Björn Borg - His love for the Rolex Day-Date

Every Rolex Tells a Story, Björn Borg (photo: Rolex)
Björn Rune Borg is the legendary tennis player from Stockholm, Sweden.  He was an unstoppable force on the world Tennis scene between 1974 and 1981 and became the first man in the Open Era to win 11 Gran Slam titles including 6 French Opens and 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles.  He won 3 year end championships and 15 Grand Prix Super Series titles. 

He owned the world #1 ranking in 1977-1980 and was runner up in 1975, 1976, and 1981.  He still owns 7 all-time records - demonstrating his dominance including a 92.7% win percentage at Wimbledon, 41 consecutive match wins (another record) and an 89.8% Major winning percentage which still stand today.
Borg after winning Wimbledon  Photo: Rolex

He had two major rivalries - early on with Jimmy Connors, and more famously later in his career with John McEnroe, with whom he created a life-long friendship.  He became maybe the first tennis rock star with his long hair and beard - hounded constantly by fame and press.  He retired at the young age of 26 at the top of his game after nearly missing taking home his 6th Wimbledon - making many to wonder how much magic he could have rendered in the years to come and how many more majors he could have won had he continued.

Borg helped change the way tennis would be played.  He had a powerful ground stroke with heavy top spin.  Yet his exceptional athleticism helped power his dominance, especially on grass courts.  He showed great grace under pressure and calm demeanor which earned him the nickname "Ice Man."

Rolex Day-Date 36 worn by Tennis Legend Björn Borg (photo: Rolex)
Borg stated that he loved the Green Rolex Day-Date, particularly because it came out on his birth year 1956 and that it represents his personality and what he stands for - greatness.  Years later he still funnels his greatness into his current and popular self-named fashion label.

This model is the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36mm in yellow gold with green dial on black leather shown in the photo. This is the most traditional size for the model, much smaller than today’s popular 40mm model. The original Day-Date introduced the President bracelet in 1956. However, the leather strap configuration is more tied to wristwatch models of that era. The combination of green and yellow gold is a nod to the watchmaker’s corporate colors. An aperture at 12 o’clock displays the day of the week spelled out completely, a design element that also originated on this iconic model.

The Day-Date 36 uses a calibre 3155 self-winding mechanical movement and is a certified Swiss chronometer.  The crystal is a scratch-resistant sapphire with a cyclops lens over the date.  It is water resistant to 330 feet.  It has a power reserve of approximately 48 hours.  

The 2017 Rolex Day-Date 36 (Reference #118138) is available in yellow gold with a green dial and either the cognac leather strap shown above or a green leather strap.
2017 Everose Gold Rolex Day-Date 36 (Reference #118135) 
It is also available in Everose gold with a black leather strap in a variety of dial color options, like the chocolate brown Day-Date 36 configuration (Reference #118135) shown above. Visit to browse their entire collection of 2017 Day-Date configurations
 yellow gold Rolex Day-Date 36


More Rolex Collector Recommendations from John Mayer

Rolex Submariner Reference 5513  Image: ABlogToWatch
John Mayer, famed musician, has 3 more recommendations for Rolex collectors.  The first to discuss today is the Rolex Submariner Reference 5513.  Also called the Matte Dial Submariner, the Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 was produced between 1962 and 1989.  Distinctive simplicity, without any date or small seconds functionality, this Rolex is extremely popular with resale prices that range from under $8k to upwards of $50,000 or more.  

The Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 has had several variations over the nearly 28 years of production.  These variations  (Meters First, Non-Serif/Serif Dials, Pre Comex, and Maxi Dials) are best analyzed by the dedicated site 

This particular model can be submerged to an impressive 660 feet and has a stainless steel, 40 mm diameter and 13 mm thick case.  The durability of this Submariner is impressive. 

The movement is a non-chronometer-certified caliber 1520.  It has a black dial and bezel with off-white markers.  The bracelet is Oyster, and it has a lug width of 20 mm.  It does not have Sapphire Crystal, but it uses tritium luminous markers which creates interesting patinas on the markers as it ages.

