Sunday, December 29, 2019

2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race


2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

75th Anniversary

Rolex just came out with a bunch of great new videos celebrating the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which are fascinating.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Have A Groovy COMEX Christmas...



Have A Groovy COMEX Christmas

And A Very Happy New Year



Founder Of COMEX, Henri-Germain Delauze [1970]

The COMEX Christmas Card seen below was sent out in 1979. You can learn a great deal about the special relationship between ROLEX and COMEX by clicking here.





Founder Of COMEX, Henri-Germain Delauze [2008]

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Eddie Murphy Returns to Saturday Night Live


Eddie Murphy 





In his opening monologue of SNL Eddie Murphy was rocking his bejeweled Rolex Day-Date Masterpiece  and as we see below Chris Rock came out to greet him on-stage.



Dave Chappelle also came out onstage and he was sporting a stainless steel Rolex Daytona with a ceramic bezel. 







Returns to Saturday Night Live Tonight

After 35 Years 




Later this evening, Eddie Murphy will be returning to host Saturday Night Live after having first joined SNL 40 years ago. In these 3 videos snippets of Eddie Murphy on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon we hear from Eddie about all the exiting projects he is working on including his upcoming sequel to "Coming To America" with Arsenio Hall, as well as his current movie which is in theaters now. Also, notice Eddie is rocking his blinged-out Rolex Day-Date Masterpiece...


Monday, December 16, 2019

Fred Haise: Third NASA Apollo 13 Astronaut Discovered Wearing Rolex






Fred Haise

Third NASA Apollo 13 Astronaut

Discovered Wearing Rolex Datejust 





For the past dozen years I have been publishing stories about many previously undocumented NASA Astronauts who wore Rolex watches. When I first started Jake's Rolex World nobody knew that many, many of the NASA Apollo Astronauts wore Rolex watches personally and professionally. Over the years, I have continued to discover and share more NASA Astronauts wearing Rolex and today we can add another Apollo Astronaut to that list! 


Philip from Moon Watch Universe recently made this discovery which confirms that Fred Haise who was a member of the Apollo 13 Moon Mission wore a yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual as seen in the photo above and below.



This story is fascinating as I previously documented that all Apollo 14 NASA Astronauts also wore Rolex watches. I first documented Apollo 13 mission member, Jack Swigert wore his Rolex GMT-Master to the moon and back. 


Below is a fascinating list of NASA Astronauts, Test Pilots and Flight Directors I have discovered and documented wearing Rolex watches over the dozen decade:

Chuck Yeager of Edwards Air Force Base was first to break sound barrier in 1947 while wearing a Rolex Perpetual Oyster.

William Knight of Edwards Air Force Base Fastest manned flight of Mach 6.7 (4,250 Miles Per Hour ins X-15 which is nearly 7 times the speed of sound) in 1967.
John Glenn of Mercury 7. Wore a Pepsi and a yellow Gold Rolex GMT-Master.

Scott Carpenter of Mercury 7.

Walter Schirra of Mercury 8, Gemini 6A & Apollo 7. Wore a Pepsi GMT-Master.

Frank Borman of Gemini 7 and Apollo 8. Wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual.

Pete Conrad of Gemini 5, Gemini 11, Apollo 12, Skylab 2.

Richard Gordon Jr. of Gemini 11 and Apollo 12.

Jack Swigert of Apollo 13 (Wore his Pepsi GMT-Master to Moon).

James Lovell was a U.S. Navy Test Pilot and went onto NASA to participate in Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8 & Apollo 13.

Stuart Roosa of Apollo 14 (Wore Pepsi GMT-Master to Moon).

Dr. Edgar Mitchell of Apollo 14 (Wore Pepsi GMT-Master to Moon).

Alan Shepard of Mercury 3 & Apollo 14 (Worn A Pepsi-GMT Master on Cape Canaveral & Possibly To The Moon).

Ronald Evans of Apollo 17 (Wore a Pepsi GMT-Master to Moon).

Eugene Cernan of Gemini 9A, Apollo 10 & Apollo 17 (Wore a Pepsi GMT-Master Outside Space Suit and Possibly To The Moon).

Lloyd Blaine Hammond of 1991 Space Shuttle. Discovery Mission STS-39, and 1994 Space Shuttle Discover STS-94.

Dr. Leroy Chaio (Wore Pepsi GMT-Master on 3 Space Shuttle Missions and while Commander of the International Space Station Expedition 10).

Christopher Kraft founding NASA flight director.

Michael Collins of Apollo 11 wore a Rolex Turn-O-Graph, as well as a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date.

Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 wore a Rolex SEA-DWELLER.

Fred Haise of Apollo 13 as seen in this story wearing a yellow gold Rolex Datejust.

Albert Scott Crossfield who was an X-15 NASA spaceplane test pilot.

Philip from Moonwatch Universe also discovered the following Astronauts wore Rolex: Scott Altman, Sonny Carter, Michael McCulley, and Drafyyd Williams (Canada).




In the photo below we see James Lovell during the Apollo 8 mission on the far right wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master which he still wears to this day. James Lovell is pictured above on the far left, as he was part of the Apollo 13 prime crew.




