Saturday, February 29, 2020

Amazing New Rolex Perpetual Planet Videos

Amazing New 

Rolex Perpetual Planet Videos

These new videos from Rolex brilliantly showcase Rolex's commitment to protecting mother earth.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Baselworld 2020 Cancelled




Just a day after Watches & Wonders Geneva announced it is cancelling due to the coronavirus (see Jake's story here), Baselworld said it will not hold its yearly trade show either. The next Baselworld will be held in 2021, from Jan. 28 to Feb. 2nd (with Press Day on Jan. 27).

Michel Loris-Melikoff, Managing Director of Baselworld, said in a press release today: "We deeply regret having had to postpone the event as planned due to the coronavirus, in full consideration of the needs of the watch and jewelry industry to be able to benefit from the platform to develop their business. This decision has been all the more difficult in view of all the positives that have been achieved through listening and dialogue over the last few months, which resulted in new concepts and new solutions, that have attracted exhibitors to return and new ones to sign on. We registered encouraging growth in all sectors; watchmaking, jewellery, the gemstone and pearl trade, as well as in the technical branch."

Michel Loris-Melikoff continues: "By postponing the show to January 2021, we have found a solution that enables the industry and all our customers to avoid losing a full year and at the same time reset their calendars for the beginning of the year, a period that is conductive to the presentation of their new products, new trends and order taking. This postponing will also allow Baselworld to continue developing and bringing new formats and solutions as well as improvements to the new concept we propose."

This year's cancellation due to the coronavirus is a blow to a watch and jewelry fair that has already seen a reduction of hundreds of exhibitors including big players, like the entire Swatch Group, the Movado Group, Breitling, Citizen, Bvlgari, Seiko and Grand Seiko resulting in the closing of several halls.

Why BASELWORD 2021 will be held in January

In 2018, in a huge effort by both SIHH and Baselworld to come together to keep both shows alive and operational, the two tradeshows announced it would coordinate dates to coincide for the year 2020 and move both shows to the end of April and early May.

But in another faux-pas, the dates proved to be too late. Breitling immediately said it was quitting Baselworld, and LVMH reacted to the later SIHH dates by announcing that its usual January showcase, which has been held alongside the Geneva-based SIHH event, would move to Dubai.

Retailers and jewelry suppliers have said April/May is too late. Italian brands said they would not showcase because this timeline wouldn’t allow them to fulfill retailer orders before closing for summer. Placing orders for watches that can have six-month lead times, could mean waiting until November for deliveries of new collections. Baselworld admitted the timelines were wrong. 

When will the watches be introduced?

Just like last year, I was invited by Baselworld for Press Day, a day before the fair is open to the public. My appointments with Rolex and Tudor were set. But now that watch brands are not held to the Baselworld timeline, what date will they choose to broadcast their 2020 collections? And what would a Rolex announcement sans-Baselworld look like? Live stream in Geneva?

I believe that the brands will first drum up their announcement dates to create a pre-buzz online. But if they were planning on April to release their new models, it is possible that the brands are not completely ready to announce for another few weeks. 

One thing for sure, the cancellation of Baselworld in 2020 might be the ultimate test for the ailing 103-year-old trade show: Brands this year will be forced to self-promote their new collections. They might learn, one, that it is not that difficult to do; and two, that the cost-benefit analysis might not warrant attending Baselworld in 2021.

I will miss Baselworld. When I went through my phone's photo album today, I found the clip above. I had filmed the pulling of the curtains, which takes place at exactly noon on Press Day, and marks the official beginning of the largest watch fair in the world. This area is exclusively reserved for members of the press, so we can write stories, edit videos or record podcasts. Just before noon, however, there is this "It's Christmas morning" palpable feel in the press booth. And there's a certain camaraderie among us, heads are nodded, and laughs and smiles are exchanged in acknowledgment of the excitement.


Wednesday, February 26, 2020




This is such big news I had to borrow Hodinkee's BREAKING NEWS header again!?!!

