Thursday, October 27, 2022

Rolex to Chair Watches & Wonders Foundation




This is such big news I had to borrow HODINKEE's Breaking News header again!

In a press release this morning Watches and Wonders said it is creating its own foundation.
Jean-Frédéric Dufour

The largest watch event of the year will be managed by a foundation board with Rolex CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour serving as Chairman. Emmanuel Perrin, the head of Specialist Watchmakers at Richemont, will be Vice-Chairman.

It also announced this morning 11 more brands will be joining Watches & Wonders Geneva in 2023, bringing the total to 49. It set the date to the week of March 27 to April 2nd, 2023, and said the first five days will be exclusively reserved to the media and pros while April 1st and 2nd will be open to the public.

Matthieu Humair, current CEO of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), will become the CEO of the Watches and Wonders Geneva Foundation.

Rolex CEO being chairman of the new non-profit foundation is excellent news. Watches & Wonders is the biggest watch show in the world since the demise of Baselworld. Mr. Dufour has said Rolex's mission is the "perpetual pursuit of excellence." 

The new foundation, WWGF, announced their mission is “to promote watchmaking excellence throughout the world by organizing in-person or digital watch and jewelry exhibitions, in Geneva and beyond.”

So, to Geneva and beyond!


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Swan Cup...

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Swan Cup 

Elite monohull events on the beautiful Costa Smeralda

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, hosts two celebrated regattas renowned for their sailing excellence and camaraderie. The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is the flagship annual competition for Maxi monohulls. These powerful yachts are crewed by the world’s best skippers and highly skilled athletes in a week-long series of races. 

In 2022, the 32nd edition attracted a fleet of 50, competing in six categories. The winners were: Highland Fling XI in Maxi, Vesper in Mini Maxi 1, Svea in J Class, Shamanna in Supermaxi, Capricorno in Mini Maxi 2 and H20 in Mini Maxi 3/4. This beautiful Mediterranean setting is also home to the biennial Rolex Swan Cup, featuring monohulls from the Finnish boatyard Nautor’s Swan that are cherished for their elegant design, technical innovation and speed. At this year’s 21st edition, the eight class winners were: Freya in Maxi, Flow in Mini Maxi, Crilia in Grand Prix, Mascalzone Latino in Sparkman & Stephens, G-Spot in ClubSwan 36, Nadir in ClubSwan 42, Blue Sky in Swan 45, and Balthasar in ClubSwan 50. Rolex has been a long-time partner of the YCCS and these two premier regattas as part of its wide-ranging support for yachting dating back more than 60 years.

Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. The Swiss watchmaker naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and the brand’s enduring partnership now encompasses the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas, as well as towering figures in the sport, including ground-breaking round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester and the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting SailGP global championship in which national teams race identical supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world’s most famous harbours. Rolex’s partnerships with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Yacht Club Italiano, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron, among others, are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Chiara Ferragni

...Rolex Hotness...

Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni is a major blogger and voice in Italian fashion. She is also and businesswoman, who used to be a Guess model and spokesperson. Chiara is pictured below wearing a Rolex Submariner.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Hans GIFsdorf


Hans GIFsdorf

The Feud Between James Cameron and Victor Vescovo




...or is it Rolex vs. Omega?

By Capt. Danny Crivello

In April of 2019, a former Naval officer and rich investor from Texas, Victor L. Vescovo (above), piloted a submersible into the Challenger Deep, the deepest point known on Earth. 

It was the same Deep visited by James Cameron in 2012 and Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard in 1960.

Don Walsh and James Cameron posing with the Rolex that went to the Challenger Deep on their respective dive.

But Mr. Vescovo declared his dive the deepest ever by a human, 52 more feet than Mr. Cameron's. Global headlines followed. The Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged the achievement. The record depth was given “10,925 m (35,843 ft), with a standard deviation of 4.1 m.” 

CEO of Omega Raynald Aeschlimann with Victor Vescovo.

And Omega, which had strapped a watch to Mr. Vescovo’s submersible, now claimed to have built the timepiece that has gone the deepest, taking the record away from Rolex.

Hearing about Mr. Vescovo's new record, James Cameron called The New York Times from New Zealand, where he was filming an “Avatar” sequel. He asked to be interviewed. According to the Times, the initial email from Mr. Cameron read, “Request to Speak.”

Mr. Cameron told the Times the Challenger Deep is “flat and featureless.” 

