Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Deepest DEEP-SEA Dive in History: U.S. Navy Conquers Inner-Space in 1960


The Complete History Of
The Rolex Submariner & SEA-DWELLER
Rolex's Conquest Of The Ocean

Part 8: The Birth Of The Rolex DEEP-SEA

The Deepest DEEP-SEA Dive in History
Golden 50th Anniversary Celebration!!!!!

One of Mankind's Greatest Achievements
U.S. Navy Conquers Inner-Space in 1960
with a Rolex DEEP-SEA Special attached to The Bathyscaph Trieste

Captain Don Walsh (Pilot)
&
Oceanographer Jacques Piccard (Co-Pilot)

Rolex is most synonymous with high achievement and 50 years ago today, on January 23, 1960 two men achieved one of the greatest feats of the 20th Century, with a Rolex DEEP-SEA Special by their side.

This amazing feat would be achieved in a most unusual and innovative submersible named The Bathyscaph Trieste, which was engineered by Swiss genius Auguste Piccard. The Bathyscaph Trieste was engineered in Switzerland, built and launched in Trieste, Italy and the U.S. Navy had it updated with a new gondola that was built in Germany by Krupps.



Hans Wilsdorf
Founder Of Rolex
1881-1960

Hans Wilsdorf founded and officially incorporated Rolex more than a century ago in 1908 in London, England and later moved its headquarters to Geneva, Switzerland in 1919. Hans Wilsforf realized, perhaps better than anybody else, the role the wristwatch would play in the 20th century as it began unwinding in front of him.

Hans Wilsdorf (pictured below) built a world-class brand with an absolute commitment to excellence, but more than anything, he created watches that inspired people to achieve amazing feats. It is easy to take waterproof watches today for granted, but in 1927 when Rolex pioneered the hardy, robust waterproof Oyster case, it changed everything.

Hans Wilsforf designed and built unusually sturdy Rolex watches that were extremely reliable and inspired people to explore and create new worlds. This story is really just about one of Rolex's amazing achievements in the 20th century.

Ironically, as I point-out later in the story, Hans Wilsdorf lived to see his Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches conquer the highest peak on earth as well as the lowest chasm of the ocean floor. As they say, Hans Wilsdorf's career was time well spent, and if you are wearing a Rolex on your wrist as you read this, you are even more connected to this rich history of high achievement.



Water, Land, Air, Mountains, Sea, Space–Rolex

Rolex has an unparalleled history and heritage of high achievement. Rolex has been keeping time every step of the way through some of the greatest achievements of the 20th century, starting back in 1927 when Miss Mercedes Gleitze became the first woman to swim across the English Channel from France to England with a Rolex Oyster.


On Daytona Beach in 1931 Sir Malcolm Campbell raced into history and set the world-land-speed-record in his Bluebird as he drove into the record books doing 245.73 MPH (393.74 KPH) and of course he was wearing his fearless Rolex Oyster on his wrist.


To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself. –Soren Kierkegaard

On February 22, 1933, Sir Malcolm set another world speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.A., this time he achieved 272.46 MPH (435.94 KPH). This version of the Bluebird must have been the inspiration for the Batmobile in the Batman movies.


Watch this amazing Rolex History video from 1935 and see Sir Malcolm Campbell set yet another land speed record on Daytona Beach while wearing his Rolex Oyster Perpetual:




Sir Malcolm Campell went on, in 1939 to set the all-time world water speed record of 141.74 MPH in 1939 in his Bluebird speedboat.

On April 3, 1933 The Royal Air Force Squadron was the first to fly over Mount Everest. Pictured below is Flight Lieutenant David McIntyre who, with his squadron members flew into history as first men to fly over Mt. Everest, with their trusted Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches keeping their time.


The photograph below is the first photograph ever taken from above Mount Everest, from the 1933 Royal Air Force expedition that was famously equipped with Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches.


In 1947, Captain Chuck Yeager was the first man to shatter the speed of sound barrier by flying faster than Mach 1, and if you look closely in this historical video, you can see Chuck Yeager wearing his Rolex Oyster Perpetual on an Oyster bracelet. Chuck Yeager's historical watch featured in this video, that he wore when he was the first human to break the sound barrier, is in Rolex's private collection in Geneva, Switzerland.


U.S. Air-Force Captain Chuck Yeager would continue to shatter his own speed and altitude records one after another, quickly speeding by Mach 2, all with Rolex watches on his wrist, like the Big Crown with No Crown Guard Submariner pictured on his wrist below.

