Over the years, I have written extensively about, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and their Rolex watches. Today, I am really excited to share many new images with you that help put together more pieces of the Fidel Castro and Che Guevara Rolex collection puzzle, and at the same time, I decided to consolidate all Fidel Castro and Che Guevara content into this one story on Jake's Rolex World.
We begin by examining this all-new, stunningly high-resolution image of Fidel Castro. This photo is arguably "The OG G-Money shot" of Fidel Castro. On Jake's Rolex World, we are so used to seeing lower resolution historical photos, that when you see something this high-resolution it almost looks like CGI, but it is real. This image is also significant, because as we put together the pieces of the Fidel Castro Rolex puzzle, we learn more about which Rolex watches he wore and when.
In the past I have published many images of Fidel Castro wearing his Rolex GMT-Master Reference 6542 with no crown guard, but in this image Fidel is clearly wearing a Rolex GMT-Master Reference 1675 with crown guards. It also has an all-black bezel insert.
Castro Took Cuba While Wearing His Rolex
Fidel Castro wore a sport Rolex Submariner when he overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista during the Cuban Revolution in 1959.
In this first image from the LIFE Magazine archives we see Fidel Castro standing on the balcony of the Hilton Hotel with friends after his triumphant entry into the Havana, Cuba.
In both the images you clearly see Castro wearing his Rolex and if you click on the images you can see more detail. In this next photos of Castro, also taken in 1959 in Cienfuegos, Cuba you see Castro being cheered by crowds on his victorious march to Havana after successfully ousting Batista. One unanswered question, is what Rolex sport model was Castro wearing when he took Cuba? I have spent much time evaluating this image, and it appears to be a Rolex Submariner, but it could also be a GMT-Master.
Stainless Steel Rolex GMT Master
In this next image, we see Fidel Castro wearing a no-crown guard Rolex GMT-Master Reference 6542.
When Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959 in Cuba, Rolex had some kind of headquarters in Cuba. You see "Habana" on many magazine ads prior to 1959. It is not clear what kind of presence Rolex had in Cuba before Castro overthrew Batista? It could have been anything between having an AD, to having their South American headquarters. It has been suggested, Castro looted Rolex headquarters and confiscated all the Rolex watches, but I have never seen any direct proof of this.
Communism for the masses. Capitalism for the bosses.
I kid around and say "Communism for the masses and capitalism for the bosses" but it makes sense that in 1959 and through the 1960s that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara wore their Rolex watches as sturdy tool watches, because they were precise timing instruments. Remember this was before quartz watches. Also, in the early 1960s Rolex watches were not nearly as much of a status symbol or "Luxury Watch" as they are today.
"I'm the one who is going to tell you how it is going to be!!!"
Below, is an interesting photo of Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ernest Hemingway, meeting with Fidel Castro in Cuba. Hemingway lived in and had a home in Cuba from the 1930s to 1959.
Rolex Watch Fanatic
Is Fidel Castro more of a Rolex Fanatic than you? He must be, unless you also regularly wear a Rolex Day-Date and a Rolex Submariner on the same wrist at the same time...
But my obvious question is, why wouldn't he just wear a GMT Master since it can keep time in two places? Maybe he was keeping time in 3 places!?! Maybe the dude is just confused!?!
Castro Rockin' Rolexes in The Kremlin
When I first noticed the fact Fidel Castro was regularly wearing two Rolex watches on his left wrist, I wondered why he would do such a thing? I think it was symbolic, because he wanted everybody to know he was keeping local time as well as the time at the Kremlin, in Moscow. In the photos below, we see Castro meeting with Nikita Khruschev at the Kremlin. By the way, that is Karl Marx's portrait hanging on the wall, who was also a bearded fellow...It's kind of ironic Castro is smoking a Cuban Cigar and wearing two Rolex watches in the Kremlin while he chats with Khruschev, in front of a Karl Marx picture. The non-verbal body language in this photo is absolutely fascinating! Notice everybody in the room is staring at Castro's cigar, and that everybody sitting is smiling with their hands folded in front of them on the table, and the three guys standing below the portrait of Marx, have their arms behind their backs.
A Communist President
Rolex: The International Mark Of Success
Communist President sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? I imagine that the supreme irony is that Rolex also becameThe International Mark Of Successin the Communist world as well!!! For instance, the father of the Chinese Communist RevolutionMoa Zedongwore yellow gold Rolex watches!!! So did fellow Cuban revolutionaryChe Guivara, and even Russian PresidentBoris Yeltsin.
It appears that Fidel Casto is wearing a Rolex Datejust on a President bracelet in the photo below. I don't recall ever seeing this combo before, but I can't see the day wheel?
