Saturday, July 24, 2021

Rolex Coolness: General William Seawell 1981 Pan Am CEO Magazine Ad...



General William Seawell

1981 Pan Am CEO Magazine Ad

[Mocha GMT Master]


I have referred to the yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master as the Mocha GMT for many years now. There was a myth for many years that said Rolex developed the GMT Master for Pan Am pilots that the executives got jealous so Rolex made special white dialed versions for them. It is kind of ironic and neat that the CEO of Pan Am sported a yellow-gold Mocha GMT as seen in this Rolex ad from 1981.

Friday, July 23, 2021

"Why are Rolex Bracelets so special?"


Spanish Magazine Article Interview


"Why are Rolex Bracelets so special?"

I was recently interviewed by a magazine published in Spain named Fueradeserie.com about Rolex Bracelets, and the article was just published as seen below.

Adrés Moreno asked me the question:

"Why are Rolex Bracelets so special?"

I could have written a book just to answer this question, but due to time constraints I had to be terse and here is my answer to Andrés question:

"Rolex metal bracelets are a universe in and of themselves. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex originally developed solid metal Rolex bracelets as a much better alternative to leather buckle straps which would wear out much more quickly. In other words, Rolex bracelets offered a perfectly balanced Yin to the Oyster Case Yang. 

Today, Rolex’s three most iconic bracelets are the Jubilee, Oyster and President—the first of which was developed and launched three quarters of a century ago in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s Ruby Jubilee in the form of the Jubilee Bracelet on the revolutionary Rolex Datejust model.

If you study the evolution of Rolex bracelets you find they closely parallel the timeless design language of the watches themselves. Rolex’s super-iconic trademark bracelets are the result of purpose driven design coupled with perpetual refinement and innovation that have resulted in maximum comfort, elegance and utility on the wrist."

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Lume Shot Of The Year: Rolex Explorer II Orange Hand


...Lume Shot Of The Day...

Gary's Rolex Explorer II Orange Hand



I couldn't make up my mind which way I like this image cropped, so I am sharing both with you ;-)



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Earnest Hemingway Rolex Oyster Perpetual



...Rolex Writer...


Ernest Hemingway

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Today is Ernest Hemingway's birthday as well as the 60th anniversary of his passing. Ernest Hemingway is arguably one of the most loved writers of the 20th Century. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954 and the Nobel Committee his "mastery of the art of modern narration." Hemingway is famous for his terse and powerful prose which include titles like The Sun Also Rises (1926), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), as well as The Old Man & The Sea (1952).

1957 Ernest Hemingway photo by Yousuf Karsh wearing Rolex Oyster Perpetual






Below is a photo of a similar Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31MM Bubbleback dial model to what Hemingway is wearing in the photo above. My best guess is it's a Rolex Reference 6084.









Ernest Hemingway wrote about Rolex in his book Across the River and into the Trees where he compares the accuracy of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual to that of the human heart, one of which can be repaired and the other often not. Hemingway wrote:

"It's just a muscle, 'the Colonel said.' Only it is the main muscle. It works perfectly as a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. The trouble is you cannot send it to the Rolex representative when it goes wrong. When it stops, you just do not know the time. You're dead."

—Ernest Hemingway

Across the River and into the Trees (1950)



In this next photo we see Ernest Hemingway in Cuba where he had a house, photographed with Fidel Castro and both of them are wearing Rolex watches.




Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Reference 6239


...Studio Shot of the Day...

Rolex Daytona

Yellow Gold Reference 6239 


Phillip's Watches auctioned this magnificent rare yellow gold Paul Newman Daytona which is one of the most beautiful Rolex watches ever made.




Monday, July 19, 2021

Rolex Coolness: Maurice Chevalier...




Maurice Chevalier sporting his Trademark Boater Straw Hat



...Rolex Coolness...

Maurice Chevalier

France's Eternal Boulevardier 

If you are a regular reader of Jake's Rolex World you know one of my favorite things to do is update older stories with new photos and information and today I am excited to update a story I originally published 10 years ago on September 21, 2011 on Maurice Chevalier.