In the photo below we see Apollo 13 Astronaut, Jack Swigert rocking his Pepsi GMT-Master, just before he left earth for the moon.



In the photo below we see Jack Swigert after he returned from his harrowing Apollo 13 Mission and notice he has replaced his Pepsi GMT-Master with a yellow gold 'Mocha' GMT-Master...





One More Thing

Are there more undocumented NASA Astronauts who wore Rolex watches? Yes, and in the future I will be publishing more stories like this :-)


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Phillips Auction Reflections: Marlon Brando & Jack Nicklaus...



Phillips Auction Reflections


Marlon Brando


Jack Nicklaus

I have to say that when the Phillips 'Game Changers' auction was over, I was exhausted from working so hard on my Rolex History background stories on Marlon Brando and Jack Nicklaus




Also, I watched the live auction feed here on RolexMagazine.com seen in the previous story. The auction was fascinating, and pretty long. Special thanks to Phillips Auction house for giving my readers live access to the history making auction. If you haven't seen the 'Game Changers' auction you can watch a complete replay of it in my previous story.


Phillips auctioned Marlon Brando's 'Apocalypse Now' GMT-Master for $1,952.000 which is a world auction record for a GMT-Master at auction. 


Marlon Brando GMT-Master Auction photo appears courtesy of Arthur Touchot

Phillips also auction Jack Nicklaus' legendary Day-Date for $1,220.000, which also set a world-record for auction price for the Day-Date. 


Jack Nicklaus Auction photo appears courtesy of Arthur Touchot


These prices included the typical buyers premium auction houses typically charge, but in the case of both these watches, as with the Phillips auction of Paul Newman's iconic Daytona, Phillips donated 100% of their auction proceeds to the charities that the watch proceeds went to.

In the case of Paul Newman's Daytona, the vast majority of the $17.8 Million went to the Nell Newman Foundation, and in the case of Jack Nicklaus auction, 100% of the proceeds went to The Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, and with Marlon Brando's GMT, a significant portion of the proceeds went to the Brando Fischer Foundation, which was set up by Marlon Brando's daughter to continue her father's legacy of helping disadvantaged children.

In my personal opinion, I find it to be heartwarming that all these funds are going to great causes :-) Also, in my usual fashion, I dove unusually deep into exploring the life and times of Marlon Brando. Whenever I complete these super-detailed stories, it feels like I get so close to the history, that I lived through many of the moments and experiences myself. In other words, I have argued for years that when you immerse yourself this deeply in the history, it not only feels like you lived through it, but you became part of it. Marlon Brando's life was full of the highest highs and lowest lows, but after all is said and done, he left behind an incredible legacy!

Edmond from Le Monde Edmond wrote a superb article regarding the results of the article which I highly recommend named Auction Review: How Coolness Beat History

Also, Barron's published an excellent article regarding the Phillips Auction. In the Barrons article which I highly recommend reading, Paul Boutros made a fascinating point regarding the relationship between the fame of the Rolex watch wearer and the market value of the actual Rolex model:

While the Brando didn’t reach the eight-figure level of the Paul Newman Rolex, Boutros underscores how outstanding the result is, considering the sales price compared to the market value of a similar model without the celebrity provenance. 

“We like to see multiples in the results when there’s great provenance behind the watches,” Boutros says. “If you look at the multiple achieved compared to the market price for this Ref. 1675 without a bezel or bracelet, the retail price would be about $15,000. With a result of $1,952,000, the multiple is 130 times.”


He adds that the Brando multiple figure is even higher than the Paul Newman Daytona. At the time it sold, the market price for a non-celebrity Paul Newman Daytona was about $150,000. So, when it sold for $17.8 million, the multiple was about 118 times. “That’s how we view success,” he adds. “It shows the power of Marlon Brando and the power of the Rolex brand when tied to a famous celebrity like this.”


Saturday, December 07, 2019

Watch Phillips "Game Changers" Auction Live Tuesday, December 10, 2019 LIVE BROADCAST HERE ON JAKE'S ROLEX WORLD


GAME CHANGERS!!!


Live Auction Coverage


from New York City


WATCH IT AGAIN ON JAKE'S ROLEX WORLD!!!

Rolex history was made tonight in New York and you can rewatch the auction below. Among other amazing things, we saw Marlon Brando's 'Apocalypse Now' GMT-Master for for $1,975,000 with a buyers premium, as well as Jack Nicklaus' Day-Date which sold for $1,200,000 including buyers premium. 







Cammeron Barr from Craft & Tailored 

Live Auction Blog






6:50 PM: Marlon Brando's 'Apocalypse Now' GMT goes for $1.6 Million...With a sellers premium that works out to $1,952,000. I think the consensus is that people were surprised that it did not go for more...


6:01 PM: Jack Nicklaus' Rolex Day-Date sells for $1Million, which is $1.22 Million including the buyers premium.





5:01 PM: Everybody getting seated...






4:47 PM: Entering Game Changers Auction Gallery





4:43 PM: Getting Seated and ready for auction to start





4:40 PM: Checking in to @Phillips Game Changers Auction!!!





