Yesterday November 8th, 2015 in Geneva at the Phillips Watches Auction Number Two in partnership with Bacs & Russo, the Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 worn by Sir Roger Moore as James Bond, sold for $365,000 USD. The most recognizable watch in history with 1 billion people having watched the film “Live and Let Die”, the wristwatch worn on the wrist of Sir Roger Moore as James Bond is in fact a Rolex Submariner reference 5513 made in 1972, and was later modified for the movie. The present Rolex reference 5513 “Q” is the most unforgettable watch prop used in a movie and is even signed inside the caseback “Roger Moore 007”. As a highlight in the most iconic scenes of “Live and Let Die”, this watch is sure to interest both watch collectors and true fans of cinematography alike.
Rolex celebrates its partnership with James Cameron’s historic dive by launching a new version of the Rolex DeepSea Sea-Dweller. On the occasion of the release of National Geographic’s "DeepSea Challenge 3D" film about the expedition to the deepest reaches of the ocean by explorer and film-maker James Cameron —producer of Titanic and Avatar—, Rolex has introduced a new version of its Rolex DeepSea Sea-Dweller. This ultimate divers’ watch, resistant to extreme pressure, is equipped with a new “D-blue” dial representing the colors of the deep. The deep blue to pitch-black gradient dial is reminiscent of the ocean’s twilight zone where the last trickle of light from the surface disappears into the abyss, echoing James Cameron’s DeepSea Challenge expedition. As a tribute to the partnership between Rolex and Cameron, the “DEEPSEA” marking on the new dial adopts the color of the explorer’s green submersible as it is perceived underwater.
Wishing You a Happy 4th of July. A Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675 is the Perfect Watch for the Occasion.
Today, we celebrate 4th of July with the perfect watch for the occasion, a Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675 with Pepsi insert bezel. The blue and red colors on this watch are the perfect symbols to commemorate 238 years of Independence from the British crown. On July 4th, 1776 the United States adopted the 'Declaration of Independence' announcing that the thirteen colonies were declaring themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states forming a new nation as the United States of America.
We wish you all a very Happy 4th of July with this photo gallery. Now enjoy your long weekend!
News: An Extremely Rare Rolex ref. 5029/5028 with Cloissoné Dial Sells for More Than $1.2 Million USD at Christie's Auction in Geneva.
Today May 12, 2014 in Geneva, Christie's is presenting one of its most exceptional sales ever with 440 watches including a wide array of exceptional, rare and sought-after timepieces. Last night we brought you the information about 50 lots to be followed very closely here. The first part of the auction has just ended a few minutes ago and we are happy to inform you that lot 207, an extremely rare and unique 18K gold Rolex automatic wristwatch ref. 5029/5028 from 1949 featuring star numerals and cloisonné enamel dial sold for $1,249,915 USD, slightly above its estimate between $569,697 - $1,139,394 USD.
If watch forums like The Rolex Forums, Timezone, ThePurists or Watchuseek had never existed, it is very likely that the boom of digital watch publications —like ours— would've never taken place and we probably would've not been around at all. Little to no credit is given to some of these most visited watch forums in the world regarding the significant amount of consumer generated content that is hosted by them nor the amazing knowledge and expertise that some of their members possess.
Breaking News: Jean-Frédéric Dufour CEO of Zenith Manufacture Departs. Appointed Today New CEO for Rolex SA Replacing Gian Riccardo Marini.
Earlier today April 14, 2014, we heard the news from watch industry-insider Gregory Pons via his website Business Montres, that Rolex had announced to their employees that Jean-Frédéric Dufour —former CEO of Zenith— had been appointed as the new CEO of Rolex SA. With this strategic move, Dufour will be replacing Gian Riccardo Marini who had been the CEO leading Rolex SA since May 3, 2011. Dufour now becomes the sixth CEO that Rolex SA has ever had since its founding more than a century ago in 1905 by Hans Wildorf.
Up until now, Jean-Frédéric Dufour —45 years old— had been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Zenith Manufacture of LVMH since June 2009 and the Managing Director of Maison Ruinart at LVMH since September 15, 2011. Dufour joined LVMH after being heavily immersed in different areas of the business at several renowned watch manufactures including Chopard, Swatch Group and Ulysse Nardin. A graduate from the University of Genèva, he is now the leader of one of the top watch groups in the world.
Based in Genèva, Rolex is today not only one of the leading brands in the Swiss watchmaking industry but also a company that enjoys unparalleled reputation worldwide for its watchmaking quality and know-how. Its Oyster watches, all certified chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence and elegance, performance and prestige. The firm pioneered the wristwatch as early as 1905, and is at the origin of numerous major innovations that have marked the history of contemporary watchmaking. Among them the Oyster, born in 1926, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, and self-winding via the Perpetual rotor introduced in 1931. The brand has filed more than 400 patents in the course of its history.
