Ernest Hemingway wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual.
When it comes to Ernest Hemingway, the average person will only see him as the writer of, “The Old Man and The Sea”. However, he was an incredibly complex person that traveled all around the world, went to parties, was an amateur boxer, and an alcohol connoisseur.
As is true with many artists and honest story tellers, Hemingway was a bit of a tortured soul. So many of his writings are incredibly interesting because they tell the stories that reflect the complicated and difficult nature of being human. He was a heavy drinker and lived a life of chaos much of the time. As he is also known for tragically ending his own life, it is easy to see that there were not many stable things in his life.
There were two things that were very consistent for Ernest Hemingway. The first was waking up and writing. He was known to write every morning as soon as he could. The other thing that was incredibly steady was his Rolex Oyster Perpetual. This was the watch that he wore almost every day. It was a classy steel watch that was the steady timekeeper for the man with a life that was all over the place.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a beautiful steel watch (or “Oystersteel”) with a stainless-steel band. However, Hemingway’s Rolex Oyster that he was often pictured with is from the 1950s and is 18 carat gold and has a leather band.
Hemingway admired the Rolex Oyster Perpetual so much that it found its way into his novel Across the River and Into the Trees when he compared the watch to the human heart:
“Do you think it breaks for me? If so, I would come and simply be with you and care for you.”
“It’s just a muscle,” the Colonel said. “Only it is the main muscle. It works as perfectly as a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. The trouble is you cannot send it to the Rolex representative when it goes wrong. When it stops, you just do not know the time. You’re dead.”
Here Hemingway is equating the accuracy of an Oyster Perpetual to the human heart. But in the case of a Rolex, it can be fixed if it needs to be repaired. This was not a product placement, Hemingway had a genuine fondness for Rolexes and wasn’t afraid to show it.
The Oyster Perpetual is Rolex’s entry level model. Its classic design doesn’t come with features such as date or day and comes exclusively in stainless steel. This is a great watch if you’re thinking of entering into the world of Rolex.
The modern day 36mm Oyster has the following specs:
Ernest Hemingway has also been spotted wearing a Rolex Bubbleback. The Bubbleback was the pre-cursor to the Oyster Perpetual, and was one of the first automatic watches available when it launched in 1933. Getting its name from its distinctive protruding “bubbleback” case, Rolex decided to house the large auto-rotor movement in a larger case rather than increase the watch’s overall size.
Hemingway’s Bubbleback probably dates from the late 1940’s.
While he was most commonly seen wearing his Rolexes, he also had several interesting pocket watches. This seems even more incredibly fitting for Hemingway, the cigar smoking, rum sipping, bull fighter. Nothing says, “intellectual writer”, like the Hamilton pocket watch that he was given by Ava Gardner for his 55th birthday. Obviously, there is no need to constantly check the time if you are in the depths of writing for the first half of the day and chasing experiences in the evening. That is why a classy old pocket watch would be perfect.
There are so many different things about Hemingway that you could dissect and try to understand. The complications are what made his work great, but also lead to his unfortunate end and his misery. One thing that he could count on was his steady Rolex Oyster Perpetual, but even that could not calm the tides for this old man and his internal sea.
Through it all, this amazing feat was accomplished while wearing the Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th stainless steel watch. As you can imagine, it takes an incredible watch to be able to accompany a man on such an incredible mission, so why was this the watch for Baumgartner.
Considering that Baumgartner was launching himself from a space capsule that was inside a helium balloon, from an altitude of 39, 045 meters, and at a temperature of -62 degrees Celsius, the watch had to be durable. The Zenith watch had to be able to endure extreme conditions to be the right one.
The Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th is a beautiful watch, but might not be affordable for some. It’s usually priced at Out of stock, for a very good reason. It obviously brings all of the classic features that you need in a watch, such as easy readability, a date window, a durable and comfortable band, and a secure stainless steel buckle. The big difference with this watch comes in with its sapphire crystal protection on the front side that makes it incredibly durable and in addition, looks beautiful.