The live auction began at 5PM EST Today...



Luck Be A Lady—Tonight!!! 

Marlon Brando in 'Guys and Dolls' wearing his Rolex Oyster Bubble Back in 1955




Craft & Tailored 

Live Auction Coverage


from New York City


So not only will we have a live video feed later today from the @Phillips 'Game Changers' Auction, but Cammeron Barr from Craft & Tailored will be live blogging coverage later today direct from the bidding gallery (right here) live on Jake's Rolex World as well!







Last night in New York City @Phillips Auction house hosted a fascinating event featuring Jack Nicklaus and Marlon Brando's daughter, Petra which you can watch below:






Marlon Brando v. Paul Newman

The number one question everybody keeps asking me is how Marlon Brando's watch will do at Auction v. Paul Newman's? It's hard to say, as both of them were super-iconic, super-cool actors as well as civil rights activists, and philanthropists...Time will tell...







Jack Nicklaus 1967 Rolex Day-Date Coming to Phillips Auction








Jack Nicklaus


1967 Rolex Day-Date 

Coming to Phillips Auction


We have been looking quite a bit at Marlon Brando's GMT Master he wore in Apocalypse Now which is coming to auction in several days on December 10, 2019 @ Phillips Auction House in New York. Another amazing historical Rolex will also be up for auction, and that is one that has been worn by Golf Legend, Jack Nicklaus for more than a 50 years! 




100% of the Auction proceeds from Jack's Rolex Day-Date will be donated to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation at The Bear's Club in Florida.



Jack Nicklaus is pictured below a half-century ago in 1970 wearing the very same Rolex Day-Date as he poses with his World Series of Golf Trophy.




47 Years ago, the first time the U.S. Open was played at Pebble Beach, Jack Nicklaus upstaged his rivals, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer to won the 1972 U.S. Open. This years U.S. Open is unusual as Jack Nicklaus' Rolex Day-Date has been making the rounds. The fascinating back story is that Rolex, under the leadership of AndrĂ© Heiniger gave Jack Nicklaus a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date in 1967. The photo below is the oldest photo of Jack wearing his Day-Date I have been able to find and it was taken in 1968.




In the photo below we see Jack Nicklaus on the far right, next to fellow Rolex Ambassador, Gary Player. On the far left are gold legends, Gene Sarazen, and Ben Hogan. These men represent four of the five men who have won the elete career Grand Slams, along with Tiger Woods. 





Jack Nicklaus

Winning The 1972 U.S. Open Golf Tournament

Pebble Beach, California

Rolex Day-Date





Jack Nicklaus is pictured below with Tiger Woods at the 2012 ATT National Tournament where Tiger passed Jack to the 2nd Place on Career List with his 74th victory.



Jack Nicklaus has been wearing his same Day-Date for 52 years straight and he recently decided to put it up for auction with Phillips Auction House, the benefits of which will all go to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation (@anchcf). Jack's watch can be viewed in-person by contacting @pboutros on Instagram.





Rolex Datejust ad from July 1995
Arnold Palmer & Jack Nicklaus
Two Golf Legends

Jack Nicklaus was the second Rolex Golf Ambassador appointed just after fellow legendary golfer Arnold Palmer and along with Gary Player make up Golfs Big 3.








The photo above of Jack Nicklaus was taken in 1972 and the one below was taken recently.




Friday, November 29, 2019

Marlon Brando: THE REAL GODFATHER ROLEX







"Are you an assassin?"

"I'm a soldier."


"You're neither! 


You're an errand boy! 

Sent by grocery clerks.

To collect the bill"

—Kurtz and Willard (Apocalypse Now)







Marlon Brando 

1924-2004


Apocalypse Now 

Rolex GMT-Master


The Past Informs the Present

Let's face reality. When people think about the history of Rolex's legendary GMT-Master, they usually think about Supersonic test pilots, or NASA Astronauts, or even of Magnum PI. There is another super-iconic historical Rolex GMT-Master (Reference 1675) that was worn by Marlon Brando when he played Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in the epic movie of Apocalypse Now which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 




While I first documented Marlon Brando's GMT-Master watch in great detail in 2008, just like I did with Paul Newman's Daytona and Steve McQueen's Submariner, I believe that after the auction this Rolex will become far more famous as a mainstream storied watch.





Coming to Auction with Phillips

I recently interviewed Marlon Brando's daughter, Petra for this story. Petra is pictured below with her father Marlon Brando when she was eight years old.




Petra is putting up for auction her father's super-iconic 'Holy Grail' and historically significant 1972 Rolex GMT-Master grail watch her father wore during the filming of 'Apocalypse Now' and is donating a portion of the proceeds to the U.K. based Brando Fischer Foundation which she set up with her husband to continue her father's legacy of helping disadvantaged children. 

The Golden Globe Awards recently interviewed Marlon's daughter Petra who beautifully summed up her father:


“During his life, my dad was passionate about helping children in need. During the 60s and 70s, he was very involved with UNICEF and traveled the world visiting villages in developing countries, and later recruited artists to perform in a variety show in order to raise awareness of children in need. To be associated with that organization gave him what he said was the greatest pride and satisfaction. I know he’d be proud of what we’re doing, and especially proud that something he owned will help children in need.”


