Sunday, July 31, 2022

Bill Russell: The Greatest Basketball Player In History


Bill Russell

The Greatest Basketball Player In History

Belongs to the Ages

Bill Russell, who was one of my childhood heroes passed away today at the age of 88. Russell was arguably the greatest NBA basketball player in history, and certainly the winningest having been an 11 time NBA champion. 

Russell was also the first black basketball player in the NBA and was a major role model. Nick Gould discovered this superb photos of Russell, rocking his yellow gold Rolex Day-Date.

I will never forget, when I was a kid (more than 40 years ago), Bill Russell was interviewed on 60 Minutes, but Morley Safer. I remember Morley asked Bill: 

"Many professional athletes these days have drug and alcohol addictions. Did you ever experiment with drugs?"

Russell responded:

"You know Morley, that's an interesting question, as my two sons asked me the same question to which I responded 'No. I have not tried drugs, which are stupid. There is something to be said for living life at its own speed.'"

For some reason, Bill's eternal words have stuck with me to this day, and I often remember them! 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Dark Chocolate Daytona Rose Gold with Ceramic Bezel

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

Dark Chocolate Daytona

Rose Gold with All-New Ceramic Bezel

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Rolex President Bracelet On Professional Models?


Rolex President Bracelet

On Professional Tool Watches?

On Jake's Rolex World one of the things I specialize in is separating fact from fiction. This story is a little different, in the sense we are taking a look at two famous men who wore Rolex watches and shared a Bizarre habit: They customized their Rolex Professional Models by putting a Rolex President bracelet on them. 

Just to be clear, Rolex NEVER offered this option, but somehow both of these famous men figured out a way to achieve this. The first image shows Robert Culp, who starred in the tv show, I SPY, and in the photo below discovered by Nick Gould we see him rocking his yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master on a President bracelet.

This next photo shows Paul Newman rocking his stainless steel Rolex Daytona on a white gold Rolex President Bracelet, which is definitely an interesting and unusual look...

What do you make of this? Were these Kings of Cool on to something great, like the combination of peanut-butter and jelly, or was it sacrosanct—like putting a Cadillac emblem of the front of a Mercedes-Benz?

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

More than 60 Years of Rolex and Equestrianism

More than 60 Years of Rolex and Equestrianism 

Through its support of the finest international riders, competitions and institutions, Rolex has been a long-standing supporter of equestrianism, encouraging the global development of the sport. This enduring commitment is based on a rich heritage stretching back more than 60 years, starting with Rolex’s relationship with pioneering British Olympian Pat Smythe. 

The brand is a founding partner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s ultimate prize, which is awarded to any rider who, consecutively, wins the Grand Prix at three of the four Majors: The Dutch Masters, the CHIO Aachen, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, and the CHI Geneva. Rolex’s partnerships with key figures in the equestrian community – Steve Guerdat, Scott Brash, Kent Farrington, Rodrigo Pessoa and Isabell Werth to name a few – run across generations and span the globe, enabling knowledge and experience to be shared. 

As part of this perpetual process of growth and constant improvement, Rolex supports the Young Riders Academy which nurtures future talent.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Rolex Submariner Surfing Safari

 Rolex Submariner

Surfing Safari

What's as cool/rad as a Rolex Submariner in the life aquatic? Is this a trick question, you ask!?!! Nope. The answer is SURFING. As The Beach Boys sang: 

Let's go surfing now, everybody's learning how, come on and safari with me...

Rolex's history with surfing is fascinating. In the past they used to give out Rolex watches for participants who won Surfing championships. Nick Gould did some research and discovered they used to give lady surfers Datejust models, and men Submariner models as we see below with World Champion Surfer, Shaun Tomson.

A Rolex Submariner is the ultimate Surfing watch, and even though it was originally intended to be a diving watch, it is the ULTIMATE all-around watch for the life aquatic. Below is a fascinating Rolex Surfing ad from 1972 featuring a single red Submariner, which I recently discovered. Notice it is from Buenos Aires, Argentina...The two Rolex Surfing ads below are the ONLY ones I have ever seen, which leads me to believe that Rolex didn't think it was a lucrative market to advertise to, but damn they are COOL :-) In particular, I LOVE the illustration of the surfer on this first vintage Rolex ad...

