Saturday, July 18, 2020

Rolex Super Coolness: Chuck Yeager An Amazing Career...



The Complete History Of The Rolex GMT-Master


Rolex X-Files

...Rolex Supersonic Coolness...

General Chuck Yeager
Record Setting U.S. Air Force Test-Pilot


The Right Stuff

First Pilot To Break The Speed Of Sound

8 Decades Wearing Nothing But Rolex

Chuck Yeager is one of the greatest pilots that ever lived, and is most famous for being the first to break the speed of sound barrier in level flight. The superb GMT-Master Rolex ad below features Chuck wearing a his Pepsi GMT-Master and appears courtesy of AdPatina.com.



My pal, Nick Gould, the super-talented horological journalist and researcher recently made an astonishing discovery as seen in the photo below. This photo shows Chuck Yeager in 1962 wearing a previously undocumented Rolex GMT-Master Reference 6542 with no crown guards and a bakelite bezel insert!!! 




The supreme irony is that I had previously shown the photo below of Chuck Yeager wearing the same watch in 1962, but I had mistaken it as a Submariner as he had also worn a big crown Submariner. The discovery of Yeager wearing a GMT-Master back in the early 1960s lends potential credence to the idea that he was the leader of The Right Stuff and influenced many other test pilots and Astronauts to wear Pepsi GMT-Master models, although I have previously documented Scott Crossfield who was a pioneering U.S. Navy Test Pilot who was the first pilot to fly at twice the speed of sound, and I was able to document him wearing a GMT-Master back in 1959.



Notice the number on the tail of Chuck Yeager's is 6062, which is the same Reference Number as my favorite Rolex Moonphase [Reference 6062].


The photo above is cropped from the photo below which is mind-boggling if you click on it and check out the detail. It was taken in 1947 and is a photo of Chuck Yeager haulin' in his X-1.


In October 1947, at Edwards Air Force Test Center, Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager forever changed history, when he was the first pilot to fly faster than the Speed of Sound.



And, yes, you guessed it! Chuck Yeager was wearing his Rolex Oyster Perpetual wrist-watch, that he purchased himself. So what does this mean? What kind of man would wear a Rolex Oyster Perpetual in such an environment?

A few days prior to his record flight, Yeager was seriously injured in a horseback-riding accident and suffered two broken ribs. The injury would jeopardize his flight status resulting in the removal from the mission. Scared, he went to a veterinarian for treatment and only told his wife about the accident. He also told his friend and fellow project pilot, Jack Ridley about the accident.

Yeager, on the day of the record flight, had trouble manipulating the closure of the X-1's hatch, and could not seal it properly. His pal, Jack Ridley, improvised a clever leverage device made from a broom handle, to assist Yeager with sealing the hatch, thus, allowing him to break the "speed of sound" record.

Chuck Yeager was so impressed with his Rolex, he sent an autographed picture (seen below) of his record flight to Rolex in Geneva. For the record, this is the first time this signed photo, from General Chuck Yeager, to Rolex, has ever been published. (And remember, you are seeing it for the first time here on Jakes Rolex World!!!)



In this next photo we see a second signed photo from Chuck Yeager and this time it is made out to Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf and it reads:

 "To: Hans Wilsdorf. If you should build airplanes, they would be the FASTEST in the world! —Charles E. Yeager, Lt/Col U.S.A."




Rolex Coolness: Chuck Yeager

Now & Then

Recently I have been going through the archive and I noticed how similar these two images of Chuck Yeager are. In the photo below taken in the early 1990s Chuck is wearing another Pepsi GMT-Master, but this time it's a Reference 1675.



Chuck is wearing a Coke GMT in the photo above and in the photo below taken more than a 60 years ago in 1958, he is wearing his big crown, no-crown-guard Submariner [Reference 6538] with the lollipop second hand and the orange triangle "carrot-top" bezel insert.

I have been wearing Rolex for more than thirty five years, but Chuck is going on at least his 71st year of wearing Rolex!!! DeBeer's slogan is "A Diamond Is Forever." Maybe Rolex should adopt a similar slogan!!! A Rolex Is Forever!?!?





IF YOU ENJOY JAKE'S ROLEX WORLD BE CERTAIN TO CHECK OUT JAKE'S OTHER BLOGS: