I hope everybody is having a great holiday season! Every year, around Christmas time, I publish this Rolex Christmas ad story, and each year I significantly update it. This year is no exception, and I just completed a major update. I can hear the Nutcracker Suite playing in the background ;-)
Rolex used to publish Rolex Christmas ads, but I don't recall ever seeing one in a magazine in my lifetime. It is interesting to note the Rolex Christmas magazine ads only ran while Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex was alive.
1928 Rolex Christmas Ad
1930 Beautiful Rolex Christmas Ad
This next stunning art-deco vintage Rolex ad from 1930 that features a woman sporting the flapper look. It was published in the British publication named "The Tatler" in 1930. This ad was published at a fascinating and optimistic time in Rolex history. Several years prior, Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex had recently completely revolutionized the world of watches, when Rolex introduced the worlds first waterproof watch, known as the Rolex Oyster.
In 1930, Rolex was preparing to revolutionize the world of watches again, by preparing to introduce the Rolex Perpetual movement, which was the worlds first automatic movement that would allow the wearer to wind their watch simply with just the movement of their wrist. I believe this beautiful ad reflects Rolex absolute optimism at this time. Notice how the ad uses the term wristlet instead of the commonly used term of of today which is wrist watch.
It took Rolex 20 years before they came up with their crown logo which they introduced in 1925. If you examine all of the ads, which run from 1935 to 1948, you will notice how much the Rolex crown logo evolved. Over the 12 year span from 1935, we witness the evolution of the crown from a kind of primitive version to the timeless logo which has not changed very much over the past half-century.
1935 French Rolex Noel Ad
Next we examine this vintage Rolex ad from 1935 that was published in France. The watches in this ad are art-deco and more dress watch oriented.
1936 British Rolex Noel Ad
Next we examine this vintage Rolex ad from 1936 that was published in England in the Punch or The London Charivari.
1937 French Rolex Noel Ad
Next we examine this vintage Rolex ad from 1937 that was published in France.
1938 French Rolex Christmas
We see in this next French Rolex Christmas ad that with all the different Rolex ads, Rolex is really beginning to hit its stride. I really like the artwork in this ad.
1942 World War II
Rolex U.S.A. Christmas Message
World War II was an extremely difficult time for most people on earth. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex was likely very, very frustrated by the mess the Nazi's and other axis powers made because it had a devastating financial impact on Rolex business.
The reason I suggest Hans Wildorf and Rolex must have been really frustrated, is because Rolex had really begun to hit its stride, and Rolex wanted to capitalize on their patents on both the waterproof Oyster as well as the perpetual automatic movement. This spiritually uplifting ad was published in the United States in 1942.
1943 World War II
Rolex Christmas Magazine Ad
It is difficult to put into words how profound and optimistically prescient this next 1943 Rolex magazine advertisement was from the middle of World War II. I is also interesting that Hans Wilsdorf and Rolex were so distraught about the sad affairs of the world, Rolex published this add that was just an observation and a wish for the future. In other words, Rolex spent money to make this bold declarative statement, and did not even show or mention a watch in the ad.
1944 World War II
Rolex Christmas Magazine Ad
In this next World War II Rolex Christmas Ad, you see how they were getting excited about the end of World War II:
1945 World War II
Rolex Christmas Magazine Ad
In this next World War II Rolex Christmas Ad, you can see that Rolex is relieved and back on its optimistic game:
1946 German Rolex Ad
Rolex was quick to get things back to normal just after World War, as we see in this very elegant German Rolex Christmas ad from 1946.
1947 French Rolex Ad
1948 Rolex U.S.A. Christmas Ad
40th Jubilee Celebration
In this next Rolex Christmas ad from 1948 we see Rolex back on top of its game. With the World War II fiasco behind it, it was smooth sailing. 1948 was Rolex's 40th anniversary so they named their new 5-link trademark bracelet, "The Jubilee Bracelet" as seen below on this first generation yellow gold Datejust. (The 40th Anniversary of most things is referred to as The Jubilee Anniversary).
We take having a date complication on a watch today for granted, but back in the late 1940s when Rolex was the first to introduce the date feature, it was considered a dramatically positive innovation. This all-new Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet is essentially the watch Rolex gave Dwight Eisenhower, who at the time was the Supreme Commander of NATO in Europe.
The yellow gold Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet is essentially The Father Of The Rolex President or Rolex Day-Date.
Vintage Rolex U.S.A. Hotness Ad from 1968
When Pucci Dictates Glitter...Is It Chic To Flash A Rolex?