Rare Bird: Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 'Freccione' a.k.a Steve McQueen. A Collector's Dream with Frog Foot Dial and Straight Seconds Hand. UPDATE: Hammer Price.
Earlier this week, we told you about the upcoming Timepieces auction sale at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers to take place here in Chicago on April 8th. We also told you that we would be featuring some of the most interesting timepieces to be auctioned; therefore, today, we are talking about this amazing vintage Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 'Freccione' a.k.a Steve McQueen featuring a correct time period MK I 'Frog Foot' Rolex coronet dial, MK I bezel, straight seconds hand and accompanied by the original warranty papers dated 1972.
This fabulous 'one-owner' watch was originally purchased in Buenos Aires at the renowned jeweler Walser, Wald & Cia. The punched papers show a purchase date of August 25, 1972 and we can tell by the condition of the watch, that it was probably the owner's daily beater for more than 40 years. Something we love about vintage Rolexes like this one, is the rich history that comes with them and the memories that were collected by the timepiece while on the owner's wrist for decades.
The Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 nicknamed by collectors as the Steve McQueen or 'Freccione' by some Italian collectors because of the bright orange arrow-shaped 24-hour hand on the watch —the word 'Freccione' comes from the Italian word 'Freccia' which means "arrow"— was only produced by Rolex from 1971 through 1984. During the time of its production, the Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 'Freccione' a.ka. Steve McQueen watch went through up to five slight dial variations —which we will explain later—, two different seconds hands —straight seconds hand and seconds hand with dot— and even up to four different bezel variations including a MK I bezel with thick font and numbers closer to the plexiglass, a MK II bezel with thick font and centered numbers, a MK III bezel with thin font full size numbers and lastly a MK IV bezel with thin font and slightly reduced numbers when compared to those on the MK III.
At the time of its launch, the watch was intended to be a 'tool' watch for cave explorers that after spending days in a cavern, couldn't tell if it was day or night outside. A problem that was easily solved by the 24-hour orange arrow-shaped hand that along with the 24-hour military time bezel, would help them identify day or night times with ease. Interestingly enough, the 24-hour hand was originally crimson red between 1971 and 1974 as seen on Rolex catalogs and advertisements from the era, but today, discolored by time, they appear orange to yellow and sometimes almost white as in the so called 'Albino' Explorers.
Now, when it comes to the dial variations, the Explorer II ref. 1655 'Freccione' experienced some variations that included the use of different Rolex coronets such as the 'Frog Foot' shaped coronet —one of the most unique and rare and only present on watches from 1972 thru 1977—, the use of a slightly bigger font and different alignment on the 'Superlative Chronometer...' writing originating the Mark III 'Rail Dial' from 1974 thru 1977 and lastly around 1977-1978 the inclusion of the writing 'T Swiss <25 T' —instead of 'T Swiss T'— on the MK IV and MK V dials. The purpose of including the 'T Swiss <25 T' writing was to alert owners of the use of tritium —a radioactive substance emitting less than 25 mCi— as the luminescent material used on the hands and markers of the watches.
This particular Explorer II ref. 1655 'Freccione' circa 1972 that will be up for auction at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers at the beginning of April, features a correct time period 'straight seconds hand' with no dot —a characteristic that is only present on 1655s produced between 1971 and 1974—, a MK I bezel, silver calendar wheel with open 9s and 6s, reference and case number engravings visible to the naked eye, original oyster folded link bracelet with service clasp and what to our trained eyes seem to be the original hands.
On the wrist, the iconic presence of this reference is just fascinating and breathtaking. One thing we've always noticed when wearing an Explorer II ref. 1655 'Freccione' is that the watch wears slightly smaller than its actual size, but frankly, who cares about that when shopping for a highly coveted discontinued Rolex reference like this one.
Leslie Hindman gave this watch an estimate between $8,000 and $12,000 USD —which seems quite reasonable. It will be quite interesting to see next month how much this watch ends up fetching. UPDATE: Hammer Price $15,000 USD.
For more info on Leslie Hindman Auctioneers click here.
Disclaimer: Please do not use our images or content as your buying guide or condition report for this watch. Only Leslie Hindman Auctioneers can provide you with such information.
Baselworld 2014: Introducing the New Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi 18K White Gold. Live Pictures of the Comeback of an Iconic Sportswatch.