Rolex "Pepsi" GMT Master Reference 1675
The next Rolex on the Mayer buy list is the Rolex GMT Master Reference 1675.  It is known as a Pepsi because of its stunning blue and red bezel with fat font.  This was produced between 1959 and 1980, one of the longest running Rolexes to be produced in history.  The earlier versions of this watch had a red 24 hour hand with a small triangle at the end.  In 1970 this changed to large red triangle at the end.

The bezel is metal for sturdiness and it is rotatable for time-lapse.  The two crown guards and screw down crown add further protection.  The movement is an automatic caliber 1575 with 26 jewels and a power reserve of 42 hours.  It uses acrylic crystal with a cyclops date viewer at 3 o'clock and a black gilt dial with glossy finish.  The GMT Master is waterproof up to 165 feet.  The Oyster Bracelet provides a solid and reliable compliment to this powerful and durable Rolex.

Rolex Explorer II Reference 16550 Black Photo: Woundforlife
The last recommendation Mayer makes in his buy list is a Rolex Explorer II Reference 16550 (Black Dial).  Although the white dial 16550 may have more value in the resale arena, Mayer prefers the black dial which has a black gloss dial with white gold hands and hour markers.  This may be partly because the cream dial versions had some production issues with the paint on the dial. 

If you find one which says Superlative Chronometer Official Certified" wording on it, you would have found a rare model with a premium value. It was produced only between 1985 and 1989.

It has a stainless steel bezel and a scratch resistant sapphire crystal with cyclops lens at 3 o'clock. The case is 40 mm and the dial is black with luminescent hour markers. It uses a caliber 3085 movement but has an independent hour hand to track a second timezone.  It has a waterproof screw down crown and it supports a depth of 300 meters.

John Mayer - Famous Rolex Collector

John Mayer is not only a famed musician, singer-songwriter, guitarist and musician, but an avid Rolex Collector
John Mayer is most famous for his exquisite musicianship and vocal prowess which has earned him a Grammy and millions of albums sold worldwide.  He is inspired by a wide range of music from country to blues to rock and beyond.  He has performed with many celebrity musicians including Maroon 5, Counting Crows, Sheryl Crow, and Keith Urban.  He has dated celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston, Katy Perry, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. 

However, John has teamed up with Hodinkee to pen several articles on watch collecting - a long pastime of his.  He owns nearly 5 million dollars worth of watches in his collection, and he collects IWC and Panerai in addition to a long-time love for Rolex.

We know John Mayer has a Rare 6264 in gold with red "Daytona" in his extensive collection.
Rolex Daytona Ref 6264
This 6264 is the twin to the 6262. The model features the Valjoux caliber 727 movement and pump pushers. It's distinctive black acrylic bezel sets it apart from some of the earlier Daytonas.  The ones made in 1970 and 71 are extremely rare and have been fetching outrageous prices at auction.

The Rolex Daytona is one of the most sought after Rolex watches today.  New or old, they are extremely collectible.  The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was introduced in 1963 and was designed for professional racecar drivers.  Initially the reliable chronograph and bezel with tachymetric scale allowed drivers to measure average speeds up to 200 kilometres or miles per hour.  Newer Daytonas measure up to 400 miles per hour.

The Daytona has an hour, minute and second hands.  It has a small seconds hand at 6 o'clock, a chronograph center hand, a 30 minute counter at 3 o'clock and a 12 hour counter at 9 o'clock.

Military Submariner. Image: Bobs Watches
John also owns a 5513/5517 Military Submariner.  These Rolex watches were originally made for the Royal Navy in the 1970's.  Only about 1200 MilSubs were ever made and they are in high demand since only a few hundred may be in original condition.

These MilSubs have a large T in a circle above the depth markings at six o'clock.  T refers to the use of tritium in the manufacturing. 

The hour, minute and seconds hands have sharp points and are often thought to be in the shape of swords.

The strap can easily be replaced with a quality 20 mm lug width replacement band such as one of these from Rubber B.

This watch is stunning with its black bezel and simplicity of design.  The nostalgia effect and rarity of these models make these extremely collectible.  However, it would take an expert to help determine whether some of the parts have been replaced from the original.  Many of the original 1200 units have been repaired, replaced and contain a variety of non-original parts.

