Monday, May 16, 2022

15th Anniversary Announcement: All New 5 Volume Rolex History Book Series Coming!!!!

15th Anniversary 


Hi Everybody!

It's hard to believe I've entered my 15th straight year of publishing Jake's Rolex World @, and to celebrate this momentous occasion, I have some superb news to share with you! 

I am finally coming out with a series of Books on Rolex History!!! As we see in the graphic above there will be 5 different books and there is a description at the bottom of this story on each book.

I was originally planning to write just one book, but once I hit the 1000 page threshold I realized I would need to break up my book into multiple volumes. The book artwork above and below are the original book artwork that show the front, rear and spine of the book.

Essentially, the original book idea was about the Founding Fathers of Rolex and how they built one of the most timeless, successful and prestigious brands in history. 

As mentioned, I was originally going to write just one book, but once I began putting the book together I soon realized one book could not hold all the information, so after a great deal of analysis and contemplation I decided to break it up into 5 separate volumes that cover the entire Rolex History Arc from the beginning of timekeeping up to today. 

I have probably read every book ever written on Rolex, and I can promise you this 5 volume series will radically surpass them!!!

To date, nobody has come even close to capturing Rolex's true history, which is my solemn commitment with this series...

Volume 1: The introductory volume for this upcoming series begins with a brief overview of the history of horology and timekeeping. It then goes into great detail on the life and times of Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf. It offers all kinds of fascinating new insight on Rolex's development of the Rolex Oyster and Rolex Perpetual, and offers tremendous understanding into what made one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history (Hans Wilsdorf) tick.

Volume 2: Is focused on a Rolex executive who up until now people previously new very little about. This volume goes into detail on his background and how he began his career working for Rolex. The following is a short expert on our mystery man. 

 The Mysterious

Wizard of ROLEX

Switzerland has long been know for its mysterious neutrality, discretion and secrecy. This would include the Gnomes of Switzerland, which include Swiss bankers. But what about Rolex?

Imagine I told you there was a highly enigmatic, mysterious Swiss Marketing Wizard, responsible for the majority of Rolex’s success, including the development of the Rolex Submariner, SEA-DWELLER, Turn-O-Graph, Daytona, GMT-Master, Day-Date, Datejust, King Midas, & Tudor Monte Carlo, but nobody knows he ever existed—not even the people who run Rolex today even know much about him or would recognize a photo of him (like the one below)? 

That's right!?!! I believe out of all the people who view the photo below of the very cool mystery man, and unsung Rolex hero and marketing pioneer, with the cool aviator sunglasses nobody will recognize him!?!! If you recognize him, please prove me wrong, but I would be willing to bet not a single person who initially reads this story will recognize the man pictured below.

Mysterious Pioneering Rolex Marketing Director

What if I told you this Rolex marketing connoisseur (pictured above) was so discreet he evaded history, yet left an indelible imprint on Rolex's ethos & DNA, including the fact he was responsible for developing and bringing the following ultra-iconic Rolex watch models to market?:

  • 1945: Rolex Datejust
  • 1954: Rolex Explorer
  • 1954: Rolex Turn-O-Graph
  • 1954: Rolex Submariner
  • 1954: Rolex Millgauss
  • 1956: Rolex Day-Date
  • 1956: Rolex GMT-Master
  • 1957: Rolex President Bracelet
  • 1962: Rolex King Midas
  • 1963: Rolex Daytona
  • 1967: Rolex SEA-DWELLER
  • 1970: Tudor Monte Carlo
  • 1971: Rolex Explorer II

Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? It turns out reality IS stranger than fiction, as such a man existed, and his historical significance represents the holy grail missing Rolex nexus puzzle piece, which for the first time will be revealed and documented in great detail in this set of 5 Rolex History books...

Rolex Revelation

I must begin by thanking Dominique Jeanneret (pictured below) for sharing all of her kind assistance, gracious insight, photos and most importantly, making an indispensable contribution to this exceedingly timely and momentous Book. Dominique Jeanneret is the daughter of our previously mentioned mystery man, former Rolex Director and maverick marketing MAD MAN (literally), René-Paul Jeanneret, and she is also the goddaughter of Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf

René-Paul Jeanneret's daughter, Dominique Jeanneret 

(Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf's goddaughter) pictured above 

Dominique Jeanneret's first person accounting as a primary source with her highly insightful recollections and anecdotes regarding her father, René-Paul Jeanneret are invaluable as she witnessed many significant Rolex history events first-hand, which vividly come to life in this spectacular story...Dominique worked for Rolex U.S.A., back in the 1960s which I also cover...

