Rolex has no shortage of iconic persons in their portfolio in association with their highly sought-after timepieces. Another iconic actor whom also happened to be a race car driver that was closely associated with Rolex is Steve McQueen. McQueen’s name is often linked with the model 1655 Explorer II with the big orange band. However, as there does not seem to be any pictures of him wearing that specific timepiece it is considered more likely that dealers that were attempting to generate interest in the timepiece fabricated the association.
The timepiece that Mcqueen wore, and was photographed wearing on several occasions is the Ref. 5512 non-date, chronometer-rated Submariner. McQueen’s personal 5512 sold at Antiquourum in New York, in 2009, for $234,000.
The Mariana Trench
Another famous incidence with Rolex was when James Cameron went to the bottom of the Challenger Deep while the robotic arm of his submersible was wearing the Rolex Deepsea Challenge.
This is the world’s oceans deepest known area and is located in the Mariana Trench. The bottom lies about 35,800 feet below the surface. Rolex first visited these depths in 1960, when Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh piloted the Swiss-designed bathyscaphe Trieste to the bottom. Attached to the Trieste’s hull, on the outside, was a specially-made Rolex dubbed the Deep Sea. At that depth, the water pressure is about 1,086 bars, or 15,750 psi.
After their return to the surface, Piccard sent Hans Wilsdorf a telegram reading, “Am happy to confirm that even at 11,000 metres your watch is as precise as on the surface.”
The Deepsea Challenge on the left and the original Deep Sea – the two Rolexes to visit the bottom of the Mariana Trench and return successfully.
Rolex returned once again to the Challenger Deep as a partner in filmmaker James Cameron’s expedition in March of 2012. Again, Rolex had a specially built timepiece attached to the outside of the submersible. The new experimental timepiece was called the Rolex Deepsea Challenge, as a tripartite tribute to the name of James Cameron’s project and to the 1960 Deep Sea watch that accompanied the Trieste, as well as the 2008 Rolex Deepsea watch that provided the technical and aesthetic blueprint for the new experimental wristwatch. Rolex designed and manufactured the experimental timepiece in less than two months.
It was attached to one of the robotic arms on Cameron’s submersible, where it reached a depth of 35,787 feet. Rolex commemorated the Cameron dive by releasing the Deepsea D-blue Dial watch. Based on the Sea-Dweller Deepsea, it features a unique dial that is deep blue at the top and gradually fades to a black at the bottom. The design represents the change in ocean color from the surface to the murky bottom.
This wraps up our definitive guide on Rolex and the top things that have made the watchmaking company a famous household name. We are sure there will be plenty more fascinating stories and associations to come with Rolex for the years to come and when it comes to embarking on new journey’s in impossible environments you can bet on Rolex being there to test their mettle.
About Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry
Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry has been providing quality products and professional services to the metropolitan Denver, CO area since 1951. The very first watch repair and service facility ever opened in Colorado. Dan Matheu, watchmaker, pioneered watch repair and services in Colorado. Today, Scott Matheu is at the helm steering Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry. With his vision, Scott opened a watch store in Highland Ranch and has made Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry not only one of the largest watch stores to provide watch repair in Breckenridge, CO but also the entire state.
Whether you need watch repair in Breckenridge, CO, watch engraving, or even if you have an antique watch that you would like appraised, you can count on Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry to provide you with superior service each and every single time. All of our watchmakers are factory trained and we have CW21 Certified by the American Watchmakers and Clockmakers Institute (AWCI) on site. This certification has the most stringent standards for watchmakers performing repair, restoration, and service work on watches. With one of the largest service centers in the metropolitan Denver, CO we are not only able to provide watch repair in Breckenridge, CO but to the entire 50 states as well.
Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry is also a factory authorized service center for Cartier, Tag Heuer, Philip Stein, Swiss Army and many more brands. When you use Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry for your watch repair in Breckenridge, CO, you can rest assured knowing that you will receive our (2) two-year warranty on major watch repairs that we provide. If you are looking for the best watch repair service center throughout the United States, you cannot go wrong when you choose Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry. With certifications from not only AWCI but SAWTA too, we not only stand out from the pact; we lead it.”