Photos of Marlon Brando appear courtesy of Mary Ellen Mark






Below is an exclusive photo of Marlon Brando's GMT-Master he wore in 'Apocalypse Now'. This watch has one very unusual characteristic in that despite being a stainless steel Rolex GMT, it is lacking a bezel.




The photo below shows the case-back engraving on Marlon Brando's Rolex GMT-Master he wore in Apocalypse Now. It turns out Marlon engraved this himself as we will learn later in the story.




Marlon Brando was one of the top actors on earth back in 1976 when Apocalypse Now was filmed. At the time, Brando was paid $1 Million per week!





It has been said many times that ‘Every Rolex Tells A Story.’ This is not only profoundly true, but I have often wondered if a Rolex were able reveal what it had witnessed, what would it share with us?

And that is EXACTLY what I always try to do on Jake’s Rolex World, is tell the stories behind the stories—the 'back story' if you will.  This Rolex GMT-Master worn by Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now tells a particularly heartwarming story.




This a very sweet story about a Goddaughter and a  Godfather, who later became her adopted father. I interviewed Marlon Brando’s daughter, Petra for this article and she shared some amazing insight into her relationship with her amazing dad.

In this story we are going to see a side of Marlon Brando that has never been documented. It speaks volumes to who he really was as a person.




This is a story about a man who found solace in his family. Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743 and when he was 78 years old, in 1821 he published his memoirs which made him unusually old at the time, and in his autobiography he said “As I reflect back, I realize the best times of my life were the times I spent in the bosom of my family.”


But what is family? The root of family is “familiar”. In other words, somebody does not have to have the same blood running through their veins to be family. A close friend or even a dog or cat could be your family.



In the photo below we see Marlon Brando in 1976 in the Philippines on the set of Apocalypse Now with director, Francis Ford Coppola and fellow actor Martin Sheen. 















Hodinkee's James Stacey published an excellent article back in July titled "HANDS-ON: Marlon Brando's Rolex GMT-Master From Apocalypse Now." James showcased the first photos of Marlon Brando's Apocalypse Now Rolex GMT-Master on the wrist and they were superb, as is his story.



From all the scholarship research around Marlon Brando's GMT-Master he wore in Apocalypse Now, there are no other photos of him wearing it expect the one pictured below discovered by Nick Gould, which shows him wearing it in the Sydney, Australia airport after he left filming on the set of Apocalypse Now in the Philippines in the fall of 1976. I asked Marlon's daughter, Petra about how often he wore it, and she said he wore in rarely, on special occiasions.



If you look closely, you see Marlon is wearing his bezeless Rolex GMT-Master.







An Amazing Man


What can be said of a man when he has left this world we all share? That he lived and hopefully made the world a better place after he is gone...That is certainly the case with Marlon Brando, and in this story we will look at multiple dimensions of what made him tick, while also exploring aspects of his life in a way never done before. There is another side of Marlon Brando who loved animals, was passionate about protecting the environment, and was also a UNICEF Ambassador.





An Amazing Actor


The Wild One (1953)
Don Vito Corleone

Marlon Brando is pictured below in the role of Johnny, in the landmark 1953 movie titled 'The Wild One'.




Marlon Brando was extremely good looking and charismatic as we see in this screen test for Rebel Without A Cause.



Speaking of Rebel Without A Cause, we see Marlon Brando pictured below with fellow actor and friend, James Dean.







The Godfather (1972)
Don Vito Corleone

Marlon Brando is perhaps most famous for his command performance in The Godfather as Don Vito Corleone as pictured below on the set of Godfather.


"It's not personal. It's business."





"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."






We see Marlon Brando as Don Corleone below in The Godfather along with Al Pacino who played Michael Corleone. 



Al Pacino is pictured below in a recent photo wearing his Rolex Submariner which he has worn for several decades.




Speaking of Al Pacino, who is considered to be one of the greatest actors alive, he recently wrote this letter for Philipps Auction House which appeared in their catalog for their 'Game Changers' auction which will feature Marlon Brando's Apocalypse Now GMT-Master.





I have been a huge fan of the Godfather trilogy my entire adult life. Yes, I said Godfather trilogy, and no, I am not like all those people who say, 'Godfather Part 1 and 2 were great, but Godfather 3 was terrible.' I think Andy Garcia's superb performance in Godfather 3 was right up there with Robert Dino, Marlon Brando, and Al Pacino. Andy Garcia is pictured below wearing his vintage Rolex Explorer II.


Photo above appears courtesy of Cigar Officianado

The fascinating thing about Andy Garcia's vintage Rolex Explorer II (Reference 1655) 'Orange Hand' is that he somehow added a black GMT-Bezel to it which I have not only never seen before, but didn't realize was even possible, but damn it looks good!