The stainless steel case makes this watch able to endure intense conditions, like the ones Baumgartner faced while falling at a rate of over 360 mph. What makes this watch so striking, is that after this freefall, it was working absolutely perfectly once it arrived on the ground. A watch that can endure that amount of drastic change in pressure, temperature, acceleration, and altitude, is absolutely incredible.
With a case thickness of 10 or 14 mm, this solid case backed watch is prepared to take on the most extreme of adventures without sacrificing on style. As with any high-end watch, the Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th is water resistant up to 100 meters, which makes it great for adventurers that are headed into the water as well.
With scratch resistant sapphire on the face to protect it, there is really nothing more you can ask for from a watch, but this one provides a power reserve of 50 hours as well. If you are looking for a high-end watch that can provide dependability in intense and extreme conditions, this is most certainly one of the best, and most historic options available.
Conor McGregor is an Irish-born professional mixed martial artist who is well known for fighting in the UFC. McGregor is one of only two people in UFC history to win a contest at both the featherweight and welterweight levels. McGregor is a very impressive individual who has carved out a great deal of success for himself at such a young age. He is also quite well known for his extensive watch collection, which is evident by a quick peruse of his Instagram account (@thenotoriousmma)
The best part about the citizen? It comes in at a very reasonable $89.99, making it an affordable alternative to the Sky Dweller. And while there definitely is a notable difference between the two watches, if you’re looking for a quality and affordable watch that captures the feel of the Sky Dweller, this Citizen Eco-Drive won’t let you down.Check out the Citizen Eco-Drive on Amazon
Also among Conor’s impressive collection is his super suave Ice Blue Platinum Rolex Day-Date that he wore in the lead-up to his fight with Mayweather. The platinum version of the quintessential Rolex Day-Date packs a large punch (pun intended… sorry) in both performance and aesthetics. Combining classic features of the Rolex Day-Date Oyster collection such as 100m water resistance (perfect to use as a dive watch), robust perpetual movement of the Rolex Calibre 3255 (automatic), full day of the week displayed at 12 (available in 26 languages!) and a 26 hour power reserve. The platinum version features an elegant ice blue face, and is considerably heavier than the other metal versions of the Rolex Day-Date. Not getting $70 Million for a fight like McGregor and therefore not necessarily prepared to invest in a Rolex? Of course, there are alternatives. Especially given that Rolex is the most copied watch brand on the planet. A great alternative to the Rolex Day-Date is the Orient “President” Classic. This homage to the Rolex Day-Date features a 36mm case, full day of the week at 12, date magnifier, sapphire crystal and indices. Controlled by a very reliable in house automatic movement with two way winding clutch. Don’t be fooled, this is not a cheap Rolex knock-off, but a quality AND affordable watch in its own right. Check out the Orient “President” Classic on Amazon
Conor simply has too many other watches to mention without this turning into a massive article. So, I’ve just included some of his own images and videos from Insta below.
Omega Seamaster. In the video below he details his “Every Day Carry” items and lists the Omega Seamaster as “one of the most beautiful watches ever made”, and makes mention that it’s James Bond’s watch in Casino Royale.Adam Savage wears an
The Seamaster is a gorgeous and long-running watch by Omega. It’s not an inexpensive watch, but is very affordable for the luxury you get. You can check them out on amazon here, if you’d like to see this model of the Seamaster reviewed, you can check out our run down here.
Chris Kyle wore a Casio G-Shock.
Chris Kyle was a U.S. Navy SEAL sniper with SEAL Group 3. He served 4 tours overseas for the United States and is currently the deadliest sniper in American history with at least 150 kills to his name. Kyle was known in the region as “The Devil of Ramadi”, and known to his comrades in the U.S. armed forces as “The Legend”.
