Friday, November 09, 2018

Hans Wilsdorf Mystery Man Revealed

Hans Wilsdorf

1953 Mystery Man Revealed

There are so many times when I see photos of famous people with other people in the photo, I don't recognize—and I naturally wonder who they are? This happened when I published the photo below of Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf. I assumed the man standing in the photo below was a Rolex watchmaker or executive, but as they say, "Never Assume!"

I am excited to share the standing man's identity. He is J. Farren-Price, and the photo was taken in late 1953 at Rolex global headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It turns out J Farren-Price was Australia's original Rolex agent—in a relationship that began back in the early 1950s. J. Farren-Price has also been the longest standing Patek Philippe agent in Austrailia, which goes back to 1977.

The Rolex advertisement below was featured in The Sydney Sun-Herald Newspaper on Sunday December 13, 1953. The ad is fascinating as we see a Tudor Aqua, and a stainless steel Rolex Triple Date Moonphase [Reference 8171] for only 74 Pounds!!! That same watch today could easily be worth $150,000, if not closer to a Million dollars!!!!

The most interesting part of this revelation is not so much in discovering the identity of J. Farren-Price, but in the way, I learned about it. You see, Jake's Rolex World has readers all over the world who regularly conduct their own investigations into Rolex history and write-in to share their insight with me— and that is exactly what happened with this story. Alan, who is located in Asia regularly researches Rolex history and writes in to share his findings with me, which in-turn I pass along to you—my readers. 

This never ceases to amaze me—that we have developed an international network of Rolex history investigators that slowly and methodically keep putting together disparate pieces of the Rolex history puzzle!!! Thank you very much, Alan, for researching and sharing your valuable insight with us!!!

So who exactly, is J. Farren-Price? It turns out J Farren Price is a Luxury Jeweler and Watch Store located in Syndey, Australia which remains a Rolex authorized dealer to this day. J. Farren-Price founded his namesake store in 1942, and in the video below we see his son, J Farren-Price talking about how they celebrated their 75 year anniversary in 2017.

Alan also included the article below which has some fascinating tidbits in it. Keep in mind Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary conquered Mount Evest in the summer of 1953, just several months before the ad below was printed.