Watches and Wonder (formerly known as SIHH) cancelled their upcoming Geneva trade show that was scheduled to run from April 25th to 29th of 2020. This is the second major horological watch show after Time to Move, which is the Swatch Group (Omega, Blancpain, Breguet, etc...) trade show, that was also cancelled on concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Swiss authorities confirmed three new coronavirus cases today, including one in Geneva. 

Perhaps the most serious question is whether Baselworld will also be cancelled or postponed? This is devastating news, especially after Breitling, Seiko, Citizen and Bvlgari have recently announced they won't be attending Baselworld anymore.

Watches and Wonder just put out this Press Release confirming the Tweet seen above that says it will be cancelled.

PRESS RELEASE For immediate release FEBRUARY 27TH 2020
Watches & Wonders Geneva cancels its upcoming edition initially planned from April 25th to 29th 2020

In view of the latest developments concerning the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it is the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s duty, as organizer of Watches & Wonders Geneva, to anticipate the potential risks that travels and important international gatherings could entail.

Therefore, in order to protect the health and wellbeing of all our guests, press, partners and teams, the decision has been taken to cancel the upcoming edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva (formerly known as the SIHH) and its ‘In the City’ program, initially due to take place in Geneva from April 25th to 29th 2020.

The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie understands the disappointment this year’s cancelation may cause, and remains at the disposal of its partners and guests for any queries they may have. The FHH is already working on the organization of 2021 edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva.

Press Contacts
Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie – Pont de la Machine 1, 1204 Genève, Suisse Christine Noussan Hodara / / +41 79 106 85 54 Carole Kittner / / +41 78 689 90 17

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Real History of The Rolex Helium Release Valve

The Real History of 

The Rolex Helium Release Valve?

Amazing Historical Findings

Jose and I have worked closely for years now on trying to put together all the Rolex history puzzles around the development of the Rolex Submariner including the SEA-DWELLER Helium Release Valve. The strange thing about being a Rolex historian is that every time you think you solve another Rolex mystery, you find a new one staring you in the face. Jose just published a new story on Periscope named "THE DOXA HRV" which sheds a great deal of light on the development of the SEA-DWELLER and its helium release valve which I highly recommend reading. 

Above we see legendary U.S. Navy SEALAB saturation pioneer, Dr. George Bond whose nickname was "Papa Topside", and notice he is wearing a Rolex Diving toolwatch which is either a Submariner or SEA-DWELLER. If you are not familiar with my research findings be sure to check out my 20 Chapter series named "The Complete History of The Rolex Submariner & SEA-DWELLER."

Jeff's photo below shows an early Rolex Sea-Dweller Helium Gas Release Valve.

A few years ago Jose and I put together the pieces of the Comex/Rolex puzzle, and in Jose's new story he includes this amazing historical Rolex letter.

Jose and I worked together on the development of this really cool poster titled "History of the Rolex Sea-Dweller" which maps out all the steps in the evolution of Rolex's conquest of the ocean.

1967 Helium Release Valve

The three pages below are a copy of Rolex's Patent Application for the Helium Release Valve. Notice it was originally filed on November 6, 1967.

Jose is pictured below standing in front of SEALAB 1. To learn much, much more about Jose's fascinating adventure to visit Bob Barth, and the SEALAB Museum, head over to his story on

Monday, February 24, 2020

Hosni Mubarak Belongs to the Ages

Former President of Egypt

Hosni Mubarak

Belongs to the Ages


Hosni Mubarak passed away and left behind a fascinating legacy. Mubarak is a former Egyptian President (1981-2011), Prime Minister (1981-1982), Vice President (1975-1981) and military leader in the Egyptian Air Force where he served as a Commander from 1972-1975. He was born in 1928 and was ousted from office in 2011. In the photos below we see him wearing his two-tone Rolex GMT-Master on a Jubilee bracelet. I recall also seeing photos of him wearing a Rolex Dayt-Date which I will find and add to this story in the future.