Everyone was speculating whether or not Rolex would be finally releasing a Pepsi GMT Master for Baselworld 2014. All of those that couldn't believe it when a photo was leaked by RolexPassionReport on Instagram last week, didn't know what to think. Well, that picture was indeed a good teaser and an actual leak before the big day. Here it is, the new Rolex GMT Master II in 18K White Gold with cerachrom blue and red —Pepsi— bezel. A true icon comes back with what we believe will be a hefty price tag considering the current pricing strategy that Rolex has followed. One thing we need to make sure we point out is that to the naked eye the blue on the bezel is darker than it appears in these pictures.
The watch has the same specs as the previous GMT Master II with cerachrom bezel. Fitted with a 40 mm case and the automatic Rolex caliber 3186. The reference number for this new model is 116719 BLRO —Blue Rouge.
For now enjoy these images! For more info on Rolex click here.
Today, we are starting a new series of posts called the 'Time Machine'. On the 'Time Machine' you will be able to experience with us some of the most fascinating collections of vintage and rare watches from private collectors around the world. This time, is the turn for a private collector in Chicago that has chosen to remain anonymous. Our friendship with this collector started after spotting a beautiful Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX5 World Chronograph on his wrist inside an elevator. After a very brief conversation with him, he asked us to follow him to his office to show us the real good stuff. This collector owns close to 500 timepieces and this is just the first of many posts we will be publishing regarding his vintage timepieces, clocks and assorted watch paraphernalia. Now, keep in mind we will be featuring all sorts of watches within these collections regardless of their price, just because we love watches as much as you do and because some of these timepieces have an interesting place in the history of horology.
Making History: Rolex Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6263/6239 From 1969 Sells for $1,089,186 USD at Christie's Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" Auction in Geneva. Over $13 Million Dollars Sold in 50 Timepieces.
Today, November 10, 2013 Surpassing all expectations, the Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" Auction —a prestigious single-themed evening auction featuring 50 exceptional examples of the world's most celebrated chronograph wristwatch, totaled CHF 12,032,850 —$13,248,167 USD— selling 100% by lot and by value, at Christie's Geneva.
The watch that fetched the highest amount was an all original Rolex Cosmograph Oyster Paul Newman ref. 6263/6239 Case No. 2,197,870 manufactured in 1969 with box and papers selling for $1,089,186 USD. This amount —inclusive of the buyer's premium— as well as the price for any other Rolex Daytona sold at this auction, breaks all previous records set on any auctions of this reference up to date.
Created by Aurel Bacs to mark the 50th anniversary of Rolex's most iconic model, this unique sale presented only the best and most mythical Daytona wristwatches ever produced. Aurel Bacs, who is the International Head of Christie's Watch Department, commented: “Christie's first ever evening auction dedicated to wristwatches proved an unprecedented success. With four hundred people in the saleroom and plenty more queuing outside, I rarely experienced a similar rock concert atmosphere from the rostrum. Possibly the most rigorously curated watch auction ever staged, each lot was selected by Christie's watch department in partnership with Mr. Pucci Papaleo according to a disciplined approach to originality, condition and provenance. Setting 50 world records for 50 watches as well as achieving an absolute record price for any Rolex Daytona ever sold at auction, Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" will be remembered as an historical event”.
Along with this amazing ref. 6263/6239 Paul Newman from 1969, other fascinating Daytonas fetched serious money above the $150,000 USD range all of them exceeding their estimates. In second place comes an extremely rare Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 from 1974 especially made for Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said with box —sold by Asprey to Oman— selling for $864,521 USD —inclusive of the buyer's premium.
In third place, an extremely rare Rolex Daytona with pulsations dial from 1967 ref. 6239 sold at $838,090 USD —inclusive of the buyer's premium.
Below you will find six other Daytonas that fetched the highest amounts above the $400,000 USD range. The estimates on all these watches were exceeded, fetching amounts two to three times higher than those estimates.
For more info on Christie's click here.
This beautiful transitional Rolex Submariner Date from the last batch of the 16800s produced in 1984 belongs to one of the best friend's of our Editor and Publisher. On our last trip to Mexico, we met with him to take a closer look at this fantastic unpolished reference with a great story.
This Rolex Submariner Date ref. 16800 was received as a birthday gift at age 14 back in 1985. The watch is completely original with no replacement parts and has never been polished, although it was serviced last year. The watch was originally purchased at a duty free shop in Brownsville, Texas in January of 1985 and then taken to Mexico City.
While this Submariner is fitted with a tritium glossy dial with white gold surrounds, the dial appears to have more of a matte look to it and is not as glossy as most Submariner dials from this era tend to appear. The dial on this watch has aged nicely and is extremely clean with a beautiful 'café con leche' —coffee with milk— patina that matches the hands. Unfortunately, the hands have some corrosion visible to the naked eye. The date wheel is white and features open 6s and 9s as it is common on watches from this era. The bezel insert is a fat font insert with serifs and the pearl is nicely aged and intact also with 'café con leche' patina.
