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Was This Watch Used to Coordinate The Great Escape?

A little-known fact about Rolex is the company is owned by a privately held non-profit (organized under Swiss law). And for most of the existence of the company, they’ve involved themselves with many marvelous philanthropic activities.

One is the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which my compadré Josh Benson wrote about here.

Another is the program the company implemented during World War II. During that war, Rolex offered and sold watches to thousands of allied soldiers (some reports say British officers only) who were prisoners of the Third Reich. On credit. With no bona fides. They didn’t have to pay until after the war was over. Such was Rolex’s confidence in both the POWs and in the Allied Command to ultimately win out.

An allied POW had simply to contact Rolex through the Red Cross and request a watch, and the order was promptly fulfilled. Hans Wilsdorf himself administered the program.

And that brings us to an order received from prisoner No. 738 in Stalag Luft III, Sagan, Germany, dated “10th March 43” (March 10, 1943).

First, some background. Stalag Luft III is best known for being the camp where two storied escapes took place during the war. The “wooden horse” escape took place during the summer of 1943. Prisoners placed a wooden vaulting horse in position in the same location in the camp yard every day, with a man hidden inside. That man dug a tunnel over the course of several weeks, which was ultimately used by three prisoners to make their escape.

The other escape was the Great Escape, the prison break made famous by the eponymous movie which starred Steve McQueen. 76 men escaped. However, all but three were ultimately recaptured. 50 were put to death as punishment.

And now back to our man, prisoner No. 738, who turned out to be Corporal Clive James Nutting, a shoemaker by trade before the war. His watch, a Rolex 3525 Oyster chronograph, was shipped on July 10, 1943.

Nutting played a part in both escapes (after the war, he consulted on the making of “The Wooden Horse” and “The Great Escape,” the movies based upon the events). He distributed dirt excavated during the Wooden Horse project by spilling it down the legs of his pants and into the prison yard (a la Shawshank Redemption). And for the escapade known as The Great Escape, he made belts, shoes and briefcases for the escapers out of leather he stole from his German customers (as a craftsman, Nutting was enlisted to ply his craft for the benefit of his captors).

But did Nutting’s Rolex chronograph play a part in the adventure? The answer to that question does not seem to have been recorded. Certainly, he could have put a chronograph to good use timing the patrols of the prison guards and dispatching the 76 escaping prisoners.

One thing we do know is that Nutting kept the chronograph until his death in 2001 at age 90. It was sold with some fantastic provenance at Antiquorum in 2007 (one source saying it went for £66,000 – about $130,000 at the time), along with another similar Rolex chronograph with a similar heritage.

You’ll find more details in this account, nicely done by Alan Downing for Timezone just before the 2007 auction.

And this breaking news about an identical watch owned by one of the unfortunate 50 escapees shot for their escape.

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The Perfect List Of Gifts For Any Watch Guy & Rolex Lover

holiday shopping watch enthusiast

That thrilling yet dreaded time of year is approaching again where finding the best, most meaningful gift is causing you to pull your hair out…if there’s any left…We at Everest want to help reduce the stress and simplify your hunt with a few suggestions of quality products for that individual in your life you’re trying to impress. So here we go, one step at a time…

Everest tools set

Since you’ve found multiple, stylish Everest bands to upgrade your Rolex, every watch owner needs to own their own Everest spring bar tool kit for just $37.50. Impress your friends with our tutorial video and become an expert at fixing or accessorizing your watch. The pristine, easy-to-use tool kit will guarantee that you can try on that new Everest watch band once right after you’ve unwrapped it (we’re all still kids at heart).

Harry's shaving supplies

Gentlemen need to keep their faces clean and sleek as the festivities are never ending. Up-and-coming, shave clubs have grown in popularity in the last few years. Everyone is jumping on the wagon, so we’ve got a suggestion for you: Harry’s Shaving Products! You can find products and shave plans at www.harrys.com.  At Everest, we are all about quality, and Harry’s shaving products are quality made with quality materials for a quality shave. Now, once you’ve cleaned up for that holiday party, nothing is better than the feeling of clasping that gorgeous Rolex on your wrist.

worn and wound watch rolls

Where do you house your Rolexes while you’re traveling to family and friends during this crazy holiday season? While everyone’s running around frantically, your watch deserves time and care. Worn & Wound watch cases offer the most luxurious bed for your watches to lay in at www.WornandWound.com. From 2 to 4 pockets, you can store your straps or tools right next to your watches.

