Note: I am working on Part 11 of my Complete History of The Rolex President series, and I thought I would share this fascinating preview with you. Once I officially complete this chapter I will remove this note.
Have you ever wondered where the term The Rolex Presidentcame from? It has taken me many years to finally solve the mystery of how, when and where exactly the name The Rolex President came from. The Rolex President Watch for many decades has symbolized and been equated with being The International Mark Of Success and Achievement.
Rolex marketing, in the United States has always been handled through the adroit marketing firm of J.Walter Thompson. In 1966, J. Walter Thompson came up with the Rolex magazine ad pictured below, which ran in the United States.
1966 Rolex President's Watch Ad
The Presidents' Watch
It is amazing when you think about it, how remarkably timeless this vintage 1966 Rolex Day-Date ad is. It features a wrist shot of a man wearing a yellow gold Day-Date holding a red phone in his hand. Kind of reminds me of Commissioner Gordon talking on the red Batphone ;-) It is interesting to note, in this 1966 Rolex Day-Date watch ad, how the title says "The presidents' watch." This of course, is referring to then elected, U.S. President, Lyndon Johnson. This moment in Rolex history represented a high-water-mark–having the sitting U.S. President wearing Rolex's flagship watch model.
Men Who Guide The Destinies Of The World Wear Rolex Watches
This particular magazine ad ads another dimension or piece of the puzzle to The Complete History Of The Rolex President. In particular, it is fascinating to see how much Rolex went out of their way to prove themselves 50 years ago. Today, Rolex has little to prove, since they have successfully become the international mark of success, but learning how Rolex achieved this is just fascinating.
I scanned and restored this vintage Rolex ad, but the page had no date on it. So how do I know it is from the mid 1960s? For one, the Rolex Day-Date pictured is a more modern model, and in the description under the photo, Rolex refers to the "President President bracelet, designed by Rolex for the Day-Date." To the best of my knowledge, Rolex first began referring to the the Day-Date bracelet in 1965, which was a year after U.S. President, Lyndon Johnson began wearing what became his trademark yellow gold Rolex.
It's profoundly ironic, how in this ad, which was published around the time I was born, Rolex talks about how famous people you see everyday wear Rolex, and suggest that next time you see them, you should look to see if they are wearing a Rolex. Why is this ironic? Because I have been doing this now for almost 5 years straight, on Jake's Rolex World, and that is really one of the main signature features of Jake's Rolex World Blog, is that I find and showcase photos of famous, successful people wearing their Rolex watches ;-)
Another Red Phone
Speaking of Rolex ads with men wearing a Rolex Day-Date with a Red telephone in their office, if you scroll down the page to the Mark McCormack Rolex ad from 1986, you will notice he also has a Red phone, except his is push button instead of a dial phone like the one in the picture below.
A supreme irony is that if Rolex made this ad today the man in the ad would have an iPhone 4s in his hand. Part of the irony in this is that in the last 45 years since this ad was published, telephone technology has changed radically, and Rolex still makes this exact same model, and it looks identical–talk about timeless design!!!
The 1966 Rolex Day-Date ad above has a headline that reads "The presidents' watch." In 1965, just after U.S. President Lyndon Johnson had a gaul-bladder operation, he emerged and showed the press his scars, and there he was wearing his now trademark yellow gold Rolex Day-Date and he wore it very proudly.
Lyndon Johnson was the second U.S. President to wear a modern Rolex, and the first to wear a Day-Date, with a Rolex "President" bracelet.
1984 Rolex President Ad
Rolex Coolness: Mark McCormack
Another Rolex Myth Busted And Mystery Solved!!!
This is the quintessential 1980s Rolex ad. In 1986 Ronald Reaganwas the President of the United States and Rolex was reaching new heights in status and popularity.
This cool vintage Rolex ad has a very interesting detail. One of the unanswered Rolex folklore questions (until today) always was:
Where did the term The Rolex President come from?
It has always been put forth that Rolex began referring to the bracelet on the Rolex Day-Date, as "The President" bracelet (around 1966) but never referred to the the actual Day-Date as The Rolex President. It was believed that people just started refering to the Rolex Day-Date as The President, but that Rolex never specifically referred to it as such.
It turns out that was a false myth and for the first time, as early as 1984 we have direct evidence of Rolex specifically referring to a watch model named:
"The Rolex President Day-Date Chronometer. Available in 18kt. gold, with matching bracelet."
This ad was very popular in the 1980s and I believe it clearly proves it was indeed Rolex that specifically coined the term: The Rolex President.
Wow!!!!! Rolex appears to have briefly referred to the watch as The Rolex President, then they stopped, and went back to calling it just The Day-Date, but the term "The Rolex President" stuck, and once the cat was out of the bag, that was it!!!!! Another fascinating Rolex mystery solved!!!!!!
My girlfriend and I were on vacation in Hawaii, and we spent some time surfing on Waikiki beach in Honolulu, which is the home of surfing, and the original Beach Boys. There is something really cool about wearing a Submariner while you are surfing. I remember every once and I while I would look down at my Submariner, and it was just so cool looking...