Smoking Cuban takes on a whole new meaning with this next image. What a life!!! Hanging out as the King of Cuba, smoking the best Cuban cigars, having a harem of Rolex watches. Does not get much better than that. Communism for the masses, Capitalism for the Bosses. Viva La revolución!!!
Fidel Castro Documentaries
These two full-length documentaries offer a superb overview of the history of Fidel Castro, and the Cuban revolution.
Che Guevara & Fidel Castro
Revolutionary Brothers In Arms
Che Guevara and Fidel Castro were fellow revolutionaries and long-time friends. After the Cuban revolution Che became the economic controller of Cuba before he wandered off to Bolivia. The photo below is the earliest known of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara together, and neither of them have what would later become their trademark beards. Fidel Castro was a lawyer, and Che Guevara was a doctor.
I am not certain what is going on with this Rolex Watch? I am pretty sure it is a stainless steel Rolex Daytona, with a dial from a white gold Daytona along with white gold solid end links? What a great looking watch!!!
Ty Albert Rulli has been working a a fascinating trilogy of books that explore Art Deco watches with a focus on American watches. His fascinating project is on Kickstarter, so be sure to watch the video below and check it out!!!
Walt Disney had an amazing impact on shaping American culture, whether is was with his cartoons, movies, or Disneyland. You might expect to find Walt Disney wearing a Mickey Mouse watch, but instead, he wore a yellow gold Rolex Datejust.
Walt Disney's career and imagination was one of incredible achievement, and it all started with Walt Disney's creating of Mickey Mouse.
Walt Disney is pictured below posing with Mickey Mouse who started the whole Disney Revolution in animated films.
Walt Disney took his world of fantasy and imagination far beyond movies and became a Television Pioneer and also built Disneyland, which brought many of his characters to life for many generations of children around the world.
This magical world included characters like Alice In Wonderland, Donald Duck, Goofy, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella & Sleeping Beauty.
"When a man has a world in his hands, you expect to find a Rolex on his wrist." –Rolex (1965)
In the next 3 photos Walt Disney is pictured below wearing his yellow gold Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet. In the future we will see more photos of Walt Disney wearing his Rolex.
In this upcoming series on Jake's Rolex World we will go back to the very beginning of Walt Disney's incredible career and learn about his amazing lifetime achievements and what made him tick!!!
The Disneyland Story
The next six videos tell the story of the beginning of Disneyland and this "Disneyland Story" was first aired on October 27, 1954. Of course, former American General, Dwight Eisenhower was the U.S. President in the White House, and he wore the same model of yellow gold Rolex Datejust that Walt Disney wore.
This first series was known as The Disney Anthology Series and it premiered in 1954 on The ABC Television Network. The series name ended up changing to "Disneyland, Walt Disney Presents," which would later evolve into "The Wonderful World Of Disney."
When we look back in retrospect at the wonderful world that Walt Disney built, we realize how truly remarkable it was and still is. In many ways, the wonderful world of Rolex is very similar to the wonderful world of Disney. The characters that appear in this series bring back so many memories of my childhood, like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy, not to mention Davy Crockett–King Of The Wild Frontier.
I could not help but notice how similar Ronald Reagan was to Walt Disney in the way Ronald Reagan's suits were tailored and their hairstyle as well as the way they communicate. They also seem, at least in my own mind, to have the same 1950s American, can-do attitude and optimism.
Fantasy Can Be More Powerful Than Reality
In many ways, Walt Disney was to entertainment what Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, was to the wristwatch. Walt Disney and Disneyland took you to different worlds, like The World Of Tomorrow, The Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Matterhorn, etc., each a fantasy world in-and-of-itself.
Hans Wilsdorf, based on the different Rolex sport/tool watches took you to different worlds where you could be and airline pilot or test-pilot with a GMT, or an adventurer SCUBA diver like Jacques-Yves Cousteau with a Submariner; or a mountain climbing explorer and conquerer like Sir Edmund Hillary or Tenzing Norgay, if you wore a Rolex Explorer. You could also be a mad-scientist with a Rolex Milgauss, or a race-car driver and entrepreneur like Paul Newman with a Rolex Daytona.
It is extremely profound when you think about the just how amazing the wonderful world of Disney was and what he brought the world. The impact he had on little girls all over the world with Cinderella,Snow White & The 7 Dwarves, Sleeping Beauty and Alice In Wonderland, not to mention in later years, Ariel from The Little Mermaid or Beauty & The Beast.
The one thing all these young, female-centric movies had which impacted young American girls in particular, as well as girls all over the world is it taught them how to all be princesses ;-)
The most important thing that Walt Disney left behind as part of his amazing legacy, was the to make people dream and fantasize about what was possible through the power of imagination. In the United States we call this Yankee Ingenuity, and in the final analysis it really does simply boil down to inspiring people to dream and turn their dreams into reality.
As another Classic Walt Disney movie Pinocchio sings
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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