“[Mr. Vescovo's] gauge may read differently from mine, but he can’t say he’s gone deeper.” 

Mr. Cameron says it's like an Everest climber claiming to have gone higher than another mountaineer even though both reached the same summit. 

In 2009, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution sent down a robot to explore the Challenger Deep. The leader of the robot team, Andy Bowen, would later confirm Mr. Cameron's assertion: “It was like being on the Bonneville Salt Flats,” Mr. Bowen said.

"I put my hand up when I saw it becoming a matter of public fact without discussion in the media or science community," Mr. Cameron told Newsweek in Sept. 2019. "But what Mr Vescovo's group reported and what I witnessed in 2012, are two different things. He says he found a deeper hole in the bottom of the ocean. I say it's flat down there, impossible to dive deeper."

So for Mr. Cameron the question is not who went the deepest but who measured it more accurately. 

To give an idea of just how deep this region of the seafloor is, if Mount Everest were picked up and placed in the Challenger Deep, the summit of the world’s highest mountain would still sit more than 2 km (1.3 mi) beneath the ocean surface. When Mr. Vescovo made his expedition, he was just the fourth man to do so. Fewer people had gone to the Challenger Deep than to the Moon.

In my research for this story, I found a May 2019 interview with Newsweek in which Mr. Vescovo mentions the flatness of the Challenger Deep: "The bottom was a flat, beige basin of sorts with a very thick layer of silt," Mr. Voscovo said. "There were some small, translucent animals that gently undulate to move about—but there was definitely life at the very bottom of the ocean, it was not dead by any means." 

Working out precise ocean depths is never easy. The Challenger Deep is too deep for any kind of GPS signal to be received. Depth readings are calculated from special sensors that measure factors such as water pressure, salinity and temperature. 

But to convert pressure to depth, you need to know the water density over the full water column and also the local value of gravity, which varies by about half a percent over the surface of the Earth, according to scientists

Picture from Victor Vescovo's Twitter showing the flat bottom of Challenger Deep.

The other way to measure depth is using sonar, but that comes with its own complications: The idea is to ping the sea floor with sound while timing how long it takes for the signal to get back to the boat. You have to know the temperature along the path to get an accurate reading, because sound travels faster through warmer water. The path to the Challenger Deep, by one measure, goes from warm to icy to warm again. The ping would also have to go through many layers of seawater of differing composition.

The instruments being used to take measurements are constantly evolving; technology has come a long way since 1960, and in some aspects, even since James Cameron's dive in 2012. 

In 2014, four scientists at the University of New Hampshire reported on a Challenger Deep measurement. They put the margin at plus or minus 25 meters, a total range of 164 feet. Each depth measurement, they added, represents “at best an estimate.” 

Finally, Mr. Vescovo was interviewed by The New York Times. He first praised Mr. Cameron as “a visionary pioneer of deep exploration.” He also said his own team had adopted some of Mr. Cameron’s technical innovations.

“I have enormous respect for him,” Mr. Vescovo said. “On this point, however, I scientifically disagree.” While Mr. Vescovo’s gear was far newer and more accurate at gauging oceanic depths, he said he had also identified a slightly deeper area.

Who is right? And is Rolex okay with the claim it was bested in the world's deepest dive? We might never know. But the financial support traditional watchmakers have made to explorations through the years—whether for the sake of discovery or to find ways to better conserve the planet—that alone is enough to be lauded.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Rolex Hotness: Chung Lee Pepsi GMT

...Rolex Hotness...

Chung Lee Pepsi GMT

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Bob Woodward

...Rolex Investigative Reporter...

Bob Woodward

Stainless Steel Rolex Datejust

Bob Woodward is one of the most famous Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalists in history. He has written 21 books, of which 13 have topped the best seller list. He is most famous for uncovering the Watergate scandal that resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Bob Woodward recently published a book about his interviews with President Donald Trump named "Rage", and is now launching a follow-up audio book named "The Trump Tapes: 20 Hours of Interviews with President Donald Trump", which was recorded during Trump's former Presidential administration. Ironically, despite the title, Woodward recorded with Trump for 8 hours. These private "on-the-record" eavesdrop recordings offer an unprecedented perspective into Trump's personality coupled with a great deal of fascinating insight.

In Woodward's highly tolerative CBS News hit-piece video interview (seen below) he discusses the unprecedented access President Trump granted him—and yes, Bob is still rocking his Rolex Datejust. It is apparent Woodward seems to be uncomfortable with and has a great deal of disdain for former President Trump, whom he referred to as being "Singularly unfit to be President"...