I took this photo of my favorite Rolex, which is an original LV Submariner, while sailing around Waikiki Beach on Oahu Island in Hawaii as the sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean. I remember when I took this photo, thinking it was really cool how the green on the LV bezel looked similar to the glass buildings in the background.
The 7 Up Submariner
For some reason, I was just talking with my girlfriend on the phone, and I said "Tell me about your childhood?" She asked me what I was talking about? I mentioned I was imitating the 7up commercial dude from the 1970s. Of course that made visit YouTube to find the commercial, and for those of you old enough to remember Geoffrey Holder who was the face of 7up in the 70s and 80s, all I have to say is "7up is the Uncola!!!! Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.!!!!"
BTW Geoffrey Holder played Baron Samedi, the voodoo guru in the James Bond film, Live and Let Die, with Roger Moore playing 007.
Come to think of it, Geoffrey Holder kind of laughs like the Count from Sesame Street!?!? I Googled "Tell me about your childhood" and realized in was also in the opening line to the song "Hyperactive" by Thomas Dolby.
Apple recently introduced the all new iPhone 5, and now Apple says on the iPhone microsite:
"iPhone 5 is made with a level of precision you'd expect from a finely crafted watch–not a smartphone."
This is really profound if you think about it, but I have a question for Apple design. Why is the iPhone 5 not waterproof? It would be so simple for them make it waterproof like a Rolex Oyster. It seems like a natural evolutionary step. Any quality watch made today is waterproof, and I say it is time for the iPhone to be waterproof as well. Maybe Apple with make the iPhone 6 waterproof.
Even though I publish Jake's Rolex World, I am the CEO and designer at BulletTrain.com and I have been working on developing a revolutionary BulletTrain case for the iPhone 4/4s and iPhone 5, which we plan to launch in mid November, so I have become extremely familiar with the iPhone engineering.
It is fascinating to note the iPhone 5 camera lens now incorporates synthetic sapphire crystal for its lens on the rear camera to make it scratch proof, just like a Rolex.
I am really excited for the iPhone 5 because I believe it is the first iPhone/Smartphone to truly deliver on the promise of being able to carry a world-class computer in your pocket.
Many people have predicted the demise of the wristwatch, saying things like "Who needs a watch, I just check the time on my phone", but the reality is that with a watch, you just glance at your wrist and you know what time it is, which is so much more efficient than having to reach in your pocket and having to turn on your phone every time you want to see what time it is.
Also, I have noticed many younger people wearing wristwatches lately.
Michael from Singapore sent in the superb lume shot of his Rolex Explorer and said:
Hope you are well. I came across your blog about a year ago, and have been a huge fan of it ever since.
I was just cleaning up the contents of my Mac, and found these photos which I've taken at Sentosa, Singapore, sometime back. I was waiting at the holding room, prior to entering an island attraction called the Merlion. While checking the time, I discovered the lume of my Explorer seemed extraordinarily bright. So, I took several pictures with my IPhone, and was totally amazed by them.
So, I thought why not just send it to you and share with the other fans out there as well. :)
My pal James, from WatchesInMovies.info just sent me a message to let me know he just put up a post with images of Denzel Washington sporting a stainless steel Rolex Submariner from the 1996 movie, Courage Under Fine.
Tom Cruise recently starred in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, which was the fourth in the series of Mission Impossible movie. Basically, Tom Cruise plays an American James Bond kind-of-guy. I actually really enjoyed watching the movie because it was so well done, and the special effects were great.
Dan Pierce took a photo of his Tudor Heritage Chronograh which is pictured below. This is the same watch Tom Cruise is wearing in the photos above and below.
Jeremy Renner is picture above on the right and in the photo below sporting his stainless steel Rolex Submariner.
Niklas Zennström is a Swedish entrepenuer and he is best known for founding Skype and Kazaa. Niklas is also a passionate yachtsman. His sailboat named the Rán II won the Rolex Fastnet race in 2009 and 2011.
This excellent photo from Stefano Mazzariol is of a first generation stainless steel Rolex Explorer II with a cream colored dial and white gold applied indices and matching hands. All later generation versions of this watch have a white dial with black applied indices with black hands.
Historically Rolex has always been extremely secretive and discreet, and no journalists in the past have ever been invited "INSIDE ROLEX" to explore and report on all four Rolex Manufacturing faclities in Switzerland.
In November 2013, this changed when Rolex invited Jake to take an unprecdented journey into the heart of Rolex to learn and report on everything he witnessed and learned.
This Super-Detailed 3 Part Story is a "MUST READ" story for anybody who wants to really understand what really makes Rolex tick.
The Hans Wilsdorf Story: Founder Of Rolex
Rolex is one of the most recognizable brands on earth, but very little has been known about its real history. If you really, really want to understand what makes Rolex tick, I very highly recommend you read the fascinating story of Rolex's amazing founder–Hans Wilsdorf.
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