Maurice Chevalier in 1931 with Claudette Colbert in The Smiling Lieutenant


Nick Gould recently discovered this photo of Maurice from 1953 wearing a Rolex Datejust, and if you look closely you can see the cyclops magnifier lens on his crystal.





1964 Yellow Gold Rolex DAY-DATE 
on a Jubilee Bracelet


This 1964 Rolex ad that features Maurice Chevalier (seen below) is one of my absolute favorite vintage Rolex ads. In particular, I LOVE Rolex's timeless marketing message, which I believe captures the essence of Rolex, and it is true today!!! In other words, Maurice Chevalier's timeless message from 1964, is as true today as it was 47 years ago:

"Like a genial hotelier, Rolex has introduced me to some of the nicest people. I ask about their Rolex and they ask about mine. It's as marvelous a conversation piece as it is a timepiece." 

Maurice Chevalier (1964)



If you look closely at the watch on Maurice's wrist seen below in higher-resolution in the 1964 Rolex Magazine advertisement above you will notice he is actually wearing a ROLEX DAY-DATE model on a Jubilee bracelet, despite the fact the ad features a Rolex Datejust.


It was fairly common with earlier Rolex Day-Date models to be offered with a Jubilee bracelet and even Oyster bracelets, whereas today Rolex ONLY offer the Day-Date on a President Bracelet.


Gigi (1958)


Below is a video excerpt from the 1958 film, GiGi and features Maurice Chevalier singing Thank Heaven Girls, which is one of the absolute mode classic songs of all time.



Maurice appears on the Ed Sullivan show with Sophie Tucker and as we see the man definitely had some serious French swagger.


Maurice Chevalier is pictured below with Jazz legends, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington.


Desi Arnaz is pictured above on the left with Richard Keith and Maurice Chevalier in 1958 in "Lucy Goes to Mexico" on an episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.





Maurice Chevalier was a close friend of my family. Maurice Chevalier, for those of you who are too young to know, was a very famous French actor, singer and popular entertainer. One of his most famous songs was, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls."


Maurice Chevalier with Louis Lurie

Maurice Chavalier shared his birthday with my uncle Louis Lurie so they used to celebrate it together. Louis Lurie was an ultra-successful industrialist and owned half of downtown San Francisco. Louis Lurie was also a big Hollywood and Broadway producer. Louis Lurie was also my Grandfather Jake Ehrlich Sr's best friend for four decades.


San Francisco Mayor, George Christopher, Maurice Chevalier, Jake Ehrlich Sr.

In this photo my grandfather, Jake Ehrlich Sr., pictured front right is singing "Thank Heaven For Little Girls, with Maurice Chevalier (Front Center) and the tall gentleman to left was the then Mayor of San Francisco, George Christopher.

I have many other blogs, and one of them explores the life and times of my Grandfather Jake Ehrlich Sr., who was a very famous American Trial Attorney and businessman.

You can check out his blog at http://www.neverpleadguilty.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Rolex Day-Date in 40MM



...Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day...


Rolex Day-Date in 40MM

Platinum with Ice-Blue Dial

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Rolex Coolness: Roger Waters...




...Rolex Coolness...


Roger Waters

Legendary Founder of Pink Floyd

Rolex Submariner on Conan O' Brien Show


It's hard to believe that I originally published this story 11 years ago on December 23, 2010, but I just significantly updated it with new content. 


Roger Waters is a living musical legend, and founding member of the legendary 1970s and 1980s British rock band, Pink Floyd which was founded in 1965, and broke up twenty years later in 1985. During their time together they made music that has remained an anthem for a generation of people who grew up on it.



I recently discovered this video interview of Roger Waters from 2017 which shows him wearing a Rolex Datejust.



When Roger Waters was on the all-new Conan O'Brien show on the TBS network back in 2010 I captured the photo of him wearing sporting a stainless Rolex Submariner. It's fascinating to consider that Conan O'Brien just recently retired from his show which is sad as he is so funny and entertaining.

