Lance Armstrong and His Rolex Embrace Fatherhood and the Tour De France

Lance ArmstrongIs there any athlete in the world whose endurance and strength of character reflect the quality of a Rolex watch than seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong? A Rolex connoisseur with a preference for both the Rolex GMT Master II and the stainless steel Rolex Daytona, Armstrong has overcome testicular cancer not only to return to cycling, but also to embrace fatherhood again. Before Christmas, Armstrong happily announced to the press that his beautiful girlfriend Anna Hansen is pregnant. Armstrong told the Associated Press, “Anna and I are thrilled to confirm that we are expecting in June. We are very much looking forward to what 2009 brings on many fronts.” A Program Manager for First Descents, Anna Hansen loves nothing more than being outdoors on her mountain bike. As ideal as Armstrong’s connection is with Rolex watches, his relationship with Hansen appears to be an rare example of perfection.

After being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996 that had spread to his lungs and brain, Lance Armstrong was given less than a 50% chance of survival by his doctors. Facing the challenge of his disease with the endurance and fortitude of a Rolex watch, Armstrong survived surgery and several brutal cycles of chemotherapy. Armstrong and his former wife Kristin had three children using in vitro fertilization with sperm he had banked before his chemotherapy. Amazingly, Armstrong returned to win the Tour De France seven straight times until he retired in 2005. Lance Armstrong Racing Astounding the world once again, Armstrong announced in 2008 not only his return to competitive cycling, but also the coming arrival of a new child through the means of a natural conception. After relationships with Sheryl Crow and Kate Hudson, Armstrong has found happiness with Hansen. The question now is whether he can find the fortitude to win an eight Tour de France in 2009.

Although Armstrong often wears a stainless steel Rolex Daytona, his favorite Rolex watch always has been the Rolex GMT Master II.The 50th anniversary edition of the GMT Master II was revealed at BaselWorld 2006. This new model features a number of technical enhancements, such as Rolex’s patented Parachrom hairspring as well as a larger Triplock crown. The new model also has several cosmetic improvements such as larger hands and a new bezel made of an extremely hard ceramic material, which greatly resists damage and discoloration.

With his decision to enter the Giro d’Italia and return to competitive cycling, Lance Armstrong received a warm reception from the Italian cycling community. Perhaps nobody in Italy has a closer bond with Armstrong than Ivan Basso, who still recalls how the American took time away from the pursuit of his 2004 Tour de France victory to help Basso’s mother fight cancer. Rolex always has been a company that has shown a balance between technical genius and philanthropy. Lance Armstrong truly reflects the best of Rolex in both his personal and professional lives.

Lance Armstrong GMT Rolex GMT

Posted by John Lavitt on December 30th, 2008 and filed under Rolex Culture, Rolex Pop Culture, Rolex Sports, Rolex Watches | No Comments »

Singer Mark McGrath Has The Rolex Logo Tattooed On His Back

Singer-songwriter Mark McGrath of the hit band Sugar Ray is so passionate about his Rolex Submariner that he had the Rolex logo tattooed on his back. The former host of Extra TV from 2002 to 2008 and a guest judge on American Idol, Mark McGrath is a Hollywood party boy who truly enjoys the fruits of his fame. Whenever he is out on the town in Los Angeles, hitting the hottest clubs and the most exclusive parties, he is always wearing his Rolex Kermit. The Rolex Anniversary Submariner (16610LV) is known as the Rolex Kermit. In 2003, Rolex released the 50-year commemorative model with a unique green bezel and a redesigned dial. This popular model is the watch that Mark McGrath favors, although he also has been seen with a Rolex Datejust and a Rolex Explorer.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner is a line of watches manufactured by Rolex, designed for diving and known for their resistance to water. The first Submariner was introduced to the public in 1954 at the Swiss Watch Fair. Copied by other watchmakers, the Rolex Submariner is recognized as a classic, and one of the most widely recognized luxury products in the world. The luminous triangle at the 12 o’clock position on the Submariner was initially intended to be red, but red turns out to be the first wavelength to be lost underwater. As a result, the initial Rolex testers asked that it be made white instead. The codename for the Submariner while under development was Frogman. Thor Heyerdal, the Norwegian anthropologist, wore a Rolex Submariner in his 1970 Ra II sea expedition. Initially waterproof to 100 meters, the depth rating was increased to 200 meters in 1954, then to 300 meters in 1979. The first Submariner with a date complication was launched in 1969, along with the first gold model. In 1979, the Plexiglas crystal was replaced with the synthetic sapphire crystal still used today.

Still, no matter how impressive the Rolex Submariner is to both deep-sea divers and watch enthusiasts, Mark McGrath has taken his love of the Rolex Submariner to the next level. McGrath is very proud of his Irish heritage and displays it by sporting a four-leaf clover tattoo on his right wrist. Keeping with the Irish-green theme on his left wrist, is a Rolex “Kermit” Submariner. As a well-known celebrity tracker wrote about celebrities and luxury watches, “You devote the majority of your life creating some beautiful and mechanically significant piece of art - and then a public figure is photographed wearing your product. It has to make you feel good about your work. In the case of Mark McGrath, the lead signer of Sugar Ray, he is such a Patron of the Rolex brand that not only does he diligently wear his Rolex Kermit everywhere he goes - He had the brand logo tattooed on the side of his body…Talk about great advertising!” When it comes to Rolex watches and the dedication of Rolex enthusiasts, nothing really seems all that surprising.