The supreme irony for me is that when I was younger, as a huge fan of the Godfather and Marlon Brando, I NEVER in my wildest dream thought that one day I would be hanging out with Marlon Brando's daughter talking with her about her father and his love of Rolex watches!?!! But it worked out that way, and in this fascinating story I intend to share her magnificent perspective with you on her father.

Today we will be examining what is arguably one of the most interesting Rolex watches in history. Phillips Auction House, arguably most popular in the world of Rolex for having successfully auctioned Paul Newman's super-iconic trademark 'Paul Newman Daytona' for $17.8 Million will be offering this unique Rolex as part of their Game Changers auction taking place in New York, on December 10, 2019, which is just three weeks away. I originally wrote about Paul Newman's Grail of Rolex Grails being brought to auction back on June 1, 2017.


Earlier this year, on July 11, 2019 I published a story on how Marlon Brando's Rolex GMT-Master he famously wore in 'Apocalypse Now' had been discovered and was coming to auction on December 10, 2019 in New York as part of Phillips 'GAME CHANGERS' Auction.






The Real

 'Godfather Rolex'

I am going to share a story with you that has never been told, about Marlon Brando in his real role of 'The Godfather'. No, I am not talking about the 1972 movie for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, which he famously rejected. I am talking about the role he played as a REAL Godfather.

The 1972 movie, The Godfather has been referred to by many as the greatest movie ever made, and its lead actor, Marlon Brando has been commonly referred to as the greatest actor who ever lived.

The Godfather movie was about an organized-crime family in America. In many ways this story is the exact opposite in the sense it is about a loving, nurturing family relationship.





A Tale of Two 

GMT-Master Models

The Godfather and his Apocalypse GMT


Eleven years ago, back in 2008 I published a super detailed article on how I discovered Marlon Brando wore a unique Rolex GMT-Master in the epic 1979 movie titled Apocalypse Now. 


I also discovered that Marlon's parents gave him a Rolex Oyster Royalite Observatory Bubbleback in 1943, at age 19 which is pictured below.


The photo below shows Marlon with his father, and notice he is wearing his bubbleback Rolex pictured above.



The inscription on the back of the watch reads, "To Bud, from Mother & Dad. 1943" "Bud" was Marlon Brando's nickname his parents gave him when he was a child.





Marlon Brando is pictured below wearing his Rolex Bubbleback which is seen above. The dial looks light due to reflection of light.


Marlon Brando is pictured below in 1955 with Grace Kelly at the Academy Awards after having won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in the 1954 movie titled "On the Waterfront". Marlon Brando was nominated for 8 Academy Awards in his career, and won twice for Best Actor.
















The Fugitive Kind (1960)
All The Crazy Moonphases

Marlon Brando starred in a movie in 1960 named The Fugitive Kind where he wears and talks about his Rolex Moonphase, as seen below. 





Leading Man

Marlon Brando is pictured below in 1962 with fellow Hollywood leading men including Rock Hudson, Cary Grant and Gregory Peck.






Civil Right Activist

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando was very active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. In the photo below taken in June of 1963 in Los Angeles at fellow leading actor Burt Lancaster's home before a Civil Rights rally we see Marlon Brando on the far right between Sammy Davis Jr., and Lloyd Bridges (far, far right). In the middle of the photo we see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., standing next to Joanne Woodward who was married to Paul Newman who is standing third from the left next to Reverend Ralph Abernathy and Anthony Franciosa. Polly Bergen is standing left of center, next to Joanne Woodward.


Marlon Brando is pictured below sitting next to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as they listen to Reverend Ralph Abernathy speaking at a reception at Burt Lancaster's home after the Freedom Rally. Reverend Abernathy was the co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and present in the audience we see Joanne Woodward with her husband Paul Newman, pictured on the far right. We also see Attorney, Jack Tenner, and Gilbert Lindsay.


It may not seem like such a big deal today, but these famous actors were potentially risking their careers by supporting the civil rights cause at this level. In my opinion this really speaks volumes about Marlon Brando's character and humanity.






March on Washington


Marlon Brando is pictured below in the Lincoln Memorial with fellow actors and civil rights activists in the Lincoln Memorial during The March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom which took place on August 28, 1963. Marlon is shaking hands with author James Baldwin, and in the background on the right we see Charlton Heston, and singer Harry Belafonte.



In the photo below see see Marlon Brando (center) attending the March on Washington, and he is flanked by fellow leading actors, including Paul Newman, and James Garner.






The Godfather (1973)

Brando Rejects Oscar for Best Actor

Sacheen Littlefeather is an Apache actress and native American activist that represented Marlon Brando at the 45th Academy Awards, and rejected his Oscar award for Best Actor for his role as Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather.



Marlon Brando's daughter Petra recently shared the following anecdote with Golden Globes in an interview: 

“Yes. He asked Sacheen Littlefeather to collect his Oscar,” says Petra. She explains that while many assumed that Brando refused to attend because he viewed awards shows as shameless, superficial, and ostentatious displays of invidious competition, and having nothing to do with artistic or cultural merit, “It wasn’t that he didn’t value the Oscar, it was that he wanted to give a platform to something that he cared very deeply about. And he saw it as an opportunity. He knew that his decision wasn’t well-received, but he valued social responsibility above all else.”



