Sunday, February 10, 2019

GQ GMT-Master Story Mentioned Jake's Rolex World...

GQ GMT-Master Story

Jake's Rolex World Mentioned

GQ Magazine recently reached out to interview me about an article they were writing about the highly iconic Rolex GMT-Master and I offered my insight. The GQ article was published recently and it is titled, "You Know Rolex Makes Something Called a "GMT." But What Is It, Exactly" by Cam Wolf. 

I am including a contextual expert from the Rolex GMT GQ article that includes the part where they quote me:

The invention of the watch wasn’t just helpful for Pan Am workers, it was a pretty good day on the job: they were all furnished with the new tricked-out timepieces. But the watch wasn’t just for those trained in the art of safety demonstrations. Soon, it was turning up on a who’s who of 20th-century icons: Dizzy Gillespie, Marlon Brando, Pablo Picasso, Hunter S. Thompson, and Eric Clapton. Even Che Guevara and Fidel Castro wore GMTs.

Of course, carrying around a watch that can tell the wearer two different time zones doesn’t feel very advanced today. But for collectors, the watch marks a milestone in human history: the moment we started traveling around the world on planes. There’s historical heft and significance there for people who obsesses over watches and Rolex in particular. “A lot of [the adoration is motivated] by nostalgia,” says Jake Ehrlich, the founder of Jake's Rolex World and Rolex Magazine. “The same reason people like Disneyland: it takes you to this simple place.”

Because the watch market is so heavily influenced by squishy qualities, like a piece’s history and story, the GMT is climbing in value. James Lamdin, who owns the Manhattan-based watch shop Analog/Shift, says the value for GMTs started climbing three or four years ago. In 2015, the reference number 1675, which was the model Rolex made for about two decades and is the one Lamdin considers the measuring stick for GMTs, would have sold for around $5,000. Now, he says, the value’s tripled to around $15,000. “The meteoric rise was a collector-community-wide realization that these watches were way too inexpensive,” says Lamdin.

History Doesn't Seem Like History 
When You Are Living Through It

I thought I would take this opportunity to elaborate on what I meant in the GQ article Quote when I compared Rolex to Disneyland and nostalgia:

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly complex. At times, it appears the complexity is exponential, and this causes us to become stressed-out and confused. Current Rolex design language is steeped in late Art-Deco from the 1950s, which is designed to be simple in a sophisticated and timeless way. I believe our brain is programmed to not only recognize patterns, but has a preference or appreciation for objects that are timeless, simple and durable—and that is exactly what Rolex offers in both vintage and modern watches. When I said:

“A lot of [the adoration is motivated] by nostalgia,” says Jake Ehrlich, the founder of Jake's Rolex World and Rolex Magazine. “The same reason people like Disneyland: it takes you to this simple place.”

I meant when people visit Disneyland—which, like Rolex is more popular today than it has ever been—they feel safe and comfortable being surrounded by icons of the past like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy. (Think Submariner, GMT, Datejust, Daytona and Day-Date). Just like Disneyland, Rolex is otherworldly in the sense that when you put a new or vintage Rolex watch on your wrist it transports you to another world. This—by definition—is the effect nostalgia has on us. Finding solace in the past...

The Way We Were

Barbara Streisand wrote and performed a magnificent song back named "The Way We Were" in 1975 that basically sums up what I am trying to share with you. This performance and lyrics are hauntingly otherworldly:

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we?
Could we?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were...
The way we were

Can It Be That It Was So Simple Then

Or Has Time Rewritten Every Line? 

The GQ Article mentioned a number of famous historical figures who have worn Rolex GMT-Masters so I thought I would include pictures of some of them in this post to give you frame of reference. Let's start with this image of Pablo Picasso. I remember when I first discovered and published this now famous Rolex GMT-Master image, almost falling out of my chair!!!! Why? 

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso is the most famous modern artist in history. His looks are as iconic as his name, but you would not expect to see him wearing and American Indian Headdress. Also, despite being Spanish, Picasso could easily pass for being a native American Indian. When you first see this image, nobody tells you its Picasso, you can't help but notice that this American Indian is wearing a honking Rolex GMT-Master on his wrist.

I discovered and published this seminal Picasso Rolex image back in 2011 which was taken back in 1960 in Cannes, France on the French Riviera. One of the other things about his Picasso image is that despite being taken a half-century ago, it could have been taken yesterday. The design language of the his Rolex GMT-Master is so similar to the current GMT-Master, it is truly remarkable!!!

Dizzy Gillespie

Just like Pablo Picasso, Dizzy Gillespie is another super-iconic pioneer who wore a Rolex GMT-Master. 

In the photo below we see Dizzy Gillespie on the cover of his seminal 1961 album titled, "An Electrifying Evening With The Dizzy Gillespie Quintet", and notice Dizzy is wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master on a Jubilee bracelet.

One of the strangest and most bizarre things I ever witnessed Rolex do was discontinue the highly iconic stainless steel Pepsi GMT-Master in 2005. Ironically, Rolex brought back the Pepsi in 2018 as pictured below and it has been a smash hit!!!

In the photo below we see Dizzy Gillespie rockin' his Pepsi GMT-Master on a Jubilee Bracelet back in the 1960s.

Speaking of the Pepsi GMT-Master on a Jubilee Bracelet—in the photo below we see Dustin Hoffman back in the 1970s, posing with Meryl Streep and notice Dustin is sporting his Pepsi GMT-Master on a Jubilee Bracelet.

Marlon Brando

GQ also mentioned Marlon Brando in their GMT-Master article. Marlon Brando is widely regarded to be the greatest actor of all time, and he was a lifelong Rolex wearer. The photo below shows Marlon Brando in 1975 rockin' his Pepsi GMT-Master on an Oyster Bracelet.

