Friday, July 11, 2008

The History Of The Rolex President [Part 5]


President Dwight Eisenhower's Rolex
[1951 Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee Bracelet]
The 150,000th Officially Certified Rolex Swiss Chronometer

In this chapter on The History of the Rolex President we examine photos of President Dwight David Eisenhower wearing his Rolex Datejust, and we also take a look at never before seen close-up macro photos of Ike's watch that are exclusive to Jake's Rolex Watch Blog.

After President Eisenhower passed away in 1969, his historic Rolex Datejust has never been displayed in public–until today. Of course these close up images shown below are exclusively on Jake's Rolex Watch Blog.

I would like to thank Raleigh DeGeer Amyx for sharing these never before seen images of President Eisenhower's Rolex Datejust from his private Presidential collection.

Raleigh and I had many discussions about whether of not to share photos of Dwight Eisenhower's actual Rolex watch.

In time, I fortunately was able to persuade Raleigh that Eisenhower's Rolex and its history belong to the people and that if it simply sat unseen in a safety deposit box, that the public would be deprived. I argued that by sharing it on Jake's Rolex Watch Blog, that all the Rolex enthusiasts all over planet earth would really enjoy it.

In my opinion as a Rolex historian and enthusiast, I believe that Eisenhower's Rolex Datejust is the most valuable watch in the world. Not just the most valuable Rolex, but the most valuable watch. 

I say this because it was not only worn on the wrist of the first NATO Supreme Commander, that as one of the very few 5 Star Generals in history, was also the architect of the D-Day invasion (dubbed by the U.S. Allies as Operation Overlord) but also was one of the most successful president's in American history–thus I can't think of a more historically significant watch.



U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower is pictured above and below in the White House while he is writing. Of course you clearly see his Rolex Datejust proudly being worn on his wrist.


The photos below are of Eisenhower's historic Rolex Datejust today. As you can see, the engraving has 5 Stars, the initials, DDE and the date Ike assumed the position of Supreme Commander of NATO on October 19, 1950.


Rolex executive Rene Paul Jeanneret presented this beautiful Rolex Datejust as a gift to then Supreme NATO commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower. This Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust was the 150,000th Officially Certified Swiss Chronometer and Rolex gave it to Ike and Rolex also engraved the artwork on the verso.


The front of Eisenhower's Datejust is amazingly timeless, if you take into consideration the fact that it was made in 1948. It has a fluted Yellow Gold Bezel, with Baton indices and a silver brushed sunburst dial. The hands are Dauphin hands with lume. Dauphin are sword shaped, or pyramid shaped hands that come to an absolute point.


Ike's watch also has a red-number date wheel as well as the Officially Certified Chronometer designation.


It is amazing how timeless this watch design is, especially when you consider it was designed more that 60 years ago. In many ways it is almost identical to a Rolex Datejust you could purchase today from a Rolex Authorized Dealer.



As you can see in the photo above and below, Dwight D. Eisenhower's initials are not only engraved on the verso (back of the watch case) but also on the clasp.



In the photo below, President Eisenhower can be seen looking at his Rolex Datejust and you can see General Shulz behind him.


President Eisenhower was as extremely unpretentious man and it is difficult to find photos of his Rolex Datejust where it is visible, but as you can see, they do exist. In almost all the shots I have seen, his watch is not visible.

2 comments:

Adam M. Dubin said...

I believe the dial of Eisenhower's Rolex would be a ca. 1960s service replacement, given the tritium designation (-T Swiss T-) on the bottom, which thus would account for the relative lack of patina. An original 1948 dial would probably say "Swiss" or "Swiss Made".

Charlie said...

Jake, I'm guessing, but it that a 6601/8? If you don't have the exact model number, I can (and will gladly) research it and find the correct case reference number for you. Let me know...

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