Volume 3: Is ultra-fascinating, with a great deal of previously undocumented history on the development of the Rolex Professional Tool watches. All of these volumes have been very deeply researched an offer a completely new perspective on a great deal of Rolex history, as well as adding a new level of precision to the Rolex historical timeline.

Volume 4: Covers the André-Jean Heiniger reign and goes into great detail on how this maverick leader reinvented the Rolex brand and turned it into one of the most prestigious brands on earth today.

Volume 5: The last volume covers the reign of Patrick Heiniger and goes into detail on how he radically consolidated the brand, and rebuilt Rolex for the 21st Century. In this volume I also cover the history of Jake's Rolex World, and share a great deal of fascinating insight on what makes Rolex tick today.

Why I wrote this series of 5 books?

Around the time I was born, Rolex had a slogan that said “When a man has a world in his hands you expect to find a Rolex on his wrist.” 

For the first time in history, this book puts the entire history of Rolex in your hands. Every seminal moment; every key character; every epic and essential historic moment. This is Rolex history as it’s never been seen before. 

This book series will be the ultimate Rolex companion. It's hyper-engaging and will keep you enthralled for countless hours on end! If you think you’ve see it all in the world of Rolex history you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this book!!! 

This is Rolex’s story about what make them tick as well as my own Rolex journey that made me not only the metaphorical Rolex President of their fan club, but also my story of how I unearthed and shared their forgotten history in many ways...

Just to be clear, these books go far beyond everything I have published to date, and offer a much wider scope and breadth.

Print Book Size: 11 x 14 (will initially be exclusively available for purchase on

Apple Digital Book Size: 11 x 14 (will be available exclusively on the Apple Books Store, which will be viewable on any Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

The Apple Book books version look amazing and is optimized for viewing on an iPhone, so if you ever get stuck in line somewhere, time will fly by as you learn a great deal about Rolex's amazing history...

Book Style: Coffee Table Book with easy to read larger text and a zillion high quality photos. 

Chapters: 50+

Page Number: So far I am up beyond 1400 pages, and expect there to be at least 1500 pages when complete. This will break down to around 300 pages per volume.

Pricing: Yet to be determined.

Publication Date RoadmapI plan to publish both a printed paper version of my books as well as a digital version on the Apple Books platform. I think it is likely I will first publish a digital version. I also think with the digital version I will roll it out one volume per month until they are all available.

Current development status: The books are primarily complete. I am now working on fine-tuning all the amazing details.

As soon as I get closer to a first publication date, I will update this article and bring it back up to the top of If all goes as planned we could see the first volume made available digitally on Apple Books in the July 2022 timeframe.

Stefano Mazzariol Cream Colored Explorer II...

Stefano Mazzariol
Cream Colored Explorer II

This excellent photo from Stefano Mazzariol is of a first generation stainless steel Rolex Explorer II with a cream colored dial and white gold applied indices and matching hands. All later generation versions of this watch have a white dial with black applied indices with black hands.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

1962 Stein Eriksen Rolex Explorer Skiing Ad

Stein Eriksen


Rolex Explorer Skiing Ad
Winter Olympics Skiing Gold Medal Winner

Jean-Claude Killy's is the man people think of when they think of Rolex and Skiing, but the best Olympic Skier prior to Killy, was is Stein Eriksen. It is fascinating to realize that J.F.K., was the President Of The United States when this 1962 Rolex Explorer ad was published in magazines!!!

In the two photo below, we see Stein Eriken with his grandson, and we see him wearing his Rolex Explorer II.

"Be tough, be confident, but you will never be a whole person if you aren't humble."
–Stein Eriksen

Stein Eriksen was born in Norway and lived an amazing life!!! In the 1952 Winter Olympics, held in Oslo, Norway, he won the gold medal for Giant Slalom and Silver for Slalom. Stein Eriksen was born in 1927 and passed away in December 2015. The photo of him below taken at age 83!!! 

Stein Eriksen was also the first man to win three gold medals at the world championship which was held 61 years ago in Are in Sweden. He was the first skier to win Gold, in Slalom, Giant Slalom and Downhill at a single World Championship held in 1954.