A reader on the @Rolex.Magazine Instagram page mentioned the surfer in the add looks like Tom Cruise, with a short neck.

 Single Red Submariner 

[Reference 1680]

Rolex made the Single Red Submariner from 1967 to 1976. The Single Red designation came from the Single Red SEA-DWELLER which was developed to be tested in prototype for early 1967. Below we see another Rolex Submariner ad from the 1970s.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Complete History Of The Rolex Cyclops

The Complete History 

The Rolex Cyclops

Date Window Magnifier

One of Rolex's biggest surprises this year—and the most controversial among Rolex enthusiasts—was the addition of a magnifying glass, or Cyclops, to its new Sea-Dweller model. Since we are on the subject, have you ever wondered what the history of the Rolex Cyclops magnifier date window lens was? 

The Rolex Cyclops represents one of the most iconic and quintessential trademark Rolex design language characteristics. 

It is interesting to note the Rolex Cyclops was an innovative feature, designed to enhance an innovative feature. The idea is that the small date aperture window was not so easy to see and that by adding a 2.5 times magnifier window to the crystal, it would be much easier to read.

Rolex is the greatest innovator in the history of the mechanical wristwatches. That being said, perhaps Rolex's most outstanding innovation was the advent of the Oyster case in 1926, which was the first truly waterproof wristwatch case. I can't emphasize how innovative figuring out how to make waterproof watches was. In doing so, Rolex revolutionized watches forever...

Rolex quickly followed up with patenting the Rolex Perpetual movement in 1931, which was the first wristwatch that automatically wound itself.


One of Rolex's next major innovations came in the form of the Rolex Datejust model, which was the first watch in history to feature a date aperture window complication. The photo below shows the first Datejust model, which Rolex introduced in 1945. 

The 1945 Rolex Datejust pictured above and below was loaded with new Rolex innovations that went beyond the date window, including the Rolex Jubilee bracelet. The bracelet was named Jubilee, as it represented Rolex's 40th year in business. The term Jubilee in marriage parlance/nomenclature is typically referred to as the Ruby Jubilee. (FYI, this is the same as the 25th being referred to as the Silver Anniversary, or the 50th anniversary being referred to as the Golden Anniversary.)

There are some other interesting historical takeaway points to note in the photos above. The 1945 Datejust was the first Rolex to feature solid end-links. Also, notice the watch does NOT yet feature the "Datejust" dial designation. This first Datejust model was named  Datejust; it just didn't have the designation on the watch dial.

Notice the date wheel has the date printed in red to make it stand out better. Also, notice there is no Cyclops date magnifier on this first Datejust. Rolex first introduced the Cyclops magnifier lens feature on the Datejust model at Basel Fair in 1948. The name Cyclops came from the mythological Greek one-eyed monster. 

It is believed Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf developed the Cyclops as his second wife, Betty Wilsdorf-Mettler had a difficult time reading the date on his Datejust. 

Betty Wilsdorf-Mettler (Second Wife of Hans Wilsdorf)

Hans Wilsdorf was very fastidious and used to spend an unusual amount of time getting ready in his bathroom in the morning—sometimes more than an hour. As the story goes, Hans Wilsdorf's wife heard him shouting "I got it, I got it!!!" It turns out when Hans Wilsdorf was washing with his hands a drop of water landed on his Rolex Datejust crystal directly over the date aperture window and he noticed it magnified the date. Hans Wilsdorf went into work and had a watchmaker glue a small magnifying glass over the date wheel, and the Rolex Cyclops Date window magnifier was born. Below is copy of the Rolex Patent (CH 298953) which was originally filed in 1952.

In a letter written in 1953 Hans Wilsdorf wrote: 

"I am convinced that the new tropical case with the new crystal, and the optical magnification, will give us something new." —Hans Wilsdorf

In 1955 Rolex issued a press release that said:

"To all watchmakers: we draw your attention to the fact that the watch crystal with the specially shaped magnifying glass lens is a Rolex exclusivity protected in Switzerland and abroad. We will not hesitate to instigate legal proceedings against any counterfeiting."