Roger Waters sporting a Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner was of particular interest since he historically wore a stainless steel Rolex Datejust, as seen in the images later in this story.



Roger Waters wears his Rolex watches very loose, almost like they are bracelets. I am pretty certain, Conan O'Brien's sidekick, Andy Richter also wears a stainless Rolex Submariner.




Pink Floyd Rolex

British Supergroup Pink Floyd reunited in 2005 to perform at Live8 as seen in these photos and some of the videos below. David Gilmour is pictured on the left playing his guitar. Roger Waters is pictured on the right.



Roger Waters is pictured above on the right and below sporting his trademark two-tone Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet.


It is amazing how iconic and timeless Pink Floyd's music is. In many ways Pink Floyd's music defined a generation. Enjoy, and if you are part of the generation that grew up with Pink Floyd, be prepared for a serious and magical Deja vu experience.




Separated At Birth?

American Gigolo v. Pink Floyd

1980 was a most fascinating year. Ronald Reagan was recently elected president of the United States, and the world was just really beginning to change. If you were alive in 1980, and of the age to listen to music on the radio, there were two songs that really kind of symbolize the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties. They were "Call Me" by Blondie, from American Gigolo, which starred Richard Gere, and "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, which featured Roger Waters.

In the first photo we see actor Richard Gere sporting his Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee Bracelet and in the image below we see musician and founder of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters sporting his Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet.


Richard Gere v. Roger Waters

For some reason, these two men seem to have the same vibe, especially their hairstyle and choice of Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet. As Spock would say on Star Trek, "Interesting Captain."

Friday, July 16, 2021

Rolex Macro Shot Of The Day... Gold Rolex Day-Date


...Rolex Macro Shot Of The Day...

Gold Rolex Day-Date


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Sir Jackie Stewart


Sir Jackie Stewart

Monday, July 12, 2021

40MM Rolex Day-Date Yellow Gold with Raised Roman Numerals




...Rolex Macro Shot Of The Day...

Rolex Day-Date

Yellow Gold with Raised Roman Numerals

40MM Reference 228235

One of the most elegant and classic Rolex watches is the Day-Date with a white dial with raised Roman Numerals. Rolex has been making this model with a similar dial for many decades, but the latest version in 40MM is just amazing!!!! In particular, this dial has these amazingly detailed and highly stylized markers what are very angular and art-deco.


Friday, July 9, 2021

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









How Chuck Yeager Became 


A Rolex Brand Ambassador

What can be said of a man after he has departed our world? Prince sang a profound song named Sometimes It Snows In April that has some really profound lines:

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad
So bad
Sometimes I wish that life was never ending
But all good things, they say, never last
But all good things they say, never last
And love, it isn't love until it's past 

The line 'love, it isn't love until it's past' strikes me as being on-point for this story as I feel like I am beginning to understand and appreciate—on multiple levels—Chuck Yeager's significance in the history of Rolex and the GMT-Master & beyond. History, when watched in the rear view mirror of life often appears differently than when watching it out the front windshield or side windows. In other words, history doesn't seem like history when we are living though it.



Where Have You Gone
Chuck Yeager?

Also, the line in the Simon & Garfunkel song, Mr. Robinson, about Joe DiMaggio, seems like it could easily be replaced with Chuck Yeager:



Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you
Woo, woo, woo
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
Jolting Joe has left and gone away
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

I've told Chuck Yeager's story many times and I tried to interview him many years ago, but his wife told me they were in talks with Rolex and I would have to wait until after they worked things out. That opportunity never presented itself, so everything I have discovered and showcased over the past decade and a half has come from research. I wish I had the chance to interview Yeager, but I now feel obligated since this profound new information seen below came in to perhaps complete his Rolex history puzzle. Basically, this new information has caused me to take apart and reconstruct or 'Overhaul' my Chuck Yeager story. When I feel his story is rebuilt & significantly enhanced in the next few days I will remove this notice.


