The present 'Stelline', preserved in incredible condition, is one if the most beautiful examples of the reference.

      The dial condition can only be described as incredible – most examples are spotted throughout, due to aging and exposure to environmental elements. This dial is free of imperfections. The numerals on the outer track are inky blue, and the day and date apertures are sharp and angular, demonstrating the originality of the dial.

      The outer track has furthermore aged slightly faster than the center, enhancing the dial's two-tone appearance. The luminous stars, the most important aspect of the dial, are untouched. Each luminous within is perfectly rounded, placed precisely within each star. The “Officially Certified Chronometer” designation within the moon phase subsidiary dial is a particularly nice touch.

      The yellow gold case, preserved in excellent condition, displays a sharp hallmark to the bottom of the lug. There is light tarnishing in the form of patina, which really gives this watch so much character and history, furthermore attesting to its untouched condition. The Super Oyster crown is original, as is the Jubilee bracelet, stamped for the third quarter of 1952.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Fidel Castro's Sons & Rolex

...Like Father Like Sons...

Castro Family & Rolex

Cuban revolutionary and dictator, Fidel Castro recently passed away, and I wrote a story on his passing. Of course, I have written extensively on Fidel Castro's Rolex watches in the past. Fidel Casto was and remains in many ways an enigmatic historical figure, but at the end-of-the-day, he was just like you and me. He put his pants on one leg at a time.

So you go to law school but you don't become a lawyer. Instead, you decide you don't like the way things are going in your beautiful Caribbean paradise, so you get the American's to support your overthrowing of the Batista government. You put a Rolex on your wrist, create a revolution, overthrow the government, and take over. 

Then decide you don't like the American's or capitalism, so you convert your island nation from Capitalism to Communism and you go up against President Kennedy and completely scare him silly, along with the rest of the western hemisphere. You have a collection of Rolex watches and you often wear a few of them at a time. You have an unlimited supply of the best Cuban cigars in the world, along with swimming pools full of the best Cuban Rum.

Beautiful Women love and idolize you. They throw themselves at you constantly, and can't seem to keep their hands off you.

Gorgeous women just walk up and randomly kiss you all the time. So what happens next? I'll let you do the math on that one :-)

Fidel Castro had 9 recognized children in total—with 5 different women. I say he had '9 recognized' children, as it is rumored he had several other children he kept a secret. Looks like Fidel Castro has Mick Jagger beat in this department!! Actually, Mick Jagger at age 72 is about to have his eighth baby, so the rock star can still match or beat the dictator!!!

Fidelito Castro 
Fidel Castro's First Son

Fidel Castro's oldest son is named Fidelito Castro, and he is pictured below with his father Fidel Castro in 1959 at the Havana Hilton Hotel in Cuba, (More on the irony of this a little later in the story). In the photo below Fidelito is inspecting his father's Rolex Day-Date with an early Rolex 'President' bracelet. We also see Fidel wearing his Rolex GMT-Master on his left wrist along with another watch that is flipped-around out of view. 

Fidel used to wear two or three watches a the same time, and I have speculated for many years, he did this to keep time in Cuba and in Moscow. Either that or he just liked wearing multiple Rolex watches like Drake!?!!

The recent photo below is of Fidel Castro's son, Fidelito Castro, and we see he is wearing a stainless steel and gold Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee Bracelet. So Doesn't Fidelito Castro look just like his father!?!! It is ironic that Fidelito pictured above, inspecting his father's Rolex 'El Presidente', is pictured below 57 years later, wearing a somewhat similar looking Rolex Datejust!?!!

The recent video below features Fidel Castro's son Fidelito, in an interview which is in Spanish.

The selfie photo below was taken by Paris Hilton in Havana, Cuba, and she is posing with Fidel Castro's son Fidelito who is a nuclear physicist and obviously looks very similar to had father. Ironically, Paris Hilton's paternal grandfather, Conrad Hilton, built the Havana Hilton Hotel that Fidelito's father, Fidel Castro confiscated from him. Ironically, this is the same Havana Hilton pictured in the photo 3 photos above that shows young Fidelito with his father, checking out his Rolex Day-Date.

Things are obviously changing quickly in Cuba. There seems to be a new openness or perestroika emerging, and perhaps this photo of Paris Hilton and Fidelito Castro is like seeing the first photos of the Berlin Wall being torn-down back in the Ronald Reagan ERA.

Antonio Castro
Fidel Castro's Son

In the photo below we see Fidel Castro's son, Antonio Castro smoking a Cuban cigar. Antonio Castro is a Doctor in Cuba.

In the photo below we see Fidel Castro meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Cuba in 2012. We see Fidel Castro's son, Antonio Castro between them, and he is wearing a Rolex Explorer II, with a polar white dial.

Fidel Castro's son, Antonio Castro is pictured below wearing his Rolex Explorer II, with a polar dial. Contrast the fact Antonio Castro is wearing an Adidas jersey, with Oakley sunglasses, while wearing a Rolex Explorer II on his wrist, with his father's standard military uniform with green cargo pants. The times they are a changin'...

Fidel Castro's niece, Mariela Castro is the daughter of Fidel's brother, Raúl Castro, who is currently the President of Cuba. Mariela Castro is pictured below with her husband Paolo Titolo, who is also wearing a Polar Rolex Explorer II. Paolo is from Italy and is a photographer. 

The photo below is of Raúl Castro, who is Fidel Castro's brother and the current President Of Cuba. Raúl Castro fought side by side with his brother Fidel Castro and Che Guevara during the Cuban Revolution. Raúl Castro is pictured below standing next to his son, Raúl Guillermo Rodriguez Castro. I can't make a 100% positive ID, but it sure looks like his son Raúl is wearing a polar white Rolex Explorer II as well...I have also seen photos before of Raúl Castro (the dad) wearing a Rolex during the Cuban Revolution.

It is fascinating to note that the Castro family wearing Rolex for multiple generations is similar to other famous families including The Cousteau family. This is an interesting concept, and one that Patek Philippe has capitalized upon with their slogan that says, "You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation." I don't nessasariy always agree with this idea, but we often see it. Probably much more often with Rolex than with Patek Philippe. This reminds me of Stephen Marche's super-profound quote that says:

“Progress doesn't saunter into the world; it staggers. Grown-ups don't often change their minds about the important political and social questions of their time. Change arrives because their children are born into a whole new set of assumptions different from those of their parents.” –Stephen Marche

David or Goliath?

Now that Fidel Castro belongs to the ages, a key question is whether he was David or Goliath? I would say he began as David, and evolved into Goliath.

One thing for certain is that Fidel Castro is a highly controversial man, and it is fascinating to note Fidel Castro lived to see the day that an American President came to Cuba. In other words, Fidel Castro himself, lived to see Cuba make peace with the U.S.A.