Rolex Explorer I Ref 1016 - Image: Bob's Watches
John Mayer also recommended several Rolex buys under 8k which he is currently buying for his own collection and recommending to many other artists, rap stars and colleagues. 

The first Rolex on John Mayer's "Buy List" is the Rolex Explorer I Reference 1016 which could be called the "James Bond Rolex" since it was actually worn by famous author Ian Fleming, creator of 007, and mentioned in the original books.  It was worn by the first party to climb Mount Everest and was produced between 1963 and 1989.

The Rolex Explorer I Reference 1016 has a water resistance up to 300 feet and a screw down oyster case.  The simplicity of the black dial with slightly off-white numbers and markers is both stunning and exquisite.  The numerals 3, 6 and 9 represent the hour markers in those positions and are highly readable.   The initial movement was a 1560 caliber, but was replaced by the 1570.  The Reference 1016 is the longest running Explorer references in Rolex history.

Rolex Datejust Reference 1601 in 18k Yellow Gold
Next on Mayer's "Buy List" is the Rolex Datejust Reference 1601 in 18k Gold. This valuable collectable item has a 36mm case made out of solid 18k gold.  It has an Acrylic crystal glass with cyclops lens for viewing the date easily.  The Rolex crown appears at 12 o'clock and gold lugs appear for the other hours.

This model came with a president style gold plated link band which matches the gold case crown bezel and lugs.  This model was manufactured between 1960 and 1969.

Today with the rising price of gold, the value of this Gold Rolex is likely to rise.

We will cover the other three items on John Mayer's Buy List in the next article.

My Favorite New Rolex Daytona - Reference 116518 LN, Black with 18 ct Gold

New Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in 18 CT Gold
Let me just first say that I absolutely love this Rolex.  Although I love many of the new Rolexes that were released at Baselworld this year and certainly many of the classic Rolexes that came before, I think this might be my favorite Rolex to date.  Certainly it is on top of my holiday wish list.

The Rolex Daytona Reference 116518 LN comes with a 4130 Calibre mechanical chronograph and bidirectional self-winding mechanism, with power reserve up to 72 hours.  Besides the hour and minute hands it has a small seconds hand at 6 o'clock, a 30 minute counter at 3 o'clock and a 12 hour counter at 9'oclock. 

This 18 ct yellow gold timepiece has Chromalight  hands, 44 total rubies and PVD coating  to facilitate long-lasting luminescence.  The case is 40mm Oyster design with chronograph pushers.  The crystal is scratch-resistant sapphire, and the watch is waterproof to 330 feet. 

I personally prefer the Oysterflex bracelet to the metal options due to the comfort fit.  It is made with high-performance elastomer and has a Oysterlock folding safety clasp in 18 ct yellow gold.  And the yellow gold and black dial and black bracelet complement each other so well.  It is truly a gorgeous masterpiece. 

To illustrate the mastery of this design, take a look at this Daytona from the side view.  The Rolex Crown is embossed in the screw-down, triplock waterproof winding crown.  It is offset on either side by the chronograph pushers.  The workmanship of the design of this Rolex is exquisite.  The engraved Rolex name is placed within the gold inner dial, allowing you to see its unmistakable Rolex brand from any angle. 

This is truly a fantastic Daytona, and one of the most popular Rolex designs on the market today.  The Daytona brand has also been a very hot after market commodity fetching outstanding gains at auction many years later. 

This design is not over the top with Diamonds or other Gems.  So, this is a wearable sports watch which can be worn for play and even when you are dressed in your finest.  Tuxedo... no problem. 

The Most Interesting Rolex From Baselworld 2017

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 - 18 CT Everrose Gold Unveiled at Baselworld 2017
Baselworld 2018 is fast approaching.  It has a reduced schedule this year, by 2 days due to several smaller vendors pulling out from the Exhibit Hall.  However, it will still be jam packed with tremendous jewelry and watch designs, thousands of vendors and a media storm of at least 5000 journalists. 

Baselworld 2018 will happen from March 22nd through March 27th in Messe Basel, Switzerland.  At only roughly $150 a ticket for the whole week, it is a great deal for soRolex Yacht-Master 40 - 18 CT Everrose Goldmeone that wants to see the latest Rolexes and other priceless timepieces and jewelry in one place. 