Posted by John Lavitt on December 27th, 2008 and filed under Rolex Pop Culture | 3 Comments »

The Sexy Secret: Brad Pitt and Rolex Watches in Japan

There is no question that superstar actor Brad Pitt loves Rolex watches. He wears them in his movies, like the Ocean Trilogy and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and he wears Rolex watches in his private life. Brad Pitt, however, has a sexy secret, and it has nothing to do with Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston. For several years, Brad Pitt appeared in Rolex Advertisements in Japan for the luxury goods company, Evance. These print and video spots, splashed across billboards and constantly running on television in the Japanese market, are nothing like his American and European fans have ever seen before. Showing Brad Pitt lying in bed half-naked, gazing at his Rolex Explorer like a satisfied lover, the Rolex advertisements quite simply would blow his adoring female fans away. In the print ads, Pitt looks like a rugged playboy as he lies in bed, wearing only his Rolex Daytona. With the opening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Christmas day and his nomination for several top acting awards (still waiting on the Oscar nods in January), Pitt wants nothing more than to be taken seriously as an actor. And Brad Pitt is a serious actor, but his advertising work for Rolex reveals the inherent sex symbol lingering within.

Brad Pitt and Rolex watches intimately have been connected with each other for many years. The actor particularly has been known to be close, on both a professional and private level, with the Rolex Daytona. Commenting on the rarity of these ultra-popular Rolex watches, a South African newspaper pointed out: “Annual production of Rolexes is limited to an estimated 750,000 watches. The waiting list for the stainless steel Daytona runs up to five years. Demand for the prestigious Swiss timepieces - with the crown imprimatur - always exceeded the supply. Rolex cachet is such that during World War II, a German mountaineer pursued by British soldiers in India partially financed his escape by selling his watch to a remote Himalayan villager. That story is told in the Sony Pictures movie “Seven Years in Tibet,” starring Brad Pitt.”

Beyond this professional connection, Brad Pitt has been seen wearing a Rolex Daytona in his private life and recently he sold one of his Daytona’s online. On a major online auction site, the following posting ran with an embedded link in the article that revealed a picture of Brad Pitt: “The steel Daytona needs no introduction, if you are viewing this piece you know what you are looking for. This 2004-2005 piece is in pristine condition, featuring the white dial. We purchased this timepiece from a large Hollywood dealer who supplies watches to the top movie stars. While confidential in nature, it does come with the Rolex paperwork indicating the identity of such owner. These stars trade their watches in often for brand new models (why put it in your closet when you can just get a new one, right?)”

Brad Pitt is a huge movie star and a talented actor with a private life plagued by the paparazzi, particularly given his marriage to fellow superstar Angelina Jolie. Nothing is bigger in the Western popular culture bubble than Brangelina. Beyond this given reality, Brad Pitt is not only a major Rolex watch owner, but he sold the watches as a pitchman in Japan. And those advertisements reveal a truly sexy secret: the dashing and rugged Brad Pitt that every woman in this country has been longing to see.

Posted by John Lavitt on December 25th, 2008 and filed under Rolex Pop Culture | No Comments »

Benicio Del Toro Plays Che Guevara, a Revolutionary with a Rolex

In Stephen Sodebergh’s new film Che, Academy Award winning actor Benicio del Toro wears a Rolex to accurately portray Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Over four hours in length, Che combines two films, Che Part 1: The Argentine and Che Part 2: Guerrilla, into one massive epic. Che wore a Rolex GMT Master, and the actor wears the same classic Rolex watch in the film. Previously, Benicio Del Toro and Stephen Sodebergh teamed up to make Traffic, and they both walked away with Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Best Director, respectively. As for the watch, Rolex launched the GMT Master in 1954 to aid pilots who travel through multiple time zones.

In the extreme left wing and somewhat revolutionary community online, the fact that Che wore a Rolex GMT Master continues to elicit vigorous debates on whether the revolutionary sold his soul for a Rolex watch. As an anonymous revolutionary writes in defense of Che on revleft.com: “Rolex was one of the only watches known for their ability to keep accurate time, with little worry of breakdown…. The fact that Che wore a Rolex (a GMT Master) merely indicates that he had a need for a quality watch that told accurate time.” Even a revolutionary understands that no watch in world compares to a Rolex when it comes to quality and precision. According to legend, Che received the watch as a present and eventually donated the gold band to charity. In pictures of Che, the jubilee bracelet on his Rolex GMT Master remains in place. It makes perfect sense that Che would wear a Rolex GMT Master while fighting in the jungles of South America. Such violent struggles demand nothing less than perfect timing for both attacks and secret gatherings.

Unfortunately, Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s struggle for victory in Bolivia came to a bitter end when he was captured and executed in 1967. Che allegedly said to his executioner, “I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.” At the end, Che was interrogated and executed by Felix Rodriguez who cut off Che’s hands for proper identification for the CIA. Before performing this gruesome deed, Rodriguez took Che’s Rolex GMT Master and placed the watch on his own wrist. In ensuing years, the executioner proudly would show-off the Rolex watch to reporters and onlookers. Such a legendary Rolex should not have ended up as a souvenir of an assassin. Luckily, actor Benicio Del Toro and director Stephen Sodebergh in their new epic film, Che, revive Che’s memory and the true legacy of his Rolex GMT Master. Che’s stylized visage can now be seen on multiple t-shirts and posters around the world, as he has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol worldwide. In addition, everyone should remember that Che Guevara was smart enough to wear a Rolex GMT Master when his struggle and his life were on the line because even a Revolutionary knows the value of a Rolex.

Posted by John Lavitt on December 24th, 2008 and filed under Rolex Pop Culture | 1 Comment »