Kyle, and friend Chad Littlefield, were murdered by a fellow veteran suffering from PTSD on February 2nd, 2013. His autobiography, American Sniper, was adapted by Clint Eastwood into a biopic starring Bradley Cooper.
Along with his G-Shock, Chris Kyle also mentions his Rolex Submariner in his autobiography. He only wore his G-Shock on active duty:
‘On my wrist, I’d wear a G-Shock watch. The black watch and its rubber wristband have replaced Rolex Submariners as standard SEAL equipment. (A friend of mine, who thought it was a shame the tradition died, recently got me one. I still feel a little strange wearing a Rolex, but it is a throwback to the frogmen who came before me.)’
The watches these days are digital in their complications, but analog in their time display. Casio claims the battery life is 2 years, and some even come equipped with Tough Solar chargers to automatically recharge.
G-Shock watches all include automatic atomic clock synchronization, and most will now automatically adjust to whatever timezone you’re located in using radio waves and local sources. The “G” in G-Shock stands for ‘Gravitational’ – the watch was designed in the early 80s to be able to withstand mechanical shock and heavy vibration.
As such, today’s G-Shock watch is water resistant to 20 BAR, and can withstand a rather high fall (at least 20 feet that we could find, possibly more with newer versions of the watch).
The best part about the G-Shock is that it is incredibly affordable given the engineering that has gone into them. There’s a variety of G-Shocks with a range of different features, starting from around $47.99 for a basic G-Shock like this DW6900.
Chris would have worn a a G-Shock DW6600, which was the standard watch worn by Navy Seals after the Rolex Submariner, until 2011. Since then, Navy Seals have worn a variety of different watches.
We’ve featured the G-Shock G-Shock DW6900 in this article as it’s the closest available model to the DW6600.
Bradley Cooper wore a G-Shock DW 6600 in the movie adaptation of American Sniper. They got this part of the movie dead on as we’ve already mentioned it is historically accurate.
Around 2011, several rappers, including Eminem, started wearing the watch and vaulted it into the mainstream consciousness. As such, you can find them in your mall or local jeweler. You can also find some at a pawn shop.
Check out the following video for a glimpse of the G-Shock’s toughness:
Ellen DeGeneres’ favorite watches are Rolex Daytonas.
Ellen DeGeneres is an American actress, comedian, and television star who gained notoriety for her sitcom Ellen. She was the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character on television. Her fame really took off with her talkshow, aptly named The Ellen Show.
Amongst Ellen’s extensive watch collection is an impressive selection of Rolexes, Patek Philippe, Omega and Panerai. However it’s clear that Rolexes, and Daytonas in particular, have won her heart.
Ellen Degeneres was born in Louisiana in 1958. She got her start in local comedy clubs as a stand up comedian before going on to get small movie and television roles. She saw major success with her sitcom Ellen, where she became the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian role on television. There was some controversy with her coming out in 1997, but over the last 20 years she has been celebrated as a hero in the LGBT community. Forbes has Ellen listed as the 51st most powerful female celebrity in the world.
This video of Ellen doing Nicki Minaj’s Ananconda is one of her most popular (and one of my favorites) clips of all time. Watch Ellen’s video now and just try not be infected by her laugh and enthusiasm.
Ellen has one of the finest collections of new and vintage Rolexes of any celebrity. Given how many Rolexes she been spotted with over the years, this would turn into a mammoth article if detailing each one.
So, I’ve only got around to providing the following images of Ellen wearing some of her various watches.
Ellen is a serious Rolex collector. She hasn’t overlooked the classics and owns several Presidential Day-Dates to suit many occasions. We particularly like the platinum in ice blue as its soft color adds an elegant, understated feel to a winter wardrobe.
Ellen’s favorite watches are her Daytonas. She’s regularly spotted wearing both new and vintage models, including some very pricey and sought after models (ie Paul Newman 6241).