Hans Wilsdorf is pictured below wearing his trusted Rolex Datejust. For the record, I have never seen a photo of Hans Wilsdorf wearing any Rolex model other than a Datejust, which makes me believe it was his crowning achievement and likely favorite Rolex watch.

This innovative feature made it much easier to view the date. This early Datejust was also the first to feature the now classic fluted bezel design. So let's get in the Rolex Time Machine and travel back to the late 1940s and take a look around.

Rolex gave General Eisenhower the 150th Officially Certified Swiss Chronometer Rolex, which is pictured below. When they gave it to him in 1948, it lacked a Cyclops date magnifier window. 

In 1953, when Eisenhower sent the watch in for servicing, it came back with not only the updated Cyclops magnifier window, as seen below, but also with an updated dial.

The Rolex Datejust brochure pictured below belonged to Dwight Eisenhower and I discovered it in the Eisenhower Presidential Library archives. Note there is no Cyclops date window on the crystal.

Vintage Rolex crystals were made out of acrylic had the Cyclops lens molded into the crystal structure, so it was not removable. 

When Rolex switched over to using synthetic sapphire crystal, the Cylops lens was manufactured separately and later glued to the sapphire crystal. In 2005 when Rolex introduced the 50th Anniversary GMT-Master, they added a new feature that used anti-reflective coating on the bottom of the Cyclops, which made it even easier to read.

Photo appears courtesy of Matthew Becker

Historically, all Rolex professional watches that featured the date function included a Cyclops date magnifier window, with the last holdout being the 40MM SEA-DWELLER, which was recently replaced with the 43MM Single Red SEA-DWELLER which added the Cyclops. As of this writing Rolex still makes the DEEPSEA SEA-DWELLER which also lacks a Cyclops.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Rolex Triple Date Chronograph The Most Complicated Rolex Ever Made

Rolex Triple Date Chronograph 
The Most Complicated Rolex Ever Made
[Reference 6236]

The Rolex 6236 Triple-Date Chronometer is a beautifully designed complicated Rolex. The thing that surprised me when I first saw one in person was how small it was!!! I was expecting it to me like a modern Rolex Daytona at 40mm but it could not have been more than 36mm. If Rolex were to bring this beauty back to life and add a moon phase, that would be one really cool watch!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Roger Moore James Bond Live & Let Die

Roger Moore

James Bond

Live & Let Die

This is a really funny photo of Roger Moore on the set of the James Bond Movie, Live and Let Die which was shot in the early 1970s. Notice Roger is wearing his Rolex Submariner...

Rolex Submariner LV Cerachrom Bezel, 18Kt Green Gold Dial

...Studio Shot Of The Day...

Rolex Submariner LV

Cerachrom Bezel, 18Kt Green Gold Dial

[Reference 116610LV]

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Athina Onassis Ladies Datejust...

Alexander Onassis

Rolex GMT-Master

In the photos below we see Alexander Onassis who was Aristotle's son rocking his Rolex GMT-Master, which was discovered by Nick Gould.

In the photo below we see Aristotle Onassis who Alexander's father as well as being an ultra successful Greek Shipping Tycoon.

Alexander Onassis died young at age 24 in a small airplane accident.

...Rolex Hotness...

Athina Onassis

Ladies 34MM Rolex Datejust Special Edition

Since we just looked at Alexander Onassis I thought it would make sense to take a look at Athina Onassis Roussel is the maternal granddaughter and only surviving descendent of legendary Greek shipping magnate, Aristotle Onasis.  Athina is a competitive show jumper, and as we see in the photos below Athina wears a ladies 34MM Datejust Special Edition. It appears Athina has two different models of the same Rolex watch, one with a dark dial, and one with a light dial.

Aristotle Onassis
Athina's Grandfather

The photo below shows Athina's maternal grandfather, Aristotle Onassis in 1969 watching the World Series, with his wife, Jackie Onassis, along with her children, Caroline and JFK Jr. Ironically Caroline Kennedy wears a Rolex today, and Aristotle Onasis gave JFK Jr., a Paul Newman Exotic Dial Daytona.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Studio Shot Of The Day: Roberto's Pre-Daytona Rolex Chronograph

...Studio Shot Of The Day...