Warren Buffett Full CNBC Interview

Warren Buffett

Full CNBC Interview

Who is the wisest man in the world that wears a Rolex Day-Date? Could very well be the Oracle of Omaha, which is Warren Buffett. This interview is absolutely fascinating.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Rolex Bubble-Back Unique Queen Mary Dial

Rolex Bubble-Back

Unique RMS Queen Mary Dial

John "Crash" Moittel is a daily reader of Jake's Rolex World. He is also a Trustee of

He wrote in recently to share some fascinating insight on is RISitus condition. John said:

"Here is a very interesting item that may now be unique—and as such—may be of interest to you. It’s a Rolex “Queen Mary.” I am attaching some photos. The photos didn’t catch it, but in actuality, the name “Queen Mary” is clearly visible on the bow of the ship image."

Seeing this beauty for the first time took my breath away! To the best of my recollection, this is the earliest known "Exotic Dial" Rolex, or, in other words, Rolex dial with graphics on it.

The RMS Queen Mary Ocean Liner is pictured below as she cruises by Manhattan back in the 1930s.

John continued: 

"You seem like the most prolific and eclectic RISitus victim around my newly discovered field of interest so I’d be interested in any medications that you can recommend &/or what you think about my affliction."

RISitus, if you are not familiar with the term, stems from the term WISitus, which is a condition of sorts. "WIS" is the acronym for "Watch Idiot Savant", thus "RIS" is the acronym for "Rolex Idiot Savant". This is a condition I have happily suffered from for four decades now ;-)

John, my best advice is to "Keep Truckin'!!!". WISitus and RISitus, are some of the best conditions one can suffer from, as the cornerstone of them is The Spirit Of Inquiry, or if I am speakin' wif a cockney accent  (fink: Michael Caine), The Spirit Of Enquiry :-) Definition:

RMS Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner that sailed primarily on the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line (known as Cunard-White Star Line when the vessel entered service). Built by John Brown & Companyin Clydebank, Scotland, Queen Mary along with her running mate, the RMS Queen Elizabeth, were built as part of Cunard's planned two-ship weekly express service between SouthamptonCherbourg, and New York City. The two ships were a British response to the superliners built by German and French companies in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Queen Mary was the flagship of the Cunard Line from May 1936 until October 1946 when she was replaced in that role by Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Mary sailed on her maiden voyage on 27 May 1936 and captured the Blue Riband in August of that year; she lost the title to SS Normandie in 1937 and recaptured it in 1938, holding it until 1952 when she was beaten by the new SS United States. With the outbreak of World War II, she was converted into a troopship and ferried Alliedsoldiers for the duration of the war.

Following the war Queen Mary was refitted for passenger service and along with Queen Elizabeth commenced the two-ship transatlantic passenger service for which the two ships were initially built. The two ships dominated the transatlantic passenger transportation market until the dawn of the jet age in the late 1950s. By the mid-1960s, Queen Mary was ageing and, though still among the most popular transatlantic liners, was operating at a loss.

After several years of decreased profits for Cunard Line, Queen Mary was officially retired from service in 1967. She left Southampton for the last time on 31 October 1967 and sailed to the port of Long Beach, California, United States, where she remains permanently moored. Much of the machinery, including one of the two engine rooms, three of the four propellers, and all of the boilers, were removed. The ship serves as a tourist attraction featuring restaurants, a museum, and hotel. The ship is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has accepted the Queen Mary as part of the Historic Hotels of America.[2]

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Rolex in Japan: An Example to Follow

Rolex in Japan

An Example to Follow?

Two thousand nineteen marked an important anniversary in horology, and this one has nothing to do with the Moon. 

Fifty years ago last month, on Dec. 25, 1969, Japanese watchmaker Seiko unveiled the Astron, the world's first quartz watch, unwittingly starting what is dubbed today as the Quartz Crisis because it forced many traditional Swiss watchmakers out of business.

Half a century later, however, in one of the greatest turnarounds in the industry, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said exports to Japan have never been stronger, logging the biggest increase year-over-year for any country. 