Everest curved end leather watchbands for rolex

Now that you and your Rolexes have arrived safely, what more perfect way to dress up for the season than with Everest’s Curved End Leather Straps? This genuine Italian leather strap is made in a French style technique by our Swiss manufacturer. The top notch quality material for the top notch customer. Your rolex will steal the party with this elegantly crafted strap. One of a kind, this Everest strap has just made its debut.

dunhill hunidor

Now, while everyone is sitting around, enjoying each others’ company and conversation with their beverage of choice, it’s the perfect time to pull out your warm, sweet cigar. Again, we are all traveling during this crazy season, so you need a way to safely transport the essentials. Impress your guests with keeping your quality cigars in quality condition with a Dunhill humidor, art in a box.

These five exquisitely designed accessories are made for the perfect gentleman – or gentlewoman – for the perfect holiday season.

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The Yacht-Master II – Now in Stainless Steel

yacht-master II stainless steel

Back in the day of gentleman sailboat racing, skippers – or more probably, their tacticians – wore yachting watches. A regatta timer (a timepiece that helped with gaging the start of a sailing race) was critical to getting over the start line first, and thus taking away any starting advantage a competitor may have had.

Rolex’s original Yacht-Master was and is a beautiful watch in its own right. But it’s nothing more than a glorified Submariner, built to satiate Rolex patrons who can afford a premium price for a sport watch. It certainly is no regatta timer.

The Yacht-Master II, on the other hand, IS a regatta timer – a yachting chronograph. In case you’re not familiar with yachting chronographs, they’re a special genre of chronographs, with movements typically specially designed or uniquely modified to count down the last five, ten, or fifteen minutes before the race starting gun sounds. If you think about it, you realize sailboats can’t just line up and wait for the green flag to drop. The constant maneuvering just before the start is a key part of implementing the racers’ overall strategies for the race. A skipper wants to be first to the line, but not jump the gun. There are penalties for that.

yacht-master II steel

With the Yacht-Master II, and its caliber 4161 column-wheel chronograph movement, Rolex applied their usual unique approach to solving time measurement challenges. As such, the watch was the most complicated watch Rolex had ever built at the time of its introduction. (One could argue that the Sky-Dweller has taken over the top spot in current Rolex complicated watches.)

When it debuted in 2007, the Yacht-Master II was available only in several combinations of precious metals. Doing so pushed the retail price of the watch sky-high. The timer finally came out in stainless steel in 2013. The corresponding price drop made the watch much more accessible to desk skippers everywhere. Frankly, it also made a lot of sense. A tool watch should be made of the material most tools are made of.

Briefly, the Yacht-Master’s regatta countdown timing function works like this. The countdown timer is programmable from one to ten minutes in one minute increments. After setting, you can synchronize with the race starter on the fly for precise timing of the start. And there’s also a mechanical memory function so you can reclaim your starting configuration.

Yacht-master Stainless Steel 116680

The bi-directional “Ring Command” bezel is integral to programming the timing function of the watch. That’s unique, because rotating bezels don’t usually interact with the watch movement. Among other things, that’s another path for water to enter the case. Rolex has dutifully addressed the issue, however. The case is water resistant to 100 meters.

So if you’re contemplating getting into yacht racing (which has been compared to standing fully clothed in a cold shower while tearing up $100 bills), be sure the budget allows for a regatta timer for your wrist.

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Join The #WristShotBattle For A Chance To Win Exclusive Prizes And Ultimate Bragging Rights

Do you like to win? Do you want to make the world a better place? Would you like to be admired by people across social media? Then, you need to compete in the #wristshotbattle.

Everest has put out a challenge to all you watch lovers across the internet. This is your chance to show off your elite wrist game. People will be pulling out all the stops to win this thing so you better bring your A game.

The #wristshotbattle initially began as a friendly challenge among peers on Instagram by the official Everest Bands page. The summer may be over now but your wrist should be cool all year round, and Everest is going to take care of you if you have what it takes.

The challenge is easy. Simply take the best picture of your wrist adorned with an Everest band attached to the most beautiful watch you own, then post it online with the hashtag #wristhotbattle. The winner will be chosen based on the amount of likes and comments they get on Facebook, Instagram, and Google+.

This way we know that your popularity is legitimate if you can rack up both likes and comments across three different social platforms. So if you don’t already have people salivating over your wrist selfies, get your friends to join in – especially since it’s for a good cause.

You see, the winner of the #wristshotbattle won’t just receive bragging rights and a shoutout, Everest will donate $100 to one of 10 charities they support. So regardless of who wins, those in need will benefit.

Of course there will be something in it for you as well. The winner will also be given an exclusive, never before released band straight from the Everest vault.