To this day, Chuck Yeager still only wears Rolex, which means he has been wearing Rolex watches for at least 63 years. Just to put things in proper perspective, it is fascinating to note that when Captain Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947, Harry Truman was the President Of The United States.

Six years later, Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary were the first explorers to conquer and summit the highest mountaintop in the world–Mount Everest, while both wearing Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches.


In 1953, while Tenszing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary were busy reaching for the top-of-the-world on the Tibetan Plateau, French explorer and SCUBA diving pioneer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was busy researching in the Mediterranean aboard his Calypso research vessel as he filmed his Academy Award Winning underwater color documentary The Silent World.

Today we take the ocean for granted, but when Cousteau filmed The Silent World with a prototype Rolex Submariner on his wrist, very little was known about the rich and mysterious undersea world.


On May 24, 1962, U.S. Navy Test Pilot and NASA Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter flew his Aurora 7 into history and returned safely to earth, where, with The Right Stuff, he switched gears and set the all-time record, during SEALAB for living on the ocean floor, during SEA-LAB 2, once again, with a Rolex Submariner on his wrist.


During the NASA Apollo program, Astronauts would fly back and forth from Earth to the Moon, and of course many of them wore Rolex GMT-Master watches on Apollo 13, 14 & 17.


I would be remiss if in this Rolex story of achievement if I did not mention the French COMEX diving company and its incredible founder and CEO, Henri-Germain Delauze. In a future chapter of The Complete History Of The Rolex Submariner & SEA-DWELLER we will be learning the COMEX story in a podcast interview I completed last year with Henri-Germain Delauze.


In many, many ways, Henri-Germain Delauze and COMEX were the most direct beneficiaries of all the amazing diving science and technology that was developed over the years. Former Rolex CEO, Andre Heiniger was so impressed with Henri-Germain Delazue and his high level of achievement, in 1971, he approached Henri-Germain and offered to make special ROLEX-COMEX watches for further testing.


COMEX divers were busy all over the world constructing underwater oil-pipelines, and free-standing oil platforms out in the middle of the ocean. This provided the perfect testing-ground for Rolex SEA-DWELLER watches. As a matter of fact, COMEX assisted ROLEX in the development of the all-new Rolex DEEP-SEA SEA-DWELLER that Rolex introduced last year.

Henri-Germain Dealuze is pictured above in Marseille, France in front of one of his commercial COMEX yellow submarines named the SAGA.


Mankind's Conquest Of Inner-Space
U.S. Navy Bathyscaph Trieste DEEP-SEA Submersible

Last, but not least, is another one of Mankind's greatest achievements in human exploration, when U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh (Pilot) and Swiss Explorer Jacques Piccard (Co-Pilot) set the worlds all-time depth record, 50 years ago today, on January 23, 1963 when they dove the Bathyscaph Trieste DEEP-SEA Submersible down into the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench off Guam, down 35,800 feet–a mind-boggling record which stands to this day.

Attached to outside of the magnificently engineered Swiss Bathyscaph Trieste Submersible was another masterpiece of fine Swiss engineering that would set an all-time world record that same day–a Rolex DEEP-SEA Special prototype dive watch. As they say, both took a licking and came up ticking!!!

In the photo below we see Andreas Rechnitzer Ph.D., on the left, who was the civilian head of Project Nekton, and standing next to him on the deck of the Bathyscaph Trieste is Swiss Oceanographer and Professor Jacques Piccard.



THINK DEEPLY

The U.S. Navy mission patch below for Operation Tekton says "Pensate Profunde" which, when translated from latin means "Think Deeply." It also has the Navy dolphin and Bathyscaphe Triest logo.

The illustration below shows the exact location of where the Bathyscaph Trieste set the all-time world depth record in the Challenger Deep section of the Mariana Trench. The Trieste during the time of Operation Tekton was located at the U.S. Naval Station at Apra Harbor, Guam, which is approximately 200 miles north-east of the Challenger Deep.



The Challenger Deep

The following diagram gives a fascinating perspective on the Mariana Trench and the Challenger Deep. It is profound to note that the Challenger Deep at more than 35,000 feet is deeper than the highest point on earth which is Mt. Everest at just over 29,000 feet.


Anatomy of The Bathyscaph Trieste DEEP-SEA Submersible

The Bathescaph Trieste was a work of engineering art and science. In the late 1930's, Jacques Piccard's father, Auguste Piccard came up with an amazing idea to build an "underwater free balloon" that would allow mankind to explore the deep seas.