Growing up Stein Eriksen was a gymnast which he incorporated into his skiing skills and he was the first skiing superstar. He is pictured below in the early 1950s. Stein Eriksen was a pioneer in modern skiing and his elegant skiing technique where he kept his legs, skis and boots together is considered to have have revolutionized freestyle skiing. 

With his gymnastics background, Stein Eriksen is renowned for inventing the freestyle skiing areal, which went on to become a freestyle skiing event.

Since Stein Eriksen was the pioneer of ariels, he must have seriously freaked-out spectators!!!

After Stein Eriken retired from professional skiing, he moved to the United States and served as the Director Of Skiing at Deer Valley Resort located in Park City, Utah.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Rolex Lume Shot of the Month!!! Michael's Espresso GMT Master...

Rolex Lume Shot of the Month!!!

Michael's Espresso GMT Master

[Reference 1675]

Friday, May 13, 2022

DRAKE A Rolex Wrist Bling Fanatic...

...Rolex Rapper...


A Rolex Wrist-Bling Fanatic

Drake is and Grammy Award winning musician, and he is considered to be one of the top recording artists today. Drake was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and was influenced by Kanye West, Jay Z, and Little Wayne.

One thing for sure, is that Drake is a Rolex fanatic of the highest order. He owns and wears many, many different Rolex watches.

Drake is pictured below wearing a vintage Rolex OysterQuartz, which is from the 1970s.

Drake is pictured below wearing a yellow gold Rolex Yacht-Master II at the NBA Finals in 2012.

The screenshot below is from Drake's music video for "The Motto", and as we see he is driving his car wearing two Rolex Watches...

The video above features Drake and Rihanna, which is one of my favorite Drake songs. Rihanna also wears many different Rolex models, and in the photo below we see her wearing a Rolex Day-Date on an Oyster Bracelet. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

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, May 11, 2022

Rolex Batman

Rolex Batman

With a long-standing love of bats, 2008 Rolex Awards for Enterprise Laureate Rodrigo Medellín has spent the past 40 years protecting these universally feared mammals that he recognizes for their crucial role in pest control, seed dispersal and plant pollination. 

Through a mix of research, education and conservation activities, the man known as “the Bat Man of Mexico” and his Programme for the Conservation of Bats of Mexico have focused on the benefits derived from bats and expanded their activities to 28 of 32 Mexican states, 22 countries from continental Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as joining forces with people in Africa and Asia. 

Medellín claims that being recognized by the Rolex Awards, a pillar of the brand’s Perpetual Planet initiative, has been a life-changer.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

1964 Rolex Swinging Ad...

1964 Rolex Swinging Ad
You're Going Into A Deep, Deep Rolex Sleep. A DEAPSEA Sleep ;-0

Monday, May 9, 2022

Robert Mitchum: A Lifetime Wearing Rolex...

...Rolex Coolness...

Robert Mitchum


Robert Mitchum in 1967 rocking his Rolex Explorer

Robert Mitchum wore Rolex watches for many years of his life. In 1962 he starred in the movie Cape Fear, and as we see below, he was wearing a Rolex. Steve McQueen is known for being the King Of Cool, and some would argue that Robert Mitchum was also the King Of Cool.

Robert Mitchum returned in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear, and in the photo below we see him wearing a stainless steel Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee Bracelet. Robert Mitchum co-starred in the remake with Nick Nolte and Robert De Niro.

Robert Mitchum is pictured below wearing a stainless steel Rolex Explorer.

Robert Mitchum's enjoyed an amazing career and starred in may famous movies. He is pictured below with Marylyn Monroe. 

The video interview below features Robert Mitchum being interviewed by Dick Cavett in 1971, and if you look closely you see Robert Mitchum sporing his Rolex Explorer. I highly recommend watching this complete interview which is amazing!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Rolex Studio Shot of the Day: Eye of the Tiger Bejeweled Cosmograph Daytona

...Rolex Studio Shot of the Day...

Eye of the Tiger

Bejeweled Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex released this magnificent bejeweled at Basel World 2019 and I have to say it is a really stunning work of art. The level of detail and craftsmanship is awe-inspiring!!! 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Rolex & Pan Am Traveling Through Time

Rolex & Pan Am


Nick Gould (@niccoloy) recently discovered this amazing Rolex film about the history of time. I love stuff like this, where it's literally like a Rolex time capsule.

