Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Rod Laver Australian Tennis Legend...

...Rolex Super-Coolness...

Rod Laver
Australian Tennis Legend

Yellow Gold Datejust
Special Burled Madrone Wood Dial
36MM Reference 16018

Rolex recently published a Rod Laver profile on the "Every Rolex Tells A Story" gallery on Being a tennis player and huge professional tennis fan, over the past decade I have written many stories about Rolex and Tennis, and I have been meaning to write a piece about Rod Laver, so here it is:

Rod Laver is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players in history with an unmatched record he holds to date of having won 200 singles titles. Laver was a dynamic player that excelled on all court surfaces including hard, grass, clay, carpet and wood/parquet.

He began his amateur tennis career being ranked at Number 1 from 1961 to 1962.  From 1964 to 1970, he was ranked as the number one tennis player in the world, which spanned four years prior and three years after the beginning of the Open Era in 1968. 

I have to admit, I am totally fascinated with Rod Laver's yellow gold Rolex Datejust he is wearing in these official Rolex photos. As far as I know, Rolex no longer makes burled wood dials, which is a big mistake in my opinion. In the 1970s through the 1990s Rolex made these wood-based dials with applied yellow gold indexes, that were magnificent. Each wood dial is unique and has a very warm vintage look. 

37 years ago, in 1981, Rod Laver purchased his yellow gold Datejust which was the same year he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. What a cool guy, and what a cool Rolex!!!!

The 1979 Rolex ad seen below is from my Vintage Rolex Christmas Story and shows a yellow gold Day-Date with a similar dial. Rolex refers to this wood as being from a Madrone tree which is an evergreen tree belonging to the genus Arbutus, which grows in North America and Canada, as well as in Europe, and are known for their pale reddish-brown wood.

Rolex is a sponsor of the Australian Open Tennis Tournament which is headed to the finals as I write this. Rolex is also the Official Timekeeper of The Australian Open, and recently put together this video.