Sacheen Littlefeather was never given the opportunity to deliver Marlon Brando's full speech, but in the video below which was recorded 45 years later, for the first time Sacheen reveals the speech in its entirety.



Marlon Brando is featured below on the Dick Cavett Show discussing his rejection of his Oscar for Best Actor in The Godfather.





"I don't think that people generally realize what the motion picture industry has done to the American Indian, as a matter of fact, all ethnic groups. All minorities. All non-whites. People just simply don't realize. They take it for granted that that's the way people are going to be presented and that these cliches are just going to be perpetuated." —Marlon Brando


Marlon Brando was wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master when he was interviewed by Dick Cavett in 1973 just after he won and rejected the Academy Award for Best Actor in The Godfather. In the photo below we see his Fliplock clasp on his Oyster Bracelet.




The entire Marlon Brando interview  on the Dick Cavett show which aired on June 12, 1973 can be seen below.







Last Tango In Paris (1972)

Ironically, Marlon Brando also wore a Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet in the movie Last Tango In Paris as seen below:






In the picture below which was taken on the set of Last Tango In Paris in 1971, we see Bernardo Bertolucci wearing a Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet, with Marlon Brando standing in the background on the set in the restaurant. 



There is another bizarre mystery regarding Bernardo Bertolucci and Marlon Brando.




In the photo above we see Bernardo Bertoluci rocking his Pepsi GMT-Master, and in the photo below we see him wearing is without its Pepsi bezel, which is trois-bizzare if you ask me. I can't help but wonder if there is some correlation between Marlon Brando and Bernardo Bertolucci both sporting this look!?!!





A 1961 Pepsi Appears in 1973

When Marlon Brando's GMT-Master was discovered and came to Philipps Auction house in July 2019 it initially confused my research team and I who had assumed Marlon only owned and wore one GMT-Master his whole life. We carefully sifted through all the historical evidence and with the kind assistance of Paul Boutros from Philipps Auction House were able to put together the entire puzzle which tells the story of how Marlon owned two GMT-Master models.

From all our research, with special help from Marlon Brando expert, Patxi Bente in France we discovered Marlon began wearing his first Pepsi GMT-Master (Reference 1675) in January 1973, which ironically was made in 1961. The photo below shows Marlon Brando with two of his sons on his Island in Tahiti wearing his 'Pepsi'. For the sake of clarity, in this article I will refer to his first Rolex GMT-Master as "The Pepsi", and the second one as: "The Apocalypse Now GMT".




The first Rolex GMT-Master Marlon Brando wore was a Pepsi GMT, which he modified by adding a Rolex Flip-Lock Safety Clasp which can be clearly seen in the photo below which was taken on the set of the NBC Tomorrow Show which aired on December 16, 1974.


Today it's standard for a GMT-Master to have a locking clasp like this, but when the photo below was taken it was NOT standard. As a matter of fact, the only Rolex at that time that featured the Flip-Lock as standard were the Submariner and SEA-DWELLER models. 

It is fascinating to note Marlon Brando wore his first GMT-Master without a bezel insert long before he filmed Apocalypse Now (1976), as we see in the photo below from December 16, 1974.




Marlon's first Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master watch also has pointed crown guards and was made in 1961. This is a strange fact as Marlon Brando was first documented wearing it in 1973. My best guess is that he received the watch from a friend who may have taken it off their wrist as a gift, or maybe Marlon appreciated the then vintage look of a watch that was 12 years old. It is also possible he received it new in 1961-1962 and rarely wore in until 1973.

One of the strange and mysterious details is that for some bizarre reason, Marlon Brando wore his first Pepsi GMT-Master on a regular basis in the mid 1970s with and without its Pepsi bezel as we see in the photo below which was taken in 1974. In other words, the photo below is of Marlon's first Pepsi GMT-Master, which he is wearing below without a bezel, and just to be crystal-clear, this is NOT the same bezeless GMT-Master he wore in Apocalypse Now. This fact initially confused Nick Gould and I terribly, but as the pieces of the puzzle fell into place we finally were able to achieve clarity around this previous mystery.


The photo below taken on November 26, 1974 in New York City shows Marlon Brando attending the American Indian Development Association Gala Benefit at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and notice he is wearing his bezeless GMT-Master on a Jubilee Bracelet. 


Nick Gould was the first person to discover Marlon Brando wore this Pepsi GMT-Master on an Oyster Bracelet, both with and without its bezel. Petra's Mom owns this 1961 Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master today, and has no intention of selling it as it was given to her by Marlon. Petra said that as a child growing up in Marlon's home that he would spend countless hours in his shop tinkering with all kinds of different things, which likely explains his tweaking of his first GMT-Master.

Marlon Brando's first GMT-Master pictured in 1974 without a Bezel



In the next three photos, all taken in 1975 we see Marlon Brando sporting his Pepsi GMT Master on an Oyster bracelet. The first photo below shows Marlon Brando with famous rock and roll promoter, Bill  Graham.