Friday, May 6, 2022

The Complete History of The Rolex Thunderbird...

The Complete History of

The Rolex Thunderbird

I originally published this story a dozen years ago back on October 10th in 2008. I never updated it since then as I never saw another first generation Rolex Thunderbird until today Phillips offered one on June 8, 2020.

I discovered this Reference 6609 watch that was up for auction from Phillip's Auction House at their upcoming Geneva Watch Auction: XI on June 27, 2020.

This yellow gold Reference 6608 Rolex Thunderbird was made in 1958 and features black lacquer dial and rouletted date wheel which features the Thunderbird logo above the six o'clock marker. This fascinating combo is bathed in magnificent late populuxe Art Deco coupled with tribal American Indian style  This watch predates but is similar looking to Arab dials, yet being so archetypical in its modernity and design language. 

With its Arrowhead markers and native T-Bird logo I don’t recall ever seeing a Rolex with such a distinct American design like this, which really took me by surprise. Methinks this is one of the most beautiful Rolex watches I have EVER seen!?!! This combo features an exotic nighttime vibe, very much like dark night mode on an iPhone. 

Notice the tiny freckles randomly splashed on surface that look life microscopic random dusted rain spots?  The bezel track design with staggered lines is also very complicated and simple at the same time. 
In the photo below we see the U.S. AIR FORCE THUNDERBIRDS designation etched into the back of the case.

I have to say that one of the things I LOVE about Phillips Auction House is the level of detail they include in their auction lots online which include super-stylish wrist shots like the one of the Rolex Thunderbird seen below. The reason I love these wrist shots is they offer a superb sense of scale by showing you what the watch looks like on the wrist!

Phillips included the following Catalog Essay with this watch:

Established in 1953 at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, the Thunderbirds are one of the oldest air demonstration teams in the world and part of the U.S. Airforce. During the 1950s and 1960s, Rolex delivered a number of special order Datejusts to the Thunderbids. These timepieces were equipped with a rotating bezel and a dial that displayed the team's emblem at 6 o'clock. In fact, Rolex had produced advertisements during this period with the "Thunderbird" Datejust proudly emblazoned across.

Made for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, the present watch is spectacular in a number of ways. It most notably displays a black lacquer dial with the Thunderbird emblem at 6 o'clock. Through time, the black lacquer has aged gracefully and still remains glossy today. The luminous dots remain round, intact and have aged consistently with the hands.

The case is furthermore a sight to behold. In a stunning discovery, the caseback displays "U.S. Airforce Thunderbids" etched on the edge. A tiny bit of polishing would have rubbed this thin engraving and its existence allows collectors and scholars to understand what a "Thunderbird" wristwatch originally looked like when it was delivered. Furthermore, there is a sharp and crisp hallmark on the caseback which probably has never seen any intervention throughout its lifetime.

When I searched on I was surprised to discover they auctioned a second Reference 6609 Thunderbird Rolex back in 2019 at their Geneva Watch Auction which was stainless steel as seen below.

Below is the Catalog Essay from Philipps:

The Thunderbird, a mythical creature found in many American indigenous cultures, symbolizes strength and power and in some interpretations, creates the sound of thunder by flapping its wings. It is therefore fitting that the United States Air Force air demonstration team adopted the moniker ‘Thunderbirds’, as an obvious nod to their form of aerial acrobatics and their proximity to several Native American reservations. Established in 1953 at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, the Thunderbirds are one of the oldest air demonstration teams in the world. During the production of this particular wristwatch in 1958, the Thunderbirds flew the aircraft F-100C Super Sabre, and in 1956 they flew at a supersonic level. 

In an attempt to capture the American market with its booming post-war economy, Rolex aligned themselves with the Thunderbirds in their promotional materials, and nicknamed their reference 6609 Datejust Turn-O-Graph the ‘Thunderbird’, placing the team’s emblem directly on the dial. However, it is believed that these wristwatches with the Thunderbird emblem were never available in serial production and were instead only given to those who qualified to serve on the prestigious air demonstration team. Only one other Thunderbird with the actual Thunderbird emblem has ever been seen publicly, the other being a full 18K yellow gold version belonging to Captain Chares W. Maultsby, who flew in the right wing position for the Thunderbirds beginning in 1959, and is currently in a private collection. 