This story covers the history of General Chuck Yeager and showcases much of his Rolex history. In early July of 2021, I received the most interesting insight from a reader of Jake's Rolex World who wrote it to share some super fascinating anecdotes regarding Yeager and Rolex:



I will let William Schrank share this story in his own words:

Hi Jake,

Being a pilot myself and very interested in flying and aviation I avidly read many articles about pilots and flying. I had read several about Gen Yeager and I would often see him wearing a Rolex.

At the time, as you well know, all of the high end magazines had Rolex watch advertisements in them. Usually they featured golf pros, sports figures, or airline pilots or scuba divers being spokespersons for Rolex. So I thought it would be cool if Rolex paid tribute to Gen Yeager by doing an advertisement about him. So I sent a letter proposing this to Rolex HQ. 

You will see the letter they sent back in the attachment (pictured above).

Interestingly enough, and in true Rolex fashion, two years later the ad I have included in the attachment showed up in AOPA Pilot magazine.
Guess the time wasn’t right when I wrote in, lol.

Take care and keep the Rolex information coming!!

Regards,
Bill

Below is the first Rolex Chuck Yeager magazine advertisement that appeared on April of 1987 that William Schrank saw two years after his request letter to Rolex to nominate Chuck Yeager to become a Rolex Ambassador, which he saved and is sharing for this story.



Here is where the story gets even MORE interesting! 

Once again, I will share William Schrank's words:

Hi Jake,

I have always been impressed by Gen Yeager.  After buying and reading his first autobiography I wanted to get an autographed copy. So I took a chance and sent the book to him asking him to autograph it and a letter asking him about his Rolex wearing. I was amazed when some weeks later the signed book arrived and a little later the note arrived (pictured below). I have included a copy of the envelope the note came in. You will see it was dated November 17, 1992. I have always cherished the note and in fact I have it framed on my wall.

I was not lucky enough to know him other than that. However,  I did see him and talk to him briefly at the EAA airshow in Oshkosh WI years later (about 1996 or 1997). He was doing a forum with Bob Hoover. Later, my young son and I were walking around looking at planes and he happened to walk by. My son asked him for his autograph and Gen Yeager signed my sons T shirt and wrote on the back “kick me”. He was wearing a GMT-Master II at that time.

Regards,
Bill Shrank

Chuck Yeager's Rolex letter to Bill Shrank is absolutely fascinating as it sheds substantial light on Yeager's previously undocumented relationship with Rolex. In particular, the Post Script below Yeager's signature where he says "I have been working with Rolex since 1946". This is profound as Chuck Yeager broke the speed of sound record in 1947, which was a YEAR AFTER he started 'working with Rolex'!?!!




Below is my original story on Chuck Yeager which I am working on significantly updating and expect to have it done in the next few days.:





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

Belongs To The Ages
1923-2020


The Right Stuff

First Pilot To Break The Speed Of Sound

8 Decades Wearing Nothing But Rolex

Chuck Yeager was 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 in 1947. Chuck passed away today at age 97. The superb GMT-Master Rolex ad below features Chuck wearing a his Pepsi GMT-Master and appears courtesy of AdPatina.com. One could easily argue Chuck Yeager was the living embodiment and personification of the Rolex GMT-Master.



The photo below shows Chuck Yeager, Commander of the 1ST Fighter Day Squadron at George Air-Force Base in 1958 climbing into the cockpit of his F-100 Super Sabre. This is the earliest documented image of him wearing a Rolex GMT-Master which brings many questions to mind. In particular, what if any was his role in developing the GMT-Master with Rolex?


Nick Gould, the super-talented horological journalist and researcher was the first to identify Yeager wearing a GMT-Master in the photo below which 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 I had previously published 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 which we will examine later in this fascinating story. 

The discovery of Yeager wearing a GMT-Master back in 1958 lends significant potential credence to the idea he was the leader of The Right Stuff and influenced many other test pilots and Astronauts to wear Pepsi GMT-Master models, including 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.