This Daytona Paul Newman is probably my favorite watch of her collection. This highly collectible vintage watch features the Paul Newman dial, which pushes the price up considerably. A watch of this quality generally sells for around $175,000 now. Quite impressive for a watch that was initially overlooked and didn’t sell well because of the distinctive dial.
This is a special watch, suiting Ellen’s charismatic, kind and bold personality wonderfully.
Ellen’s extensive collection includes an Explorer, GMT Master, Yacht Master and white gold Submariner. I’d love to know the street value of her impressive collection.
Bubba Watson wears the Richard Mille RM055. Richard Mille is a brand of swiss made luxury watches founded by French businessman Richard Mille (go figure) in 1999 in conjunction with Audemars Piguet.
Gerry “Bubba” Watson is an American Professional golfer and one of the few left handed golfers on the PGA Tour. Watson was raised in Florida where he played golf on his high school team. In 2003 he turned professional and got a spot on the National Tour, and then in 2005 he qualified for the PGA Tour.
The RM055 is a luxury sports watch designed by Richard Mille for Bubba Watson. The watch case is rubberized titanium and features a rubber strap. It is skeletonized, which always makes watches hard to read for me, but that may be your thing. The watch has a scratch and glare resistant Sapphire Crystal and is water resistant to 30 meters. It is an automatic self-winding watch.
John Glenn wore a TAG Heuer Stopwatch 2915A in space. The watch that Glenn wore was made as a stopwatch so that he could record specific intervals of time while in the Friendship 7. The watch itself was manufactured by TAG Heuer to be a stop watch and was the first Swiss Made watch in space. There were no special modifications needed for the watch to function properly in space, though Glenn did have a special elastic band fitted to the watch so it could be worn outside of his space suit.
The original Heuer Reference 2915A is no longer in production as such, but TAG Heuer has released a similar model in the Carrera. The Carrera is a 41.5mm stainless steel watch with an anti-reflective sapphire face. It is rated as waterproofed up to 100m (330 feet). This makes the watch a practical choice for a day at the pool or beach, but unsuitable for diving. If you’re looking to sport a watch with the same spirit and character that John Glenn took into space, you’ll want to pick up the TAG Heuer Carrera.
Grant Cardone also wears the Panerai Luminor Submersible. Panerai is a luxury Swiss watchmaker founded in 1860 in Florence, Italy. “Swiss Made“, in terms of watches, doesn’t necessarily refer to the country of origin, but rather the engine of the watch and it’s movement type. Watches that use Swiss movement techniques can be considered ‘Swiss Made‘. The Luminor Submersible series is a beautiful mechanical, automatic movement watch with a polished steel casing and a brushed steel bezel. The face of the watch has Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 with luminescent dots at 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11. The 3 mark has an automatic changing date display, and the 9 mark has the second hand. The Luminor Submersible comes with a removable black rubber strap, adding to the sporty appeal of the timepiece, and a sapphire crystal face that allows the watch to withstand a pressure of 30 bars – effectively waterproofing the watch to about 300 meters.
No box is complete without two or three Panerai.
Grant Cardone used to wear the Rolex Yachtmaster 16628. Grant Cardone saw our post about him and enjoyed it so much he reached out and gave us a few other personal recommendations. When he isn’t wearing his Bvlgari, one of the watches Grant used to enjoy was his Rolex Yachtmaster.
The Yachtmaster was first released in 1992 in an 18 karat gold casing. Due to its popularity and demand, Rolex released a lady’s version of the watch in 1994. That year would also see Rolex release the Yachtmaster watch in a mid-size man’s size, marking the first time in their history that Rolex released a professional watch in a smaller professional size. 1996 would see the release of a mix stainless steel and gold Yachtmaster, with the Platinum Yachtmaster rolling out the year after, 1997. The final change to the Yachtmaster would come in 2000 when Rolex discontinued the 1996 two-toned version, replacing it with a sturdier two-tone Yachtmaster with gold links – the links on the previous version were hollow.
I owned this one for 20 years.