Thursday, January 05, 2023

Clyde Beatty 1964 Datejust Ad


Clyde Beatty

1964 Datejust Ad 

Circus Impresario 

Lion Tamer with Two Tiger Cubs

One of my absolute favorite aspects of journaling Rolex history is discovering brilliant vintage ads that had previously disappeared into the abyss. In other words, I think vintage Rolex ads are often times even more interesting than the Rolex watches featured in them. Every so often I discover a vintage Rolex ad that takes my breath away and this is one of them. There is something so cool about the overall composition of this ad I recently acquired that make sit so cool looking. As I have mentioned before, I perceive these vintage ads as being high-art in and of themselves.

1964 Clyde Beatty Rolex Datejust Magazine Ad

Another one of my favorite things to do when exploring vintage Rolex ads is to do a deep dive into the backstory behind the person featured in the ad, which often times offers me a fascinating history lesson and this ad is no exception. Let's begin by examining a photo that Nick Gould discovered that features Clyde Beatty wearing his Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee Bracelet. In the photo below we see Clyde Beatty with Prince Rainier of Monaco along with his son, daughter and beautiful wife, Princess Grace of Monaco with Clyde Beatty pictured on the far right rocking his Datejust which is featured in the 1964 Rolex ad seen above.

What can be said of a man long after he has departed the living world? That he left the world having made it a better place than when he entered it? That he made a significant contribution to mankind's understanding of the world we still share? Or, as Saroyan brilliantly said:

"In the time of our life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." 

—William Saroyan 

(Pulitzer Prize winner who wrote: The Time of Your Life, 1939)

Clyde Beatty was born in 1903 in Bainbridge, Ohio and passed away at age 62 in 1965 in Ventura, California. Clyde was a famed animal trainer, actor, circus mogul, and zoo owner. 

Clyde Beatty stood 5 foot 6 inches and was nicknamed  'Scrap-Iron Shorty' was the first lion tamer to be featured in a circus and was best known for his 'fighting Act' where he would enter the cage only equipped with a chair, whip, pistol on his hip and a tremendous amount of courage and confidence. 

I was not familiar with Clyde Beatty until I saw his really cool 1964 Rolex ad featured toward the top of this story, but researching and sharing his career achievements has been fascinating. My takeaway from this story is that he personally exhibited many of the characteristics that make a Rolex a Rolex which are strength, value, competent, timelessness, elegance and precision.