Friday, February 08, 2019

1948 Rolex Diving Ad Adolfo Vanni

...Vintage Rolex Super-Coolness...

Rolex Diving Ad

Adolfo Vanni

1948 World Depth Champion @ 1066 Feet

Pierre-Jean is a member of the Jake's Rolex World research team and he is from the South of France. Pierre-Jean is on a roll with uncovering more missing pieces of the Rolex Diving History Puzzle and I almost fell out of my chair today when he sent in this newly discovered vintage Rolex ad from the early 1950s. 

This is the very first Rolex Diving ad I recall seeing that is pre-Rolex Submariner [meaning pre-1954]. This add features, Adolfo Vanni who was at the time held the record dive depth at 325 Meters, which is 1066 Feet. 

"At the greatest depths and at the highest pressures, my Rolex Oyster watch never left me, and for many years she has been indicating the exact hour to the second, as in the first day." —Adolfo Vanni

This Rolex ad is so profound on so many different levels. First, notice Adolfo Vanni was a hardhat diver, meaning he was not using Scuba. 1066 feet of depth is crazy deep!!! When translated from French to English the Rolex ad says: 

"During the repeated dives that allowed him to reach the extraordinary depth of 325 meters (October 1948), the famous diver Adolfo Vanni never separated from his Rolex oyster wristwatch."

Just for frame of reference I am including the Rolex ad below which appeared in the July 1954 National Geographic which features the Rolex DEEP-SEA Special Prototype. So basically, the Vanni Rolex ad predates this by a year, making the Vanni ad the earliest known Rolex ad to discuss diving depth records!!!

Despite the fact that the Adolfo Vanni Rolex ad above shows a photo of a man wearing a standard hardhat diving suit, Vanni would have had to likely wear a something like the "Tritonia" ADS (Atmospheric Diving Suit" pictured below on the left in 1935. 

In 1938 Italian diver, Lieutenant Nosari reached a new record depth of 250 Meters [820 Feet] for heavy "ADS" atmospheric diving suits in the Gulf of La Spezia in a suit designed and built by Roberto Galeazzi. Roberto Galeazzi is pictured below in 1935 with his ADS, which looks very sci-fi.

The most interesting thing about the Adolfo Vanni Rolex ad is that when I Googled "Adolfo Vanni" absolutely NOTHING came up. I mean, not one photo or even mention of his name. For the record, Pierre-Jean has confirmed the Rolex Ad is 100% authentic and was published in 1953 in France. So basically, Adolfo Vanni's record dive has gone undetected until today as it is not part of any historical record I can find. 

Dr. Sylvia Earle

Dr. Sylvia Earle was one of the first female Aquanauts in history and she is also a Rolex Ambassador today. In the photo below we see Dr. Sylvia Earle coming up from a dive during Operation Tektite II in 1970.

I am including Dr. Sylvia Earle in this story as we see her pictured below in Rolex ads that feature Dr. Phil Nuytten's innovative diving suits. I spoke with Dr. Phil on the phone today about this story and I am excited to share with you that I will be interviewing him soon on his Amazing Career Achievements. Dr. Phil is also a Rolex Ambassador who is a pioneer in the field of DEEP-SEA Diving.

Stay tuned as we have much more fascinating Rolex diving history coming up soon on Jake's Rolex World!!!