Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mystery Solved: Fidel Castro Submariner

Mystery Solved

Fidel Castro

1959 Rolex Submariner

Exclusive Photo Proves

First Rolex Sport Watch Was A Submariner

If you are a regular reader of Jake's Rolex World, you are likely aware Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro wore multiple Rolex watch models. This first photo below—which is exclusive to Jake's Rolex World—of Fidel Castro was taken when he was 32 years old. It was taken in Houston, Texas in April of 1959 and it's deeply profound as is the first photo that proves, as a matter of fact (with 100% Positive ID) Fidel's first Rolex sports watch was a Submariner and NOT a GMT-Master. 

In the photo above we see Fidel Castro signing a letter of intent with Texas Oil Millionaire, Frank B. Waters for the film rights to his life as the leader of Cuba. Marlon Brando was chosen to play Castro, but the movie was never made.

The photo below is a tight close up of Castro's Rolex Submariner and it reveals some interesting details. In particular, his winding crown is NOT screwed down? Castro's Rolex Submariner is an early Reference 6536, and is probably a 1956 model.

Castro Took Cuba Wearing His Submariner

Fidel Castro wore a sport Rolex Submariner when he overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista during the Cuban Revolution in late 1958. In this image from the LIFE Magazine archives we see Fidel Castro standing on the balcony of the Hilton Hotel with friends after his triumphant entry into the Havana, Cuba wearing his Rolex Submariner.

I originally published the image seen above and below more than 10 years ago, and in the images we can clearly see Castro wearing his Rolex and at the time I assumed it was a Submariner, but realized it could be a GMT, but it was not as the first image in this story now proves unequivocally. 

The Habana Hilton Hotel-Casino is pictured above in 1958 just after it opened. After taking over Cuba in late 1958 Fidel Castro made the Habana Hilton his headquarters. The photo below was taken in January of 1959 and shows the Habana Hilton Foyer filled with armed Cuban revolutionary soldiers.

In this next photo seen below of Castro, also taken in 1958 in Cienfuegos, Cuba you see Castro being cheered by crowds on his victorious march to Havana after successfully ousting Batista. 

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.  In the photo below Fidelito is inspecting his father's Rolex what was previously assumed to be a Rolex Day-Date with an early Rolex 'President' bracelet, but Nick Gould from Quill & Pad recently figured out it was a Datejust on a Rolex President bracelet. We also see Fidel wearing his Rolex Submariner on his left wrist along with another watch that is flipped-around out of view. 

The photo below is the same as the one above, just zoomed-in on Castro and we see he is wearing his Submariner with the crown in the unscrewed winding position.

In the photo below, we see Castro in 1964 wearing an early Coke Rolex GMT-Master with no crown guards [Reference 6542].

Communism for the masses. 

Capitalism for the Bosses

Fidel Castro also wore a Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master [Reference 1675] with crown guards as pictured below on the cover of TIME Magazine. 

Castro's Legacy

Castro remains a highly polarizing figure in the world today. Some people see him as a hero, or David who stood up to Goliath (Batista and the Imperialist Americans). Others see Castro as being a stone cold killer and hypocrite. I received an email which include the photo seen below in response to this story from a reader who shared his insightful perspective:

Hi, Jake

I have been a fan of Rolex watches for many years and a fan of your website and therefore your post.  However, I hate to see guys like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara wearing Rolex watches and given credit for wearing them despite their atrocities and crimes against humanity.  These two guys, were criminals just like Hitler and lately Nicol├ís Maduro in Venezuela.  They killed thousand of peoples and destroyed thousands of families, some of them my friends families, just to please themselves and their relatives with money. 

To me they are all cowards hiding behind a political ideology to become billionaires. The Castro family is well worth over 10 billion dollars at the expense of the Cuban people which still live in misery.  The same is with Maduro in Venezuela. Well, Guevara didn’t get that lucky, he got what he deserved. I guess the guys who captured him were better Rolex ambassadors, perhaps and I hope they had the chance to wear Guavara’s GMT.


History is filled with all kinds of atrocities, and hopefully as mankind moves forward we can all learn from these mistakes so they are not repeated. In the Chess game of life, Che Guevara was hunted down like a dog in Bolivia and brutally executed.