Auguste Piccard was a mad-genius who had already built the first balloon that allowed a man to reach the earth's stratosphere, and next he applied this same principle toward the ocean. The Bathyscaph Trieste (as diagramed below) was essentially a balloon which Piccard referred to as a float. The float consisted of a thin metal shell that was filled with gasoline. Gasoline is lighter than water, which would allow the float to ascend or climb in the water, once ballast was released.


The float had ballast tanks (as seen in the diagram above) which allowed for positive buoyancy while the float was floating on the ocean surface. The ballast tanks could be vented which would result in filling them up with sea-water, which would, in-turn, allow the Bathyscaph to dive. The dive or descent rate could be controlled or stopped by the release of solid weights which consisted of metal pellets that were in the shot tubs, that could be easily released.


The two member crew stayed in the observation gondola–as seen abovewhich was located at the bottom of the float. The observation gondola sphere was made by Krupp Works in Essen, Germany and was designed to be able to sustain a maximum depth rating of 50,000 feet, which significantly exceeded the deepest point on the ocean floor which was the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench–off Guam.

The Krupp observation gondola sphere was a magnificent piece of structural engineering and it had walls that were between 5 and 7 inches thick!!!! The photo above of the Trieste model has part of the gondola cutaway so you can see inside, but the actual gondola (as seen below) did not have this feature. Instead, the team would enter from the top of the Bathyscaph and climb down the entrance tunnel–like on a Submarine.


The photo below shows the Bathyscaph Trieste flying the American flag, since it was owned by the U.S. Navy, along with the Swiss Flag, since Piccard was Swiss as well as the Italian Flag, since it was originally constructed in Trieste, Italy.



Oceanographer & Professor Jacques Piccard

Oceanographer, Jacques Piccard is pictured below and he is sporting his Rolex DEEP-SEA GMT. Yes, I said "DEEP-SEA GMT." Jacques Piccard began his teaching career as a professor of Economics at the University Of Geneva in Switzerland.


Professor Jacques Piccard would ultimately leave his career as an Economics Professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland to assist his father, August Piccard to build world-class submersibles. Auguste and Jacques Piccard are pictured below.


Jacques Piccard is pictured below during testing of the Bathyscaph Trieste in 1959 near Guam



Oceanographer & U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh Ph.D

Captain Don Walsh is pictured below on the right side with his Operation Nekton team member U.S. Navy Lieutenant Larry Shumaker who is wearing his hat. Lieutenant Larry Shumaker had previously served with Captain Don Walsh on the U.S. Navy submarine named The U.S.S. Rasher. Don and Larry were great friends and Larry served as Captain Walsh's assistant, and they were classmates at the Annapolis Naval Academy.


U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh had an amazing career in the U.S. Navy. In 1958 he was a submarine Lieutenant serving on the staff of Submarine Flotilla One in San Diego, California as part of the U.S. Submarine Force. Submarine Flotilla One commanded 24 submarines along with 4 support ships which gave it a large theater of operations as part of the Pacific Fleet.


The Four Guys

Lieutenant Don Walsh was chosen by the Navy to spearhead the Bathyscaph Trieste effort. Captain Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard first met in 1958. In this next photo, from left to right we see (from left to right) Lieutenant Larry Shumaker, Lieutenant Don Walsh, Dr. Andreas Rechnitzer Ph.D, and Oceanographer, and consultant Jacques Piccard.


The Bathyscaph Trieste is pictured below during the test phase in 1959 which would prepare it for its final record-setting dive.



U.S. Navy: Operation Nekton Crew
U.S. Naval Station, Apra Harbor, Guam, U.S.A.

The photo below is of the Operation Nekton crew in Guam in 1960 at the U.S. Naval Station at Apra Harbor, Guam. Guam–of course–is part of the United States, but instead of being a state, it is a territory. Guam is the largest island in Micronesia which was the only American-held region before World War II.

Guam was captured by the Japanese on December 8, 1941 just hours after they bombed Pearl Harbor, and it was occupied by the Japanese for two and a half years until the United States recaptured it on July 21, 1944.


The Rolex DEEP-SEA Special Prototype
Attached Outside The U.S. Navy Bathyscaph Trieste

The photo below is of the actual Rolex DEEP-SEA Special prototype that Jacques Piccard attached to the outside of the Bathyscaph Trieste before it made its record setting dive down into the Mariana Trench and into the Challenger Deep. The Rolex DEEP-SEA Special was essentially a Rolex Submariner with a special prototype case and crystal designed to withstand tremendous pressure.