Austin Daniels/YouTube

Swiss watch exports to Japan are up a stunning 21%, while in Hong Kong, still the biggest market in the world, it dropped 10%. 

The year 2019 was not an outlier in the Land of the Rising Sun: If we look at the past two years, Swiss watch exports to Japan increased by a mind-boggling 33%. Exports to Japan have surpassed exports to the UK and are catching up with exports to China.

So it's no surprise that watch publication HODINKEE picked Japan as its first international edition. Two months ago, it went live with, providing a mix of translated articles published on and original pieces written by Japanese watch journalists.

Fifty years after the quartz revolution nearly wiped out the Swiss watch industry with cheap quartz models, the popularity of Rolex in Japan has never been stronger even spawning new policies for buying Rolex watches.

The new policy, which started in November, restricts the number of Rolex professional models that can be purchased by one customer.

The policy was not instigated by Rolex Japan but was suggested by 20 companies that run official stores in that country. Rolex signed off on the new policy. 

The policy restricts clients to one popular professional model per year—Daytona, GMT-Master II, Submariner, Sea-Dweller, Deepsea, Explorer and Explorer II—and one reference per five years. For example, you can buy a GMT-Master II BLRO ("Pepsi") one year and a GMT-Master II CHNR ("Root beer") the next. If you want to buy two BLROs, however, you'll have to wait five years between the two.

Of course, the main purpose of this policy is to prevent buying for the purpose of watch flipping, as most Rolex professional models command a price on the grey market that is above the recommended retail price in Japan.

The new policy aims to protect the watch enthusiasts who want a Rolex in their collections and is conducted at 67 stores in Japan which share a database of purchases. Customers will have to present a photo ID when purchasing. 

An American businessman in Japan who goes by M. Bu told me recently: "I’m glad such rule exists even though I’m here for work," he said. "I hope such rule is coming to the USA."

Austin Daniels, an American who has lived in Japan for nearly 15 years, is the host of a popular channel on YouTube about Rolex and the Japanese culture. Austin told me that [before the rule] there was a sense of unfairness on the part of potential Japanese Rolex customers. And he felt a rule that limits the amount of desirable pieces a single person can buy addresses that. "It seems to be aimed at maximizing fairness," he said. "I commend Rolex for their aim." 

Should a similar rule be implanted in other countries? Let me know via Twitter or Instagram.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Amanda Holden Got Talent

Amanda Holden might not be super famous on this side of the pond, but the British celebrity—a television star, singer and writer—has hosted the show "Britain's Got Talent" since it first debuted in 2007. BGT's auditions for the 2020 season have just recently started.

Seeing a woman wearing a Daytona is always attractive, in my opinion. But what fascinated me with Amanda was that she'd rock her Daytona no matter what outfit she was wearing. Many choose a watch based on the color of the outfit; not Amanda. It seems that the Everose Gold Daytona is a perfect match for her skin and hair color.

"Britain's Got Talent" has always been a very successful show in the UK, propelling Amanda's career. The launch episode drew an average of 8.3 million people tuning in, a 45% share of the TV audience at the time.

The concept of choosing a Rolex based on your skin tone and hair color was a new concept for me. The Rolex Daytona 116505, which has a 18kt Everose gold case and bracelet, is a perfect Rolex for her, not matter her outfit, just the way the Rolex GMT-Master II with black ceramic bezel is perfect for me. What is the perfect Rolex design for you?

Amanda Holden has taken part in an episode of the British family history show "Who Do You Think You Are?" where she looked into rumored French ancestry on her mother's side of the family, uncovering a Napoleonic-era cross-Channel romance. She pieced together the story of her paternal grandfather, who tragically took his own life.

At 48, her mega-celebrity status in the UK and her beauty can't be overstated.

She has presented various British television shows including The Sun Military Awards, Superstar, This Morning, Text Santa and Give a Pet a Home. 

In 2019, she became the co-host of the Heart Breakfast radio show with Jamie Theakston. At 48, she looks half her age.

And she's definitely got talent! Headstand with a Daytona on her wrist!