PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas January February 2022

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OBSESSIONS. DECORATION. SALIENT FACTS. T he long-anticipated r e p o s i t o r y f o r arguably the most collected watch in the world, Rolex, opened in Highland Park Village in December owned by Bachendorf's Jewelers. This wonderland of Swiss movement, precision, and performance, which has waiting lists for its most popular watches, is considered one of the most collectible watch brands on earth. Founded in 1908 by German- born Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex was the first wristwatch to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, an achievement that was followed by a string of significant firsts, including the world's first waterproof watch in 1926, which led to the production of the famous Oyster. A marketing wizard, Wilsdorf publicly tested the watch in 1927 on the wrist of athlete Mercedes Gleitze as she swam the English Channel. In 1931, Rolex created the world's first self-winding watch, the Oyster Perpetual. I n the 1950s, Rolex developed professional (or tool) watches with dedicated functions for specific activities, such as the waterproof Oyster Perpetual Submariner diver's watch, equipped with a bezel for displaying immersion and decompression times. The Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master, which launched in 1955, was the world's first watch to display times from different locations around the globe. A favorite among pilots, it was also the official watch of Pan Am airlines. In 1953, the Submariner was launched as the first diver's watch, and the 1956 Oyster Perpetual Milgauss, equipped with a Faraday case to block electromagnetic fields, was designed for scientists and engineers. Its most legendary watch, the Cosmograph, w a s i n t r o d u c e d i n 1963 and served as the the Daytona 500. The watch has been nicknamed the Daytona ever since and was the same style worn by motorsport enthusiast Paul Newman. Collectors consider the Daytona the Holy Grail and had been searching for the original "Newman's Newman" with its simple black strap for decades; it had been gifted to Paul Newman by his wife, Joanne Woodward, when he began racing, and was inscribed on the back, "Drive Carefully, Me." It had attained almost mythical status by the time consigner James Cox brought it to Phillips for auction. Cox, a former boyfriend of Newman's daughter Nell Newman, had been given the watch by the star in 1984. At the time, the watch's value was a mere $200. After 12 minutes of feverish bidding on the evening of October 26, 2017, at Phillips New York auction house, the gavel came down at an astonishing $17.8 million (including buyer's premium), a world's record for any wristwatch sold at auction. These sport watches, designed for specific activities, are the most coveted of all Rolex categories, and include the Submariner, GMT, Sky-Dweller, and Explorer. Even the slightest changes in models with limited production generate a flurry of excitement. Throughout history, Rolexes have been worn by the famous. Sir Winston Churchill owned a Rolex Datejust with a personalized coat of arms; Martin Luther King Jr. wore one, as have presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, and Reagan. John F. Kennedy's Rolex Day-Date was gifted to him by Marilyn Monroe in 1962, inscribed on the back with the message: "JACK with love as always from MARILYN." Elvis, Picasso, Hemingway all wore Rolexes. Today, Rolexes are on the wrists of Eric Clapton, whose collection features a rare stainless-steel Milgauss w i t h w h i t e a n d orange luminescent hour markers; and Brad Pitt, whose Rolex collection includes an elegant gold Day-Date II with black dial. PERFECT TIMING THE NEW TWO-STORY BACHENDORF'S ROLEX EMPORIUM OPENS IN HIGHLAND PARK VILLAGE. IT'S ABOUT TIME. By Rebecca Sherman Above top: First self-winding watch, the Oyster Perpetual, 1931. Above: Oyster Perpetual Day-Date, 36 mm, 18K gold and diamonds with alligator strap. Below left: Oyster Perpetual Explorer II in Oystersteel. Below right: Oyster Perpetual Submariner Datejust. 26

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