The special domed crystal essentially worked on the same principle as a geodesic dome or egg, in the sense that it was extremely strong and utilized the laws of physics to withstand more than 8,000 tons of pressure per cubic inch. This is the exact same physics principle the domed sphere shape gondola utilized on the Bathyscaph Trieste itself.



One Of Mankind's Greatest Achievements
The U.S. Navy Bathyscaph Trieste Dives Deeply Into History

Challenger Deep, Mariana Trench
200 Nautical Miles South-West of Guam
Morning of January 23, 1960

Lieutenant Walsh and Piccard had a challenging time getting into the Trieste because despite having clear skies, the Bathyscaph Trieste was sloshing around in huge waves. This made it difficult to get from the USS Wandank (ATA-204) and USS Lewis (DE-540) headquarter ship into the Trieste.


The photo below was taken of the Bathyscaph Triest as she prepares to dive to the deepest known part of earth's ocean on the morning of January 23, 1960 with the USS Lewis (DE-540) behind her.




Into The Mystic

The photo below was taken during the descent when Captain Walsh and Oceanographer, Jacques Piccard were close to reaching the bottom of the Challenger Deep. In an recent interview, I asked Captain Don Walsh if he was ever scared or nervous on the descent, and he said he never was. This came as a bit of a surprise, since during their early descent, at 9000 feet one of the outside plexiglass windows cracked and made a huge noise, shaking the Trieste.

The Bathyscaphe Trieste submersible took 4 hours and 48 minutes to descended to the ocean floor.



At The Top Of The Bottom Of The World

The illustration below is an artists rendition of what the Bathyscaph looked like when it touched down on the ocean floor in the Challenger Deep. Despite having cameras on board, they were not able to take photos at the bottom, because when they landed, a tremendous amount of sediment started swirling around the Bathyscape, which Captain Walsh said was like "being in a bowl of milk."



Inner-Space Conquered

This next photo was taken of the Bathyscaph Trieste gondola during the 20 minute stay on the ocean floor in the Challenger Deep. U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh is holding the American flag and both Piccard and Walsh have put on sweaters since the temperature has dropped significantly from the balmy tropical seas of Gaum down to a cool 7°C (45°F).

It is profound to consider, at the moment this photos was taken, there was a Rolex DEEP-SEA Special attached to the outside of the Bathyscaph Trieste and it was holding its own, against the more than 16,000 pounds of pressure per cubic inch!!!


Just before they landed on the sea-floor Piccard and Walsh were shocked that as they reached the Challenger Deep sea-floor they were seeing animals swimming around. It was previously believed that no form of vertebrae life could exist under that kind of water pressure.

The ascent back up to the surface took 3 hours and 15 minutes.


After they returned from their record-shattering dive, Jacques Piccard sent Rolex of Geneva a historic telegram that simply said:

"Happy to announce that your watch works as well at 11,000 meters as it does on the surface." –Jacques Piccard


A Presidential Welcome & Congratulations
White House, Washington D.C.

Upon their triumphant achievement of conquering inner-space, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard went to the White House where they were given awards by President Dwight Eisenhower where they received medals.


Captain Don Walsh was one of only three members of the armed forces to receive a military medal from President Eisenhower at the White House during his 8 year term as President of the United States.


A Hero's Welcome

In the next photo we see the Bathyscaph Trieste being proudly paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. on January 20, 1961 as part of the JFK Inauguration Day Parade.


Into The History Books

The United States, under the Eisenhower administration had finally conquered inner-space with its new hero's, Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard, and the new administration, under President Kennedy would continue to explore the magnificent ocean while ambitiously directing significant resources toward conquering outer-space with the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs.



The 1953 Rolex DEEP-SEA Special Prototype

The following ad from Rolex shows the early prototype of the Rolex DEEP-SEA Special that set an earlier record in 1953 on the Bathyscaph Trieste when it set a record of 10,350 feet. This watch differs from the one version that was attached to the Bathyscaph Trieste in 1960 in that it has what appears to be a spinning bezel.



The 1960 Rolex DEEP-SEA Special Prototype

This next ad is from early 1961 and Rolex shares its stunning story of accomplishment. It is fascinating to note that Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex was born on March 22, 1881 and passed away on July 6, 1960 in Geneva, just 6 months after the Rolex DEEP-SEA Special prototype had set the world depth record.