All The President's Men

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were journalists for The Washington Post and we see them below during their Watergate investigation. 

Carl & Bob wrote a famous book named All The President's Men which was made into a movie in 1976 that featured Robert Redford playing Bob Woodward, and Dustin Hoffman playing Carl Bernstein. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman were two of the top actors in Hollywood at the time.

All The President's Men was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, of which it won four. Notice Robert Redford was wearing his Single Red Rolex Submariner Reference 1680 in the movie.

The photos above and below were press shots of Robert Redford from All The President's Men, and which prominently featured his Rolex Submariner. Back in 2008 I interviewed Rolex U.S.A. executive, T. Walker Lloyd about Rolex's relationship with Robert Redford which he talked about in detail in a podcast interveiw.

I will point out there was a continuity error in All The President's Men where Robert Redford's Rolex Submariner had it's winding crown unscrewed all the way as seen in the photos below.

In the photo below we see Dustin Hoffman, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, and Robert Redford.

Deep Throat

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were contacted by a confidential and enigmatic source they refered to as "Deep Throat" in their book titled "All The President's Men." Deep Throat was a mole operating within the Nixon administration who fed them top-secret information which resulted in U.S. President Richard Nixon having to resign from office. 

Deep Throat's identity was not revealed until May 31, 2005 when Vanity Fair ran an article on their website which revealed that Mark Felt who was the Associate Director of the FBI during the Nixon administration was indeed Deep Throat. 

The photo below was taken on April 30, 1973, at the Washington Post headquarters in Washington D.C. The photo shows Bob Woodward sitting on the floor, with Carl Bernstein sitting in the chair as they watch Richard Nixon's speech addressing the Watergate scandal on a Sony Trinitron TV, and Nixon's speech can be seen above.

I have an interesting story to share with you regarding Richard Nixon's resignation. President Nixon resigned on August 9, 1973, at which time I was at a summer camp in Northern California named Forest Farms. Below is a picture of me with my Forest Farms counselor named Tom on June 24, 1973. I was wearing my harvest gold Hang-Ten crew neck T-Shirt with matching sock, with my Levi's jeans and my Keds.

5 weeks after the photo above was taken I watched President Nixon resign. I will never forget when the Forest Farms camp counselors rounded up all the campers, including myself, and brought us to the camp owners home so we could sit in front of the TV and watch Nixon resign. At the time I was seven years old and had no real idea of what I was witnessing, but only remember the counselors freaking-out saying that no President had ever resigned. Below is the Nixon's resignation speech.

Gerald Ford replaced Richard Nixon as President and in the photo below we see Ford wearing his Rolex President (Day-Date) in yellow Gold.

The photo below of Bob Woodward was taken on April 11, 1977, and shows him watching Richard Nixon on TV.

In the photo below we see Bob Woodward with Carl Bernstein on Meet The Press many years later and notice Bob is wearing a stainless steel Rolex Perpetual on an Oyster bracelet which is a different watch from the Rolex Datejust he wears. If you look closely it also appears Carl Berstein may be wearing a Pepsi GMT-Master...

The video below shows Bob Woodward's Master Class he teaches an in it we see many shots of his Datejust.

The photo below shows Bob Woodward at Trump Tower in an elevator and we get a clear shot of his Rolex Datejust.

Bob Woodward was interviewed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and he was wearing his stainless steel Rolex Datejust. It appeared Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were in hot pursuit of President Trump and investigated him like fellow Republican, President Nixon.

The video interview below features Jeff Bezos who today owns the Washington time and he discusses its role in modern journalism. Jeff is now the wealthiest man on earth, and equally charismatic and intelligent.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Photo of the Day: Cyclops Bar at Paris Rolex AD

...Rolex Photo of the Day...



A photo of the bar surmounted by lamps each in the shape of four giant Cyclops in the newly renovated Rolex boutique which reopened this month at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris.

The two-story location is 250 m2 (2691 sq. ft.) which makes it the largest Rolex authorized dealer ever in a department store. It won't be just a point of sale; watchmakers can repair or completely restore a watch in three weeks provided it is less than thirty years old, according to Eric Collombin, CEO France of Rolex. Paris is gearing up for an influx of tourists post-Covid. The city will host the Summer Olympics in 2024.