In the photo below we see CBS News Anchor, Walter Cronkite interviewing then Colonel Chuck Yeager at Edwards Air Force Base in California on September 24, 1962 and again we see Chuck rocking a GMT-Master, but this time it features pointed crown guards.







In this next photo from 1986 we see Chuck Yeager wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master.













Was Chuck Yeager Involved

with the GMT-Master Design?


All Original 1955 Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master Courtesy of John Goldberger



The GMT-Master is one of Rolex's most iconic watches, but where exactly did it come from? What was its impetus?

1955 Rolex GMT-Master Advertisement 


When I work on these detailed Rolex history stories for decades, sometimes we discover fascinating puzzle pieces that were hiding in plain sight the whole time. One example of this is the question:


 GMT-Master Development

1953 to 1954 Timeframe

How was Chuck Yeager involved in the original design of the Rolex GMT-Master if at all? Let's hop in the Rolex Time Machine and travel back to 1953 and take a look around. According to the best historical record, Rolex launched the Rolex Submariner in 1953 at Basel Fair in Switzerland. Rolex had been testing Rolex Submariner prototypes with legendary explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau beginning in early 1953. In my opinion, based on all the evidence I have seen to date, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was not only the living manifestation and living embodiment of the Rolex Submariner but clearly worked with Rolex in the development of the super-iconic diving tool watch.  


Chuck Yeager is pictured below in 1958 rocking his "Big-Crown" Rolex Submariner, which is interesting. One detail nobody ever talks about—which I believe is worth considering—is the link between the Submariner and the GMT-Master. Essentially, they are remarkably similar watches, and the GMT-Master is clearly derivative of the Submariner as it was developed and came to market a year later.




In the photo below we see a super-high-resolution close-up of Chuck Yeager's 'Big-Crown' Submariner [Reference 6538], which is the same Rolex Submariner model Elvis Presley wore in Girls, Girls, Girls (1962), and Sean Connery wore in Dr. No (1963).




Nick Gould and I were recently discussing this story and had a huge epiphany when we did some basic math. Look at the 1953 signed photo below from Chuck Yeager to Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf and it shows Yeager standing in front of the Bell X-1A which he flew at Mach 2 which 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.



The curios detail in the above singed photo is it was addressed to Rolex's founder, Hans Wilsdorf. The text suggests Yeager is complimenting Wilsdorf on his brilliant design and marketing acumen, which is highly suggestive that he is referring to the development of the GMT-Master.

Then we see this next signed photo from Chuck Yeager to Rolex which is dated May 27, 1954 which was first published on Jake's Rolex World.




More Than Just A Coincidence

What do the 1953 and 1954 hand-signed photos to Hans Wilsdorf and Rolex signify? According to the Rolex history record, the Rolex GMT-Master was introduced in 1954, which would loan a great deal of credence and direct evidence to suggest Chuck Yeager was involved with Rolex in the development of the GMT-Master.


Nick Gould said to me "I believe the Blue and Red GMT-Master bezel was based upon the instrumentation panel of the horizon indicator in airplanes.


Below is a photo of an Attitude Indicator (AI), which is one of the essential six basic instruments pilots rely upon in every aircraft. The Action Item communicates the aircraft's relation to the horizon, which looks remarkably similar to the GMT-Master Blue and Red bezel, or on the more recent 'Batman' GMT-Master which is Blue and Black.


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. 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.




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!?!?

I just stumbled upon this INCREDIBLE interview with General Yeager that I had never seen before and it not only offers tremendous insight into his brilliance but also give great understanding of his technical and mathematical genius. Enjoy!!




Chuck Yeager


Historical Background

To best understand Chuck Yeager's place in the history books, let's hop in the Rolex Time Machine and go back to explore his lifetime achievements.







Chuck Yeager is pictured below with then U.S. President Harry Truman in the oval office in the White House in Washington D.C. Chuck Yeager wore Rolex watches for 8 decades...interesting












Where have you gone, Chuck Yeager?
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you
Woo, woo, woo
What's that you say, Glamorous Glennis?
The Right Stuff has left and gone away
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey



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