The case is nice and thick as it has never been polished, showing the usual battle scars of a watch well worn and thoroughly enjoyed. These pictures clearly depict what an unpolished watch really needs to look like. If this watch could talk, it would share a wealth of memories gathered from all over the world.
The bracelet and the end pieces are also original to the watch and the clasp confirms the approximate year of production of the watch with the clasp code bearing the letter 'I' and the month '6'. The bracelet is tight and the crown on the folding clasp is nice and thick.
Remember, every watch has a story and we are never certain what the story behind a pre-owned watch is unless we are talking to the original owner. When buying vintage Rolexes, always do your homework and be careful with all those so called 'original and unpolished' examples unless you are buying from the original owner.
A popular phrase in Mexico says: "Si te digo que la burra es parda es porque tengo los pelos en la mano"—if I am telling you that the donkey is brown it is because I am holding his hairs in my hand. Therefore, unless you know the original owner, be wary of what sellers call 'unpolished and original' as we often run into a lot of 'put together' watches out there.
For those who will be contacting us to buy this watch, the answer is that 'it is not for sale, not now or ever'.
For more info on Rolex click here.
A few months ago, while attending the wedding of a very good friend of ours in the city of Dallas, Texas, we ran into an old friend and classmate that we have not seen since the late 90s. When we first saw him, we were not sure if it was him or not; however, after looking at his wrist, we then knew it was indeed our friend and watchlifestyler Raymond. The iconic Rolex Date on his wrist was the telltale sign.
This Rolex Date ref. 15210 with white dial, small black roman numerals, block markers, oyster bracelet and engine turned bezel is not one that we often see in the wild. Our friend wore this watch every single day during our college years in the early 90s and last time we ran into him in Mexico City —back in 1999— he still had it on.
After briefly catching up with him in Dallas, we decided to schedule a get together during his next visit to Chicago. A couple of weeks ago, he joined us for dinner and shared with us a very interesting story about his watch that left us in awe.
Contrary to our belief, the Rolex Date on his wrist is no longer the same watch he used to wear in school. It's actually a third identical watch. Yes, a third one. But why?
Back in 1990, he received the first watch as a High School graduation gift from his father. After almost a decade wearing the same watch every day, that original watch was stolen. Immediately after, he purchased a second identical watch because it was very meaningful from a sentimental standpoint. Unfortunately, a couple years down the road, that second watch was also stolen and a third identical was then purchased several years ago. As they say, the third time is a charm. Isn't it almost unbelievable that someone would buy the same identical watch three times? Well, perhaps just as crazy as the story we published on the Audemars Piguet Jumbo 5402SA that had been sold and repurchased multiple times. Click here for that story.
As you can appreciate in the pictures, this is truly a gorgeous watch with a very well balanced dial and iconic look; however, nowadays it appears very small on a man's wrist. As you all know, the Rolex Date is smaller than the Datejust with a case measuring only 34 mm. Fortunately, our friend has a very slender compact body frame and the watch looks just stunning on his wrist. Additionally, we find this watch to be one of the most elegant Rolex watches out there.
This watch is so representative of him, that every time we see one for sale, our memory takes us back to those wonderful years in college sipping 'Cubas' —rum with cola— and partying till dawn.
After sharing a handful of memories and old time stories over a bottle of the best rum in the world —Zacapa Centenario Solera 23 from Guatemala—, we then devoted some special attention to the watch and snapped a few images for our beloved readers.
Enjoy the time machine. A gorgeous watch, a great friend and a memorable evening.
For more info click here.
This Rolex Submariner Date ref. 116610LN is the revamped Rolex Submariner with the maxi-case, maxi-dial with chromalight luminous material, cerachrom bezel insert and fine adjustment glidelock system on the oyster bracelet.
Watch lifestyler Nick has owned this watch for more than eight months and is now his daily beater. One of the greatest advantages of this redesigned Rolex Submariner is the added comfort of the maxi-case. Due to is flatter and more squarish shape it sits on the on the wrist better than the previous models.
The revamped Submariner features the Rolex caliber 3135, a 40mm case in stainless steel and an flip-lock oyster bracelet with the new glidelock clasp system. The sticker price on this watch $8,550. For more info on this watch click here.
Earlier today, we met a group of fellow watchlifestylers for lunch and we started talking about some of our most unique childhood memories around watches. One of our friends shared with us that back in the 60s—when he was still a kid— he used to enjoy looking at the ads in his dad's National Geographic magazines and becoming mesmerized by the Rolex ads that used to proliferate them. At that time, Rolex watches just seemed like an aspirational thing to have for him. Today, they have become part of his every day life as a watch dealer and watchlifestyler. After lunch we decided to dig up our files and found some great vintage ads to share with you.
Enjoy the ride in the time machine.