To commemorate this highly anticipated event, we are going to look at one of the most interesting Rolex timepieces to come out of the 2017 Baselworld event. 

This Oyster Perpetual Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Reference 116695 SATS is set with 31 jewels, including multicolor sapphires, green tsavorites, and a triangular diamond at 12 o'clock. 

The waterproof oyster case supports a depth of 330 feet and is crafted from a solid block of 18 ct Everose Gold.  The winding crown is supported by a triple waterproofness system. 

The sapphire crystal is practically scratchproof, and it comes with a Cyclops lense at 3 o'clock to facilitate the readability of the date. 

The Yacht-Master 40 is equipped with a caliber 3135, self-winding mechanical movement system providing precise and reliable time and a power reserve up to 48 hours.  Its oscillator protects against magnetic fields, temperature variations and shock. 

The black dial is offset by Chromalight appliques surrounded by 18 ct pink gold, offering long-lasting luminescence in dark environments.  The bracelet is a black Oysterflex made of high-performance elastomer and has an Oysterlock folding safety clasp in 18 ct Everose gold.

I love the color of the black dial and white Chromalight appliques.  This watch, though, seems to precious to take diving, swimming or in other activities.  Although it is built to for an active lifestyle, I feel this gem of a watch is more for wearing out and catching the attention of anyone that glimpses its adornments.  The collectability of this watch will be enhanced by the solid pink gold design.  This would surely be the only piece of jewelry a man would need.

Should Rolex Develop a Digital Watch?

Fitbit Blaze tracker with PurePulse heart rate, connected GPS and on-screen workouts - $199.99
Fitbit took the world by storm with its ability to calculate number of steps, miles walked, heart rate and so much more.  Apple and Google have extended their respective phone features on their watches as well allowing you to see emails and text messages on your wrist without needing to reach for your phone or fumble through your purse.

This year we are seeing several new players to the digital watch forum.  Besides new versions of the Fitbit and Samsung, we are seeing Michael Kors, Movodo and even Tag Heuer get into the game with some impressive digital offerings of their own.

So, it begs the question of whether Rolex should get into the Digital Watch game or not?

Source: Tag Heuer - Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 - $2,200
Before, we answer the question, let's look at some of the features of the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45.  To the right, it is pictured a Tag Heuer watch that is built with dual compatibility for Android 4.4+ and IOS 9+.  So, if you have an Android phone (such as Samsung) or an Apple phone, you are in business.  This watch has several built in sensors which will help track an increasing number of fitness, distance and many other features for you.

  • Accelerometer, gyroscope
  • Tilt detection
  • Microphone
  • Vibrations engine
  • Ambient light sensor
  • GPS 
  • NFC Payment
It is powered by an Intel Atom Processor Z34XX and has 512 MB of memory and 4 GB of storage. The touch display supports fingerprint recognition.  Resolution is a solid 400 x 400.  The case is 45 mm across and 13.75 mm thick.  It has a 1.39 inch screen.    

Since it is a sports watch, they outfitted it with a brown leather strap with a rubber lining.  With an approx pricetag of $4,000, the Tag Heuer certainly approaching the Rolex entry level pricing. 
Movado Connect for Android/IOS - $595

The benefits of digital watches are incredible today.  Firstly, the fitness aspect of these devices are excellent.  Many of these watches also submit information to health providers with monetary incentives for hitting daily goals such as walking 10,000 steps, or climbing 10 flights of stairs.  Tracking heart rate, miles walked, sleep patterns and more can give health professionals data that could help the wearer understand healthy habits and lifestyle options that could lead to better health.

Besides the health benefits, there are utility or infinite app-based add-ons that can make the digital watch very powerful.   Reading email and texts is a huge plus.  Listening to music or getting calendar alerts are big benefits.  Being able to change the clock face to fit your color preference or style preference or even the current set of activities is where the digital watch really starts to separate from the older mechanical technology.  

For example, say you go diving and you change to the diving options of the Submariner, but later in the day you could be driving your race car around a track and would rather have your watch shift to a Daytona timepiece.  That is all possible with digital.  