Han's Wilsdorf's Oyster Perpetual had successfully conquered the top of the world and the bottom of the ocean–his work was done and he must have passed away one satisfied man.



1964 Rolex Cities Under The Sea

In the mid-t0-late 1960s it was apparent to everybody, including Rolex, that Rolex owned the world of Aquatic Watches. Rolex was eager to share this rich heritage with the world as we see in the 1964 ad.



1967 U.S. Navy Submariner

Rolex's relationship with the U.S. Navy would deepen significantly when Rolex co-developed the original SEA-DWELLER with the U.S. Navy SEALAB diver, Bob Barth. Rolex seems to have understood, in many ways that exploring the magnificent world of the ocean in some way held the key to mankind's understanding of land.



U.S. NAVY DEEP-SEA Divers
The Development of the Rolex SEA-DWELLER with Operation SEA-LAB

Rolex developed the Rolex SEA-DWELLER with the U.S. Navy SEALAB diver Bob Barth. Bob Barth is pictured below, third from the left. The SEA-DWELLER came about because members of his SEA-LAB teams were experiencing the crystals poping-off their Rolex Submariner watches during decompression because of the build-up of helium gas in the Oyster case.

Bob Barth came up with the idea to build in a helium release valve in the Submariner. In an upcoming part of The Complete History Of The Rolex Submariner & SEA-Dweller we will be enjoying a podcast interview with Bob Barth and we we will also learn all the amazing details of the development of the SEA-DWELLER with SEA-LAB.



By the way, after Operation Nekton, Bathyscaphe Trieste pilot, Captain Don Walsh attempted to join Operation SEA-LAB and the Navy refused, telling him he had his time in the sun. This must have been extremely frustrating for Captain Walsh, since SEA-LAB continued to revolutionize much of the invaluable scientific research he had achieved. Captain Don Walsh, being an avid explorer also applied to NASA to be the first aquanaut/astronaut and was once again rejected on the basis that he had achieved his glory–but at least he tried.


1970 Jacques Piccard Rolex Ad

This next Rolex ad from 1970 features Jacques Piccard and the Bathyscaph Trieste story.



1974 Rolex T. Walker Lloyd SEA-DWELLER Ad
Rolex Double Red SEA-DWELLER

T. Walker Lloyd is featured in the 1974 Rolex ad below. T. Walker Lloyd was considered to be one of the top DEEP-SEA diver's in the 1960's and 1970's. T. Walker Lloyd began his career with Rolex as an oceanographic consultant and ended up working for Rolex U.S.A., for a quarter-centery. His 25 years career with Rolex began with co-developing the Rolex SEA-DWELLER with U.S. Navy SEALAB diver Bob Barth. I completed an extensive story on T. Walker Lloyd's history along with an amazing podcast.



The Return Of The Rolex DEEP-SEA

A year ago, Rolex reinvented their SEA-DWELLER diving watch and added the DEEP-SEA designation to pay homage to their rich aquatic heritage. The Rolex DEEP-SEA is a marvel of modern watch design and engineering and, in many ways is modeled after its great grandfather which is the Rolex DEEP-SEA Special, from its domed crystal to its incredible depth rating of 12,800 feet (3900 Meters).

As Mark Twain once said "History doesn't repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme."



U.S. Navy Captain (retired) Don Walsh, Ph. D

Don Walsh retired from the U.S. Navy as a Captain and went on to earn his Doctorate in Oceanography from Texas A & M University. Don is 78 years young today and unbelievably sharp. He actually blew my mind with how smart and insightful he was. I don't recall ever interviewing anybody who was so articulate and insightful at the same time.

I interviewed Don extensively for this article and you will get to hear him yourself pretty soon in a podcast interview I will be publishing.

Don continues to be an extremely active explorer today and he is pictured below recently standing in front of the Mir DEEP-SEA Submersible as he prepared to travel down 15,000 feet on an expedition to explore the wreck of the Bismarck. Captain Don Walsh USN (ret), PhD., maintains the title of Honorary President Of The Explorers Club.



Oceanographer Jacques Piccard
1922-2008

Jacques Piccard continued to build submersibles and explore the world after his successful conquest of inner-space. Jacques Piccard went on to achieve many other amazing DEEP-SEA feats including working with NASA in the late 1960s to achieve the first submarine float through the gulf-stream about the U.S.S. Benjamin Franklin Submariner. This record setting achievement occurred at the same moment in history as NASA was landing the first man on the moon aboard Apollo 11. This is a really cool video of Jacques Piccard:


Jacques Piccard passed away in 2008 at the age of 86. He left behind an amazing legacy as one of the greatest explorers to ever live. I wrote an extremely detailed article about Jacques Piccard's career achievements back in 2008 which is fascinating.


