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! 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

1972 Magazine Ad What Kind Of Man Spends $1,400 For A Watch?

1972 Magazine Ad

What Kind Of Man Spends $1,400 For A Watch?

Friday, July 29, 2022

Harrison Ford & Rolex...

...Rolex Super Coolness... 

Harrison Ford

Greatness Endures

The $7 Billion Man

Who is the coolest guy who ever wore a Rolex? Some would argue Steve McQueen, some would say it was Paul Newman or Robert Redford. Some would say it would have to be Sean Connery or Daniel Craig. Others might insist it was Chuck Yeager or Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

I would say, Harrison Ford may be the single coolest guy to ever wear Rolex, and if he is not, he would definitely be in the top pantheon of Rolex wearers. In my opinion, Harrison Ford is probably the greatest actor who ever lived, with the exception of Cary Grant. Harrison Ford's movies have grossed $7 Billion to date!!!

Frank Sinatra said it best, "There is something to be said for things that endure." One thing Harrison Ford and Rolex have in common is they are Legends that have both endured quite well with common adjectives coming to mind like rugged, masculine, handsome, timeless, and charismatic–just to name a few.

We see Harrison Ford pictured above wearing his Stainless Steel Rolex Datejust with a Jubilee Bracelet, and White Porcelain Dial with black  Roman Numerals as seen below.

Harrison Ford has played some of the most iconic characters in modern movie history, and as I write this he is preparing to resurrect at least two of them, including Han Solo in Star Wars 7, as well as starring in another Indiana Jones movie!!! 

Ridley Scott, the director of Blade Runner recently announced he is planning to direct Blade Runner 2, and they are currently working on developing the script. Who knows, but Harrison Ford may play Rick Decker in Blade Runner 2, which would be really cool!!!

American Graffiti


Han Solo

Star Wars 1977

Star Wars

Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo

The Original Star Wars Cast

In the photo below we see Harrison Ford (Han Solo) kissing Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), as he pushes away Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) in a promo image. Notice Harrison Ford is wearing his trademark Rolex Datejust which has a Jubilee bracelet.

Return Of Han Solo

In 2014 Lucasfilm announced they were preparing an all-new Star Wars trilogy, directed by J.J. Abrams, who, ironically directed two recent, ultra-succesful Star Trek Movies!!!

The photo below shows original Star Wars Trilogy cast members Billy Dee Williams (Age 76), Carrie Fisher (Age 56), Harrison Ford (Age 71), Peter Mayhew (Age 69)[Chewbacca The Wookie], and Mark Hamill (Age 61).  Yes, you guessed it! They all returned to their roles in the Star Wars trilogy, which began with Episode 7. Filming began in 2014, for a Summer 2015 release... And yes, John Williams (Age 81) once again was selected to create the soundtrack for Star Wars Episode 7...

Speaking of Star Wars, the video below shows Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, being interviewed, and he does a great Hans Solo impression. Mark also talked about the then upcoming Star Wars movies. It is amazing how charismatic and entertaining Mark Hamill is. What a fascinating dude!!!

Indiana Jones

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

In 2008 Harrison Ford reprised his role as Indiana Jones, in the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The four photos below are from the 2008 movie, and it seems like Harrison Ford had not even aged. 

The movie was not great, but it was great to see Harrison Ford as Indian Jones again, on the big screen.

You must admit Harrison Ford looked Great at 66 Years old!!!

If you think about it, Indiana Jones is really to closest thing there is to an American James Bond.

Blade Runner

The photo above and the two photos below of Harrison Ford were taken in 1990 and we wee him wearing his stainless steel Rolex Datejust. The two photos below show Harrsion Ford with Ray Liotta in 1990, which was the years that Ray Liotta starred in the seminal gangster film, Good Fellas.

Harrison Ford is pictured below with Brad Pitt in 1997, and we see Harrsion Ford wearing his trademark Rolex Datejust.

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.