WHO MADE THE FIRST DIVE WATCH? ROLEX? BLANCPAIN? PANERAI?

 

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Get a bunch of watch nerds together in a room and ask them who made the first dive watch and you’re likely to hear a discordant harmony of “Rolex!” and “Blancpain!” Continue reading

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Patek Philippe Museum-Geneva

FullSizeRender4I recently had the opportunity to do something really cool! I took a trip with one of my best friends on a whirlwind tour of all the great cities in Europe. I am sure over the course of the year I will write about most of the places that I’ve been, but I plan to start with something close to my swell readers heart. Continue reading

Something Swell from Rolex

explorerOn my recent trip to Europe I made a pilgrimage to Geneva, any good watch aficionado needs to see this at least once. The headquarters for many of the biggest brands are here, and the pulse of the entire industry can be felt. for fun I snapped some pictures at Rolex, have a peek, the visit was totally swell.

Geneva Fountain

Geneva Fountain

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The Rolex D-Blue Dial Deepsea Sea-Dweller James Cameron expedition

Rolex Deepsea DBlueLast year I wrote all about a record breaking dive With James Cameron and National Geographic and a record breaking watch from Rolex, if you get a minute you can read it here. This year there are some excititng announcements on that historic dive.  At 10,908 meters (nearly 36,000 feet) The Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean on earth. On March 26th, 2012  filmmaker and explorer James Cameron in partnership with National Geographic made the first solo dive to and scientific exploration of the Mariana Trench. Making this kind of a dive was no small feat, and to commemorate Cameron’s expedition as well as the  documentary of said expedition called Deepsea Challenge 3D, Rolex has released a new edition of a great watch. Personally I was hoping for the actual Deep Sea Challange model to be publicly released,. However, what they did introduce is still rather exceptional. They have delivered a new version of the Deepsea Sea-Dweller with a gradient “D-Blue” dial that fades from deep blue to black. The coloring is intended to invoke images the ocean’s depths, diving lower and lower until you reach a point completely void of light. Continue reading

Restoring Elvis Presley’s BMW 507 roadster

 

 

This article has been in the news a few places in the last couple of days. It is about my all time favorite car and a musician who is fairly swell in his own rite. Elvis Presley, the ring of Rock and Roll once owned this beautiful BMW 507 Roadster, it is about to be restored by the BMW factory in Germany, I re posted the article here for your reading and viewing pleasure

73c94d74380a4c2ca9602b397a5493e9Elvis Presley’s BMW is getting the rock star treatment all over again. This rare BMW was the King’s personal ride while serving in the Army between 1958 and 1960.

BMW Classic, the automaker’s official restoration arm, is bringing the King’s 507 roadster back to showroom quality. The red roadster, one of just 254 built between 1955 and 1959, was actually Presley’s second 507, or by some accounts, the same car painted red after adoring women wrote their names and numbers all over the original white body in lipstick.

In either case, Presley was stationed in Germany in the late 1950s as a private in the U.S. Army, but aside from operating a tank and standing guard (where he was again mobbed by hundreds of German fans), the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was no ordinary GI. In between his many overseas girlfriends and ability to skirt Army rules as a celebrity, Presley bought one of the most expensive cars at that time (about $450,000 in today’s dollars). He spotted the 507 in a local dealer after the Porsche 550 Spyder, the other great sports car in which heartthrob actor James Dean famously died, wasn’t available.b545abf3d9664564b408be2a476dabb4

For a $3,750 lease — for a used model raced by Hans Stuck — Elvis cruised around Germany in one of the most beautiful and rarest BMWs ever made until his Army tour was up in 1960. From there, the story gets murkier. The 507 was shipped to the U.S., except its original 150-horsepower V8 engine was swapped for a small-block Chevy somewhere in Alabama and was drag-raced. Later in 1968, an engineer named Jack Castor bought the car in Arizona and then let it sit in a warehouse for decades. Only recently has Castor shipped the car to BMW to let the experts restore Presley’s car.bmw_red_3_408

Currently, the car is on display in its original condition at the factory BMW Museum through Aug. 10. Presley also bought a BMW Isetta — the funny microcar that had its single door up front — even before leaving for Germany. Discounting every other car Elvis bought in his lifetime, it was sure good to be the King with keys to a 507.

[Source: Road & Track via BMW Classic; Photos by BMW, Elvis Australia]

Hodinkee’s “Talking Watches” with Jean-Claude Biver

As a blogger myself, I frequent a number of other watch blogs and websites, one of my favorites is Hodinkee. They have a beautiful site (check it out), and do an excellent job of covering the watch industry as a whole, from top to bottom and everything in between. They have a reoccurring feature that I really enjoy called “Talking Watches”, where they interview some famous collectors and see their collections. I typically view, enjoy and move on, but this episode really caught my attention. It featured a titan in the watch industry, one Mr. Jean-Claude Biver. Continue reading

Top Ten Big & Small Screen Cars of my Generation

I always have fun with top ten lists. I think it is human nature to prioritize and categorize things. We all Like when things have their place. I am sure my readers have their top 5 songs or artists, their favorite watches, people they would be stuck on a desert island with. Well I was thinking the other day about all of the great cars I’ve seen in TV and movies, and what stuff inspired me growing up. Now there is no particular order, and not all of these were even made during my lifetime, but in some way on the screen had a big impact. I am giving away my age some here too, but its all in good fun. What great fodder for a top ten list huh? So here are my top ten- ish favorite cars of my generation, and every one of them is totally swell.

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