Roberto's Pre-Daytona Rolex Chronograph

Notice the tachymeter scale on this vintage Rolex chronograph is on the outside of the dial, as apposed to the Daytona which has it on the outer bezel.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Eddie Braun: Pro Hollywood Stuntman



What's the ultimate resistance test a Rolex Explorer can be put through? Hiking a mountain top? Skiing down its slopes? Repelling? River rafting? How about being strapped to the wrist of a Hollywood stunt double, day after day. 

"Stuntman-tested tough." That's Eddie Braun's description of his Rolex Explorer when I interviewed him. Despite his good looks and stunning eloquence, Eddie is the face we never see on movie screens. And though you can win an Oscar for playing a stuntman, you can't win one for being one. 

Eddie has doubled for Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, Lee Majors, Chuck Norris, to name a few, in a prolific career spanning four decades. You know you're tough when Chuck Norris calls you to be his stunt double. 

"My Explorer has been totally covered in blood at times. But clean it off and she is good to go," Eddie told me. He wears the watch "pretty much every single day." It's true: I've reviewed B-rolls of Eddie's stunts, and it's not unusual to catch a glimpse of that stainless steel Oyster bracelet as he gets pulled from a crash. 

Eddie recently turned 60 but looks 10 years younger. It's probably because he hangs around Hollywood stars all day. 

His seemingly endless list of action credits range from 1980 television classics like The Dukes of Hazzard; The Fall Guy; Magnum, P.I.; Walker, Texas Ranger to big-production films including Transformers, The Avengers, The Green Hornet, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Moneyball, to name a few. In 2002 Eddie was nominated for a Taurus World Stunt Award for best stunt coordination for the film Rush Hour 2.

That's Eddie in the car above (and below) for a stunt scene for the movie "The Player." And a still shot of the final product. Another day at the office.

So, is Eddie Braun a one-watch guy? "I own several other watches, like Pateks and such," Eddie told me. "But I almost never wear them. I always wear my trusty workhorse Rolly." Then he added: "To say I love this watch is an understatement." 

One of the most famous stuntmen in Hollywood loves wearing an Explorer. Can there be higher praises for the product? 

Below, Eddie's actual Rolex Explorer. I made the small edit because I love that Eddie doesn't baby his watch. That makes it more of a family heirloom in my opinion.

Eddie remains long friends with the actors he has doubled for. After all, he has literally taken the fall for them. 

Eddie showed me the caseback of his vintage Rolex Explorer. The timepiece was gifted to him by Charlie Sheen after Eddie did a dangerous stunt sequence – twice – from the 21st floor while doubling on the actor’s thriller “Shadow Conspiracy.” Engraved on the back: “Eddie, You da man. Love and Peace, Charlie.”

Most recently, Eddie has worked as a stuntman for the Magnum P.I. reboot. Eric Norris, son of Chuck Norris, is the stunt coordinator for the TV series that will start shooting its fifth season this fall.

Rocket Man

In 2016 Eddie became the only man to ever jump across Idaho’s Snake River Canyon in a rocket, a stunt that his childhood idol, Evel Knievel, attempted but failed in 1974 when he crashed into the river after his parachute deployed too early. Soaring 3,000 feet into the air at about 450 miles per hour, a Rolex Explorer on his wrist, there was a 50-50 chance that Eddie would not survive. 

Slash, the famous guitarist from "Guns N Roses," made a special rendition of "Rocket Man" for Eddie for the occasion.

Eddie has four kids, including one son who is the oldest. "It was my one request had I been blown to bits in the rocket," Eddie told me. "I asked the rescue team to look for the watch for my son regardless of what shape my body was in."

A Disney Plus original documentary produced by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia follows Eddie and his team as he prepares for that stunt, widely considered the most dangerous stunt in cinematic history. 

Spoiler alert: My interview took place after the jump, so you can guess the outcome. Still, the one-hour-and-twenty-seven-minute documentary is superbly made and not without an edge-of-your-seat build-up as we are taken on a stuntman's journey, a Rolex Explorer firmly strapped on the wrist.