Saturday, October 17, 2020


Rolex X-Files

The Right Stuff

Walter Cunningham

Rolex Daytona & Rolex GMT-Master

Nick Gould's recent surprise discovery of NASA Apollo Astronaut Wally Schirra wearing a Rolex Daytona took me by surprise. 

I was taking with Nick about the other NASA Apollo 7 Astronaut who wore a 'Paul Newman' Rolex Daytona which was Walter Cunningham. Cunningham's 1966 Rolex Daytona [Reference 6239] is pictured below in a photo from when it was auctioned by Christie's Auction House back in 2013 for 245,000 CHF.

Walter Cunningham is pictured below wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master. It is fascinating to note two NASA Apollo 7 team members were not only both named Walter (Schirra & Cunningham) but both also wore a Pepsi GMT-Master and a Rolex Daytona!?!! I mean, what are the odds??? Reality really is stranger than fiction!?!!

Walter Cunningham joined the U.S. Navy in 1952 and went on to become a fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 to 1956, where he flew a total of 54 missions in Korea as a night fighter. He went on to get a PhD in physics from UCLA and worked for the RAND Corporation before he was selected to become a NASA Astronaut.

Walter Cunningham was selected by NASA as part of the third group of astronauts in 1963. Walter was the Lunar Module Pilot aboard Apollo 7, which was launched from Cape Canaveral on October 11, 1968. Apollo 11 was the first manned Apollo mission and it lacked a Lunar Module, but was a test-run for all the upcoming Apollo missions.

The official NASA caption for the image below reads: "Apollo 7 astronauts (l-r) Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, and Walter M. Schirra, Jr., compare notes at a mission debriefing conducted today at the Kennedy SpaceCenter. October 23, 1968. Notice Apollo 7 Astronaut Wally Schirra is wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master.

This next photo was also taken on October 23, 1968 shows Wally Schirra with fellow Apollo 7 Astronaut, Walter Cunningham, and we see Schirra rockin' his GMT-Master.