Jacques Piccard is pictured below with his son Bertrand Piccard who is also a world-renowned explorer that has set many ballooning and aeronautical records.




Rolex Celebration!!!!!
The 50th Anniversary Of The Bathyscaph Trieste Record Dive

This last weekend represented one of the greatest celebrations in Rolex history and Rolex went full-regalia with their amazing coverage. This next section covers all of the Rolex coverage from around the world that I am aware of. First we start out with this amazing Rolex video that features U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh who piloted the Bathyscaph Trieste along with his co-pilot and oceanographer, Jacques Piccard!!!! This Rolex video is insanely cool!!!!!!!!!


In the video above, you can see Jacques Piccard sporting his Pepsi Rolex DEEP-SEA GMT-Master. On Rolex.com over the weekend, they setup an amazing microsite on the the event. I can't find the microsite, but I did this screen-capture that I can share with you.



Financial Times Coverage

Next we have this amazing Rolex coverage that ran in the London Financial Times. Please click on the image to get better detail.


New York Times and Wall Street Journal

Next we have this other Rolex coverage that ran internationally, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.



In the picture below, we have see an great recent photo of Captain Don Walsh from the U.S. Navy, who piloted the Bathyscaphe Trieste DEEP-SEA Submersible to the deepest part of the ocean floor known to mankind, 50 years ago on January 23, 1960. On Jake's Rolex Watch Blog, in the not-so-distant-future we will be enjoying a podcast interview with Captain Walsh and you will get to learn all about his amazing adventure in his own words.


Next up we have some cool press images from Rolex to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the record-setting Bathyscaph Trieste Dive. Rolex celebrated several events this last weekend in Southern California, and we will be covering them later this week.




50th Anniversary Celebration of Bathyscaph Trieste Dive
Oceanographer & U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh (ret) Ph.D
Returns with the Original Rolex DEEP-SEA Special

This last Saturday, January 23, 2010, Rolex celebrated one of mankind's greatest achievements, with the pilot of the U.S. Navy Bathyscaph Trieste in the all Rolex Baron & Leeds boutique located in Costa Mesa, California. The next superb 5 upcoming photos were taken by davidblankphoto.com.

In this first photo we see retired United States Navy Captain Don Walsh who successfully piloted the U.S. Navy Bathyscaph Trieste successfully down to the deepest known point of the ocean into the Challenger Deep located in the Mariana Trench, 200 Miles south-west of Guam. Of course, Captain Don Walsh is sporting his Pepsi DEEP-SEA GMT-Master which was a gift to him 50 years ago in 1960 from Rolex Director, Rene-Paul Jeanneret.


U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh is pictured a half-century ago in the photo below standing on the deck of the Bathyscaph Trieste with his co-pilot, Professor and fellow oceanographer, Jacques Piccard, just after they shattered the world-depth-record, a record that has gone unmatched to this day.


One of the most amazing features of this event that was open to the public is that Rolex showcased the actual Rolex DEEP-SEA Special prototype that was attached to the outside of the Bathyscaph Trieste submersible when it made its record-shattering dive down 35,800 feet.

In this next photo we see Captain Don Walsh unveiling the Rolex DEEP-SEA Special with a Rolex Executive. It is so cool to see Captain Walsh reunited with the Rolex DEEP-SEA Special that accompanied him to the bottom of the Ocean exactly 50 years ago. What an amazing way to celebrate a 50th Rolex and U.S. Navy Golden Anniversary!!!!


Captain Walsh spent much of the day with Rolex fans signing autographs and talking about the Bathyscaph Trieste record breaking dive. Captain Walsh is amazingly insightful and I am very excited to share his podcast interview with you as soon as I get the chance.

Captain Don Walsh autographing an event brochure for Baron & Leeds Owner, Terry Weiner

In the next two photos we see the Bathyscaphe Trieste model on display in the beautiful Baron & Leeds Rolex Boutique in Costa Mesa, California.


Tomorrow we will continue our coverage of this amazing 50th anniversary event with photos from the Marine Technology Society luncheon celebration that took place in San Diego.


1 comment:

Stephen said...

Wow this really is fascinating stuff. Thanks for sparking my interest Jake!

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