Samsung Gear S3 - $349.99
The fastest growing selling point for digital watch technology is payment option.  This is just in the early stages, but many restaurants and stores are beginning to accept payment via digital device so you could eventually just leave your wallet at home. Add to that, the fact that you could eventually do away with your physical wallet, and the growth of digital currency like BitCoin, this could become the hottest reason to invest in this technology.

So, does that put timeless Rolex technology into the Model T category of less than useful gadgets in today's age.  Not at all.  Rolex devices are more than fine jewelry.  With the auto winding technology, if you don't have power to charge your digital watch, the standard Rolex lineup would wipe the pavement with digital devices that are essentially dead without a daily (or more often) charge-up.  There are too many situations where a digital watch would be worth less than a rock paperweight if power were unavailable.  

One annoyance of digital is the time-out.  When you look at your Rolex timepiece it is on.  You don't have to tap it for it to turn on.  This saves you precious seconds and certainly doesn't require 2 hands.  Try driving a race car at 180 mph and then need to tap the watch dial to turn on the watch!  Digital also heats up when it is running for an extended period of time.  Have you ever tried to run your laptop on your actual lap?  

Michael Kors Access - $350
Imagine driving, boating or just doing anything active for a long period of time.   With a Rolex timepiece you don't have to worry about charging or feel tethered to the electrical outlet.  The problem is intensified during a power outage caused by some calamity (hurricane, tornado, bad power, or worse).   It is built to last and work doing the handful of features it provides without fail and with great precision.  Many digital watches are not built with the same rigorous standards to support deep diving depths such as the Rolex Submariner.

The value of a Rolex investment is also greater - with many Rolexes currently setting all time records for prices at auction.  

The chances of a defective part in a traditional Rolex is nearly non-existent compared to the potential problems that a digital timepiece might have.  This could cause a digital watch to diminish in value or even become worthless over time.  

As technology changes, will the digital watch be able to keep up 20, 50 or even 100 years from now?  Unlikely.  

Although a digital watch today might support Android 4+ or Iphone, what happens when the next best thing comes out or newer versions of those OS's?  Does the watch lose capability or connectivity?  How many 1st Generation Iphones are still in service?

And what about the electronic parts that are provided by Intel or other brands.  If you need a replacement processor, storage or memory in 2060 for your digital timepiece, will Intel manufacture that for you? For this reason, most digital watches could be considered disposable objects rather than heirlooms that could be handed down from father to son for generations.  That poses a huge challenge for Rolex, which produces timeless works of art.  

With that said, I do believe that Rolex should get into the digital game when they can control the factors of production, integration and technology as they have done since their inception.  They have a time honored history in timepiece mastery.  The potential of what Rolex could do with their timepiece lineup is too immense to ignore.  But they have to guarantee longevity and the timeless design they are known for.  
Concept Art of what a Rolex Digital Watch might look like.  Image from: François Petit /
Add to that the fact that DATA is becoming the go to resource for every company and human being.  Without data a company will suffer and die out over time.  People that embrace data stop making gut decisions and all the other stuff that might get in the way.  All of us will be drawn into this new realm of more data. The graphic above shows how a data driven watch might use GPS to map a race track and detailed progress in terms of time, splits and speed - a big advance in tech over a standard Daytona.  A dive watch might show dive depth as well as dive time.  Yachtmaster series watches might show weather patterns or even land masses or boat traffic that may cause congestion ahead.  Maybe even sea depth, and wave height could be calculated.  And the more Rolexes people wear, the more data could be collected, providing even better data for others to use. 

Although I fully expect Rolex to embrace digital in the future, they will maintain their main line of watches for the majority of their customer base.  I also expect to see some crossover occur from the digital data people to the standard Rolex line of watches.  For example, step counting.  Why not create a dial that counts the number of steps one takes from the time it is set.  I am sure this could be developed if it doesn't already exist.  Also, I expect to see a mixture of rolex classic design, such as the hands and time clock along with a digital display or two or three.  For example, let's say on the Daytona, the three circles could have digital outputs that vary.  Or perhaps the whole back can be digital, but the clock hands remain intact.  The permutations are endless.  

However, the bottom line is that I wouldn't want to exchange my Rolex timepiece for a digital option unless Rolex was involved somehow.  Do you feel the same?

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