It's interesting to note these two photos of Marlon Brando with Bill Graham were taken in March of 1975, which was a year before Marlon traveled to the Philippines to shoot Apocalypse Now, and we notice he was back to wearing his Pepsi bezel on his first GMT-Master.



So what explains why Marlon wore his Pepsi GMT-Master, with the Pepsi bezel, then without, then with it, then he wore the Apocalypse Now GMT only without the a bezel? It's hard to say for certain. It could be that he knocked it off by mistake, or tried swapping it and lost it. Also, Marlon's first GMT was a 1961 model, so when he first was documented wearing it in 1973 in Tahiti, maybe the Tahitian sun faded it too much, so he took it off? 

Also, Paul Newman who was friends with Marlon was also a Rolex tweaker who went so far as to put a Rolex President Bracelet on his stainless steel Rolex Daytona!?!! Dizzy Gillespie was the same way. He would wear his Pepsi GMT, on a Jubilee bracelet, then switch it to an Oyster bracelet, then back to a Jubilee, not to mention he removed the Pepsi bakelite bezel and replaced it with an aluminum bezel insert. Go figure!!!




Marlon Brando is pictured below in 1977 sporting his Rolex GMT Master.




The photos below of Marlon Brando are from a 1977 Playboy interview and it appears Marlon has some kind of black tape on his Oyster bracelet, and I have no idea why?






In the photo below, Marlon Brando is pictured with his secretary, and he is wearing his Rolex GMT Master.





Superman (1978)

In 1978 Marlon Brando played Superman's father Jor-El in Superman: The Movie. 



I remember seeing Superman with Christopher Reeve in 1978 on the big screen and it blew my mind!!! Watching this Superman trailer seriously Deja Vu's me out in a positive way!!!






Patxi Bente in France sent in this image that shows Marlon Brando on the set of Superman while he is getting a 3D face scan, and notice his is wearing his GMT-Master in the two photos below.






Marlon Brando was the first actor in history to break the $1 Million threshold for a movie role which occurred in 1962 when he played Fletcher Christian in the film Mutiny on The Bounty. Adjusted for inflation that would be close to $8 Million in todays dollars. Marlon Brando said he was paid $14 Million for 12 days of work for his portrayal of Jor-El in Superman in 1978. 





In this next photo, taken in 1982, we see Marlon Brando pictured with Native American activist and leader of the American Indian Movement, and Brando is wearing his Rolex GMT-Master on a Rolex Oyster Bracelet.









Connie Chung Interview

The photo below is a screen grab from the 1989 Connie Chung interview, which can be seen below. The photo shows that for some reason, Marlon Brando was wearing two watches. A Pepsi GMT on his left wrist as well as a Tag Heuer which I originally mistook for being a two-tone GMT, as it looked so similar.











This Silly Game Of Life

Petra was born to Caroline Naylen and James Clavell, the Australian author who most famously wrote the book titled 'Shogun', as well as The Great Escape (1963). James Clavell was a prisoner of war during WWII, and went on to become a famous novelist, director, and screenwriter. Petra's mother, Caroline ran Marlon Brando's office which he ran from his home-based office located in the canyons of Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. 

Petra Brando @ age four with mother Caroline pictured 
above on Marlon Brando's private atoll named Tetiaroa in Tahiti


"My mind is always soothed when I imagine

 myself sitting on my South Sea Island at night"

—Marlon Brando


Petra met Marlon Brando when he she was 4 years old and in the photo below we see Marlon hanging out with Petra as a little girl.


In the photo below we see Petra with Marlon Brando and her mother Caroline in London. When Petra was five years old, Marlon and Caroline had become romantically involved, which was not long before he left to film Apocalypse Now in the jungles of the Philippines. Notice the Pepsi GMT-Master on Marlon's wrist, was his first one that he got and wore before the Apocalypse Now GMT-Master model. Marlon later gifted the watch to Petra's mother, Caroline Barrett who owns it today. Nick Gould pointed out that it was interesting that in this photo Marlon is wearing his Pepsi on his right wrist...




In an interview with the Golden Globes Marlon's daughter, Petra who is pictured above in her mother's arms said:

"My mom was his girlfriend for seven years, and for over 25 years she was his right hand and best friend, she worked with him on location doing his dialogue and organized every aspect of his life.”

I think it's time to interject Caroline's story in her own words from Philipps auction catalog as seen below in green bold italics:

I was Marlon Brando’s friend, companion and confidant.

I began working for Marlon just before he went to flm “Apocalypse Now”. I ran Marlon’s office and spent my days at his house, organising every aspect of his work and personal life. We travelled together on holiday and for work and ofen spent evenings together. We were romantically together for 7 years and I continued to work for him after our relationship ended. We shared a close friendship that lasted for over 25 years and we treated each other as family.

When my daughter, Petra, was a little girl, Marlon became Petra’s godfather in a private ceremony at our local church and asked her if she would consider him as her father and call him ‘Dad’. Petra’s biological father was not involved in her life and Marlon was dedicated to providing Petra with the parental love and support he felt that she deserved.


Marlon Brando with Petra in a ceremony in Catholic church were he became her Godfather.