This next image, seen below, shows Marlon Brando on the set of Apocalypse Now in 1979 sporting a Rolex GMT-Master that is missing its bezel insert, which give the watch a whole different look...

Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson also wore Rolex GMT-Master models during his lifetime. In the photo below we see Hunter sporting his Pepsi GMT-Master.

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro wore many different Rolex models during his lifetime.

The photo below was taken of Castro's first visit to the USSR on April 27th, 1963, which resulted in Castro spending 40 days touring the Soviet Union.

If you look closely at this photo you will notice so interesting details. First, notice that Castro is sporting two Rolex watches on his left wrist; a Rolex GMT-Master and a Rolex Day-Date. Also notice there is another bearded communist on the wall witnessing this moment in time, and that is the father of communism, Carl Marx, who wrote The Communist Manifesto.

Castro returned to the Kremlin in 1964 and was still wearing a GMT-Master and Rolex President on his left wrist. This time he was hugging Leonid Brezhnev.

In the photo below taken years later we see Leonid Brezhnev who was the General Secretary of the former Communist Party of The Soviet Union, and he is rockin' his yellow gold Rolex Datejust. Communism for the masses, capitalism for the bosses!!! Just saying' :-)

Che Guevara

Fellow Cuban Communist Revolutionary, Che Guevara was Fidel Castro's right hand man, and he also famously wore a Rolex GMT-Master.

Eric Clapton

The GQ article also mentioned Eric Clapton who is one of the most iconic musicians alive today, as well as being a fellow Rolex fanatic of the highest order. In the photo below we see Eric sporting his Coffee GMT-Master.

NASA Astronauts

When Cam from GQ interviewed me I showed him images of many different NASA Astronauts sporting Rolex GMT-Master models and he was really surprised as he mentioned that he was not aware of this fact. He said, "Wow, I thought they only wore Omega Speedmaster watches!?!!" For some reason GQ did not mention the NASA Astronauts who wore GMT-Master models to the moon and back so I thought I would include some of them here.

Pete Knight

Willian "Pete" Knight is pictured below wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master which he wore when he set the all time speed record for level flight in 1967 when he flew his Hypersonic X-15 into the record books when he hit Mach 6.7.

Jack Swigert

Jack Swigert was one of the members of Apollo 13 and in the first photo below we see him wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master which he wore to the moon and back. This watch is in Rolex's private museum collection today in Switzerland. In the second image we see Swigert's gold GMT-Master.

Dr. Edgar Mitchell

Dr. Edgar Mitchell is pictured below as he prepares to take off for the moon aboard Apollo 14, and in the second image we see him in quarantine after he returned from his mission.

Eugene Cernan

Eugene Cernan from Apollo 17 is pictured below wearing a Rolex GMT-Master on the outside of his space suit.

Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager is pictured below famously wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master.

Pussy Galore

Honor Blackman famously wore here Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master in the James Bond film, Goldfinger when she played Pussy Galore. In this photo we see James Bond actor, Sean Connery getting ready to kiss Pussy Galore actress, Honor Blackman. "That Sean Connery—He's a masculine actor!"

John McVie

John McVie, the bass player from Fleetwood Mac is pictured below in 1967 playing with his GMT-Master.

Bill Wyman

Bill Wyman was a founding member and bass player for The Rolling Stones and he is pictured below wearing his two-tone Root Beer GMT-Master.

John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones is the founding bass player of Led Zeppelin and in the photo below we see him in 1977 with Jimmy Page rockin' his two-tone GMT-Master.

Jimmy Buffett

Singer, songwriter, guitarist Jimmy Buffett is pictured below, also in 1977 sporting his yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master.

Sir Jackie Stewart

Legendary race card driver Sir Jackie Stewart is pictured below with Paul Newman, wearing a Rolex GMT-Master.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is pictured below wearing his yellow two-tone Root Beer GMT-Master. 

Stan Barrett

Stan Barrett was not only the top stuntman in Hollywood in the 1970s but also broke back to back to back land speed records which culminated in him being the first driver to break the speed of sound barrier on land. 

In the photo above we see Stan Barrett in 1979 at Edwards Air Force Base as he prepares to break through the sound barrier in his Budweiser Rocket car. Notice Stan is wearing a Daytona and GMT-Master on his wrist.

Ralph Lauren

Famous clothing designer, Ralph Lauren is pictured below back in the early 1980s wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master.

Clint Eastwood

Famous actor, Clint Eastwood is pictured below in front of the Space Shuttle in 1981 sporting his Root Beer GMT-Master [Reference 1675].

Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck is pictured below on the set of Magnum PI in his Ferrari rocking his famously iconic Pepsi GMT-Master.

Elle Macpherson

Super Model, Elle Macpherson is pictured below wearing her Rolex GMT-Master.

Mel Gibson

Famous Actor, Mel Gibson is pictured below wearing a Pepsi GMT-Master from the movie Air America.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves is pictured below in a photo from the 2008 hit movie, Street Kings sporting his Pepsi GMT-Master.

Brad Pitt

Talk about a timeless GQ dude! Brad Pitt is sporting his yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master in the photo below.

Arnold Palmer

Legendary golf icon and Rolex Ambassador, Arnold Palmer is pictured below sporting his yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master.

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone is pictured below sporting a bejeweled masterpiece white gold GMT-Master in a recent photo.

Iconic GMT-Master 

As we see, the GMT-Master is one of the most iconic Rolex watches ever made. You can learn much, much more about about this watch in my story named "The Complete History of The Rolex GMT-Master."