This is Rolex...The Christmas Watch For Golden Girls
2013 Rolex Festive Season Website
Rolex In The Digital Age
I thought it would be interesting to compare the closest we can come today to a Rolex Christmas or holiday season ad, which comes from Rolex's website with shows a bejeweled Rolex Day-Date, and it says "Discover the Rolex selection for the festive season."
Dean Martin singing Marshmallow World has always been one of my favorite Holiday songs, since it is so positive and upbeat, and what could be any better? Watching Dino singing it with Frank Sinatra. It doesn't get any better than this!!!!!
In the photo below we see Dean Martin's family with Frank Sinatra's family on the set of a Christmas special from 1967.
In 1967, Dean Marin and Frank Sinatra had a special two-family Christmas Show and in the photo below you see Gail Martin with her dad Dean Martin, and then you see Frank Sinatra with his daughter Nancy.
Thomas Kinkade was an American painter, who is arguably the most commercially successful artist of the 21st Century. How successful is his artwork today? Apparently at least 5% of American homes has a copy of one of his paintings hanging in their home. Thomas Kinkade is pictured below sporting a yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master.
Thomas Kinkade wore a yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master as seen above, and also wore a Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master as seen in the photos below.
Classic Christmas Paintings Making Spirits Bright "Every painting is a journey." –Thomas Kinkade
I decided to publish this story today, as a way to get into the Christmas spirit, since Thomas Kinkade's paintings are arguably the greatest Christmas themed paintings. Thomas Kinkade's Christmas paintings are extremely ideal and heartwarming, and capture the essence of this most wonderful time of the year.
One could argue that Thomas Kinkade's paintings are similar to Norman Rockwell's in the sense that he is constantly attempting to capture this highly idyllic state of Americana. Thomas Kinkade grew up in Placerville, California, in the U.S.A., which is a city that you would pass through if you were traveling from the San Francisco Bay Area on you way to Lake Tahoe.
I have to say I am still really surprised that Rolex discontinued such an iconic Rolex model as the Pepsi GMT? I don't understand why Rolex does not still offer the red and cobalt blue bezel insert on the newer model Rolex GMT. This is one good looking, sporty Rolex, and a great hand-in-glove Rolex wrist shot photo from Quentin!!!
Supposedly it is challenging to get close to matching the red and blue colors with ceramic, but I say, who cares about ceramic!?! Ceramic is very nice, but it is much more expensive, and the previous generation of anodized aluminum bezels had a very cool metallic look. I think Rolex should bring back the aluminum Pepsi bezel on the current GMT Master. It is a fact the Rolex Submariner is the most iconic sports watch in history, but the Pepsi GMT-Master is not far behind it, as far as being iconic and recognizable as a trademark Rolex look. Who knows? Maybe Rolex will surprise us in the future by bringing this superb piece of Rolex design heritage back to life...They really should!
I just updated this story about Prince Andrew and added new photos of his amazing life. Prince Andrew has worn his Platinum Rolex Day-Date for more than a quarter-century now. Of course many Royals wear Rolex watches, including Prince Andrew's nephew, Prince Harry Of Wales, as well as his niece, Zara Phillips, who is a Rolex Ambassador. Also, Prince Andrew's uncle, Lord Mountbatten wore a Rolex.
A reader of Jake's Rolex World named Adam wrote in from the United Kingdom and shared a story with me about how he spoke with Prince Andrew earlier this year at Wimbledon about their joint appreciation of Rolex, and Adam complimented Prince Andrew's Rolex trademark Platinum Rolex Day-Date. Adam then shared with Prince Andrew that he had discovered a story about Prince Andrew's Rolex on Jake's Rolex World. Adam mentioned to me that he received a kind letter from Prince Andrew thanking him for recommending he take a look at Jake's Rolex World, which Prince Andrew, as a lifelong Rolex wearer said he was "thoroughly thrilled with Jake's Rolex World."
A ROLEX Prince
Prince Andrew has been wearing his trademark Rolex Day-Date for several decades now. We see him in the photo below wearing his platinum Day-Date when he got married to Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey on July 23, 1986.
The photo below shows Prince Andrew holding Sarah Ferguson's hand when they got engaged.
In the photo below we see the young couple, and they are both wearing Rolex watches, and notice that Prince Andrew is wearing A Rolex Sport watch, which looks like a Submariner, and Sarah Ferguson is wearing a two tone ladies datejust.
Prince Andrew is pictured below sitting on his father, Prince Philip's lap, while his mother, Queen Elizabeth holds his hand as his older brother, Prince Charles and sister Princess Anne look on.
Prince Andrew is pictured below with his mother, Queen Elizabeth holding I'm as an infant.
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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