When Marlon decided to adopt Petra a few years later, he dictated the following words to me, which he then read aloud to his lawyers: 

“Petra is a child of my heart, and as her godfather, I was sworn in solemn Catholic right to protect her spiritual light, to act as a guide and mentor for her and to look to her worldly protection, it falls to me to see that the duties of parenthood are assumed, to see that she receives love, assistance and help. There are many laws in the books but none of them cover the love of the human heart.”


Marlon Brando is pictured below in 1982 with Caroline Barrett Naylen, who is Petra's mother. 



Marlon Brando is pictured below with Petra at her graduation from Brown University in 1994, along with Petra's mom, Caroline Barrett.





When Petra’s biological father died in 1994, Marlon insisted that he be the one to deliver the news to Petra. Petra had graduated from Brown University not long before and Marlon was extremely proud of her. He told me he wanted to give Petra a gift of something personal.

Some months later, I was in the living room at Marlon’s house and Petra was with Marlon in this TV room. She came into the living room holding Marlon’s watch, which she told me her Dad wanted her to have. She showed me a card written to her on his personal stationary, which he gave to her at the same time, in which he wrote that he was very proud of her. I recognized the watch as his old Rolex GMT-Master on a rubber strap.


Petra continues sharing the story as recounted to Phillips: 

"Throughout my life, my dad was my guardian, my guide and my friend. He was also my greatest supporter and when I was offered a place at Brown University, he said that the news was a "ray of sunshine". Following my graduation in 1994, I spent a great deal of time with my dad before going to law school at University of California. He was very encouraging and spoke to me at length about enjoying life's journey. 'These lovely young years will never come again,' he said, 'so appreciate even the small insignificant moments."

"He handed me an envelope addressed 'to Petra Brando (Dream girl),' which I laughed about. 





Petra continues: 

"I opened the envelope and it was a note to me on his personal stationary, which recounted lines from the poem I later discovered to be "Let No Charitable Hope" by Elinor Wylie."

Marlon Brando's words in this letter are amazingly sweet and profound:





Petra continues: 

Next to him on the table was his old Rolex on a rubber strap, which he picked up. He looked at it and said: 

"This watch is like a tank, you can do anything you want to it and it will keep on going." 

Handing it to me, he said "I want you to have it as a reminder of how proud I am of you.

He told me that he wore that Rolex during the flming of “Apocalypse Now.” He said he was asked not to wear the watch in the movie and he argued, “If they’re looking at my watch, then I’m not doing my job as an actor.” He said that they let him wear the watch but he took the bezel off.

I knew that my dad loved this particular watch. He was normally rough on his watches but this one he kept in his walk-in closet drawer and only wore it on special occasions. He would ofen take it out, look at it, and say it would keep going forever.

On our wedding night sixteen years ago, I gave my husband, Russel, the Rolex that my dad had given to me. Russel appreciated its signifcance and never wore it but always kept it safe. Russel and I believe that the Rolex made famous by my dad 40 years ago in “Apocalypse Now” is a piece of movie history that belongs in the hands of a collector who can give it the prominence that it deserves.

The proceeds of the sale will assist us in our endeavours through our charitable foundation, The Brando Fischer Foundation, to provide fnancial support to children who are living through serious hardship due to abuse, neglect, poverty or physical or mental illness or disability, causes which would have been signifcant to my dad.

Through Phillips’ auction of the watch we wish above all that people will remember Marlon Brando for his great contribution to film and celebrate his legacy.

Petra's mother Caroline continues:

I witnessed Marlon sign his name, “M. Brando” on the back of that Rolex watch with his own hand some years before gifting it to Petra. 




Marlon had bought himself a new toy, an electric micro engraver pen. After signing his name on the watch, he turned to me and said, “Now let me sign your watch”. I replied “Absolutely not!” I later saw Marlon use his engraving pen to mark various other metal objects such as his keys.

Sometime in the 1980s Marlon asked me to organize the strap to be changed to the rubber one now seen on the watch, as he wanted a waterproof strap so that he could wear the watch in Tahiti.

Marlon later gave me his other old Rolex GMT-Master, which has a blue and red bezel with a bracelet. It is not engraved and its dial and bracelet were replaced in the past.


The Rolex GMT-Master that Marlon gifted to Petra, which is being auctioned by Phillips, is Marlon’s personal watch that he wore during the filming of “Apocalypse Now”.

Below is a photo of Marlon Brando with his daughter Petra when she graduated from USC Law School.





Petra Brando Fischer is pictured below with her father Marlon Brando and husband Russel Fisher in 1998.




Petra said:

"My father's only real extravagance was his love of watches and he was never without one on his wrist, even when he slept. He loved to be connected to time; he telephoned the 'Speaking Clock' several times a day to tune his watch to the exact second and insisted the we synchronize watches when he wanted me to return at a precise time. He often wore two watches at once to keep an eye on different time zones; the watch on his left wrist would show the time in LA, while the watch on his right wrist would be set to London or Tahiti."

Below is a current photo of Petra with her husband  Russel taken recently and we see her wearing a two-tone Rolex Datejust.