Not only will you have the best wrist game on social media, you’ll also be able to take your wrist selfies up a notch with an Everest exclusive.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera, take your best wrist shot, and throw your hat in the ring.  

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A Gentleman And His Watch. Ladies, What Is Up With Watches?

A gentleman and his Rolex

Okay ladies, so we need to understand men and their relationships to luxury watches. Whether you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift, or you simply want to understand them a bit more based on their pricey timepiece, let’s see if we can figure this out together.

So, these luxury watches are actually quite the fashion. And, not just for men. We’re getting back into the chunky necklaces and large watches being bold statement pieces ourselves. But back to our men and their watches, what says fashion and style more than a beautiful luxury watch on a man’s wrist. Whether we understand the obsession or not, that watch keeps a man respectable, classy. It’s a subtle note that a man appreciates nice things – including yourself.

Man and woman's Rolex

What specific watches men wear can give us a little insight into the men themselves. Whether they are flashy or classic, unique or vintage, watches give you a sense of the individuals wearing them. Think about it, even the colors and styles we chose to wear (and have in our wardrobe) can say something about us. Plus, if a man walks around with an expensive watch, he’s invested a lot into it – meaning, he’s at least good at committing to something.

But, if you’re looking to understand more of the men already in your life, here’s an idea.

A slightly unique and original gift that keeps on giving is a magazine subscription. I had no interest whatsoever in fancy watches before working at Everest (but I did and still do feel naked without any watch to constantly check the time). There were some watch magazines laying around the office that I picked up and flipped through, and low-and-behold, the magazines were captivating and quite interesting. I got insight into the watch world and learned some new facts and information – always an achievement for the day.

iwatch watchtime magazine

Anyways…enough about me, let’s get back to figuring out what to get our men whether it’s a grandpa, father, brother, son, husband, boyfriend, etc. So, these watch magazine subscriptions like iWatch or Watch Time are affordable, and it’s a gift that arrives throughout the year.

These magazines are actually interesting to check out new photos of watch releases or simply news about the watch world. Everybody loves to lay out on the couch and flip through a new magazine that arrives snail mail style. And, I’m pretty sure us ladies may at least flip through the magazine if it’s arriving at our doorstep. Then, you’ll at least start recognizing things about watches while your men rattle on about their love of luxury watches like Rolex, Omega, Panerai, Patek Philippe, etc. We’re getting closer and closer to the holiday season, so this is just another idea.

Think about what a particular watch really says about a man…and keep reading Everest Journal for some more great gift ideas for men coming soon!

rolex jacket cuff links

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It’s Auction Season And That Means You Can Get A Rare Rolex For An Amazing Price

Patek Phillipe

If young men’s fancies turn to thoughts of love in the spring, fall brings out watch lust in horological nerds everywhere. That’s because Christies, Antiquorum, Sotheby’s, and Phillips are each holding auctions of important watches (‘important’ is a code word for ‘old and expensive’).

Obviously, numerous brands are represented. Just as obviously, two “money brands” tend to dominate: Patek Philippe and Rolex. And because we at Everest are oriented toward Rolex, let’s take a look at some examples from the Crown that will be going under the gavel.

Antiquorum has 32 Rolex lots in its Hong Kong sale on October 25th. Notable among them are a 1940s yellow gold deck watch, a yellow gold Rolex Perpetual from around 1950, and a meters first Submariner ref. 5512 dated to 1962.

Antiquorum also has sales in Geneva on November 8 and in New York on December 9, although we don’t yet know a lot about either of them.

Christie’s Important Watches sale in Geneva is on November 9, a day after the Antiquorum sale. This auction features 94 Rolex lots, including a steel Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6265, a yellow gold Daytona ref. 6263, and a steel Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6262. In fact, this sale has… er… numerous Newmans going on the block. Might be the place to get your panda itch scratched.

Christie’s follows the Geneva sale with Important Watches in Hong Kong on November 30 and Watches in New York on December 16.

Sotheby’s has several sales coming up: Important Watches in Geneva on November 10 and in New York on December 10, plus Fine Timepieces in Hong Kong on November 29. And Rollies abound in all of them.

Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, has their Geneva Watch Auction Two on November 7 & 8. Another 92 Rolex pieces are on the block there, including a reverse panda Paul Newman 6239, a COMEX Submariner 5513/5514, and two Stella Day-Dates in Caribbean blue – one in white gold and one in platinum.

If you really want to spend your hard earned dollars frivolously, you could make long weekend trips to Geneva in November and New York in December, and take in no less than six sales.

Or you could sit at your computer in your underwear, bidding online and coughing up a few hundred thousand dollars for a few nice pieces. You DO have a Black American Express card, don’t you?