The immediate predecessor to the current reference 6609, the 6309, established what was once a watch oscillating between sports watch and casual dress watch into a definitive dress watch in the Datejust family. Advertisements of the era distinguish that the watch was only available cased fully or partially in precious metals, either yellow gold or white gold. The current example, a reference 6609 is featured with a stainless steel Jubilee bracelet and an 18K white gold engine-turned bezel separated into five minute designations. Additionally, this 6609 boasts a ‘roulette’ date wheel with alternating black and red date numerals, and a silver sunburst dial, both serving to enhance the vividly printed Thunderbird emblem at six o’clock. A beautiful patina has developed on the white gold bezel over time, so that it contrasts smartly with the stainless steel of the bracelet and silver of the dial. 

Produced only from 1956 to 1959, the present lot is an extraordinary example of the reference 6609 ‘Thunderbird’. The first and only steel reference 6609 with the ‘Thunderbird’ emblem to ever appear publicly, this is an excellent opportunity to own an important piece of both Rolex and American history.

Below is the original version of this article I published back on October 10, 2008:

The Original Rolex Thunderbird
Ultra-Rare First Generation Watch

The U.S. Air Force was born in 1947, just after World War II. Six short years later, on May 25, 1953, the Air Force developed its official air demonstration team know as the Thunderbirds. The demonstration team was activated at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, with the designation of the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit.

Since Luke Air Force base was located in Arizona, the team adopted the name "Thunderbirds" based upon the American Indian culture and folklore of the American South West. The American Indian legend said there was a great Thunderbird that was an eagle or hawk, and that when this great bird took to the sky, the earth would tremble from the thunderous power of its wings.

In 1959 Rolex developed a special Rolex Datejust for and worn by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in 18kt gold as seen below.

Photo Courtesy of Eric Ku

The vintage add below appeared in 1960 for the first Rolex Datejust Thunderbird and I typed out its text below to make it easy to read. This ad was sent in from


World's first supersonic precession aerobatic team the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds! Brilliant pilots, each is also a "scientist" with years of research to back his in-the-air mastery. Demonstrating the ultimate in precision maneuvers, with wing tips overlapping at "broom stick" clearance, their speeds range up to a spine-chilling 720 m.p.h. as the lowest altitudes. More than 21 million international spectators have seen their "Century Series" fighters go through their thrilling punishing paces... You've got to see them to believe them!

Like the aircraft of the famed "Thunderbirds," the Rolex Oyster Perpetual "Thunderbird" is an unerringly precision-dependable part of their equipment...You've go to see it to believe it!

The Thunderbird, Rolex Datejust. 18kt Gold comes with "Turn-O-Graph" bezel. 25 jewels, as identified by the Rolex Red Seal, self-winding PERPETUAL, completely protected by the famous waterproof Rolex OYSTER case. New cyclops crystal magnifies date for easy readability. With strap, $550.00, bracelet extra.

The Rolex Thunderbird Ad below is from May of 1960

Philipp's Fabulous Thunderbird

Philipp is one of the top vintage Rolex collectors in the world and he has excellent taste in Rolex watches and seems to be an advanced expert on knowing how to accessorize the watches with the best choice of bands. In the wrist shot below Philipp is sporting his ultra-rare original Rolex Thunderbird on a leather NATO with yellow gold returns.

This next ad is from the Rolex Manufactury:

A fantastic achievement!

There are over


Rolex wristlet chronometers with official rating certificates endorsed especially good results–a very high distinction in the world of watchmaking. These chronometers are equipped with the finest Breguet hairsprings.

The ROLEX MANUFACTORY has been a pioneer in manufacturing very fine watches since 1878 and is the birthplace of the marvelous micromechanical organism inside every ROLEX watch, which is entirely manufactured by ROLEX from raw materials to the finished movement.

The high-precision tools used in ROLEX MANUFACTORY are made by specialists in the company's own MICROMETAL division.

Did you know

that these same micromechanical engineers and specialist of the ROLEX MANUFACTORY and MICROMETAL also produce small, but very important, mechanical components for the steering system of a jet that flies at more than twice the speed of sound–components on whose superfine quality the life of the crew and their plane directly depends?


In the future I plan to update this story to show how the Rolex Thunderbird evolved over time...