True or false – top 7 watch myths that we need to set straight


by Nour Abraham

scroll

The CHRONEXT watch myth busters have got your back

February 09. 2016 - by Nour Abraham

The world of fine timepieces if full of watch myths. Did Sir Edmund Hillary really wear the Explorer while ascending Mount Everest? And was Patek Philippe really the first watchmaker to create the perpetual calendar? CHRONEXT is here to deliver the truth.


1) Steve McQueen actually never wore the Explorer II

The Rolex Explorer II “Steve McQueen”

True!

The myth that Steve McQueen wore the Rolex Explorer II is absolute fiction. The fabrication was once perpetuated by an Italian auction house when they began referring to the Ref. 1655 as the “Steve McQueen Explorer”. In reality, the “king of cool” was endlessly faithful to his trademark Rolex Submariner and was largely photographed sporting the watch. So if you hear anyone prolonging this myth, you can be sure to set him or her straight.


2) The Omega Speedmaster is the only watch to have been worn on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin wearing the legendary Omega Speedmaster
Source: NASA

False!

Inarguably, the Omega Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the moon while strapped around the wrist of Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission. However, the Omega Speedmaster, contrary to popular belief, is not the only timepiece to have completed the long voyage to the lunar surface. In fact, the American Astronaut Dave Scott privately owned and wore a Bulova chronograph to the surface of the moon in 1971 during Apollo 15. The timepiece has since been auctioned off for 1.6 million USD.

Dave Scott’s Bulova Chronograph
Source: RR Auction

3) Hans Wilsdorf provided British soldiers with a “buy-now-pay-whenever” payment plan during the Second World War.

True!

During the Second World War, Hans Wilsdorf – the founder of Rolex – discovered that the pilots of the British Royal Air Force were choosing to wear a quality Rolex timepiece purchased from their own paycheck as opposed to their government issued watches. As it happened, enemy soldiers were seizing these fine timepieces when they shot British aircrafts down. Upon hearing this, Wilsdorf extended a generous and trustworthy offer to British prisoners of war. They were able to purchase Rolex timepieces and did not have to worry about paying for them until the war was over.

A letter from Rolex to an imprisoned British pilot
Source: Samuel Magida

4) John Lennon owned one of the most expensive Patek Philippe timepieces.


True!

John Lennon wearing a golden Patek Philippe Ref. 2499
Source: Jake’s Patek Philippe World

John Lennon was the ultimate hippie who once asked the world if they could imagine a planet without possessions. Consequently, it may come as a shocking surprise that the celebrated nonconformist owned a very exclusive and expensive timepiece from Patek Philippe. The exact model worn by Lennon was the iconic Ref. 2499, which was probably gifted to him on his 40th birthday by his wife, Yoko Ono, just a few months prior to his tragic assassination.

Patek Philippe Ref. 2499
Source: Jake’s Patek Philippe World

5) Sir Edmund Hillary wore a Rolex Explorer during his ascent to the peak Mount Everest.

Rolex Explorer I

False!

While the tale of the long and excruciating ascent to Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay is undeniably true, the question of the exact timepieces strapped around their wrists remains unclear. Rolex was one of the sponsors of the expedition, which included providing Hillary with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer. This timepiece was a prototype of the Rolex Explorer and not the first generation Explorer itself. Hillary was meant to wear the watch and then return it to Rolex following the expedition for testing purposes.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
Source: http://www.tenzing-norgay-trekking.de

However, many people do not believe that Sir Edmund Hillary wore a Rolex whatsoever while summiting Mount Everest. Instead, they are certain that he wore a timepiece manufactured by the British watchmaker, Smiths. Some people have even argued that he wore both. The reason for this might have something to do with the fact that Sir Edmund Hillary donated his Smith’s watch, which he apparently wore to the peak of Everest, to the Clockmaker’s Museum in London. With both Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay having passed away, the absolute truth to this mystery may never truly be resolved.


6) Rolex sponsored the Submariner in the original James Bond films.

Rolex GMT-Master “Pussy Galore” and Rolex Submariner “James Bond”
Source: Jake’s Rolex Blog

False!

While the Rolex Submariner reference 6538 was the first – and some may argue the best – 007 timepiece, the watch itself was never sponsored or placed by the brand for marketing purposes in the original Bond films. In fact, Ian Flemming – the author of the James Bond novels – was a Rolex fan all on his own, making sure to equip his Bond character with a watch from the celebrated brand. Naturally, the Rolex timepiece carried on into the Bond films, with Sean Connery sporting the Rolex submariner Ref. 6538 around his wrist. Interestingly, when the producers of the first James Bond film, “Dr. No”, reached out to Rolex to provide them with a timepiece, the watch company refused. As a result, the producer of the film – Albert R. Broccoli – provided Connery with the Rolex off of his wrist.


7) Patek Philippe was the initial watchmaker to create the first wristwatch and perpetual calendar wristwatch.

False!

While Patek Philippe holds a Guinness World Record for creating the first wristwatch in 1868 for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary, Breguet actually beat them to the punch in 1812 when they created the first wristwatch in horological history for Napoleon’s sister – Caroline Murat.

The Patek Philippe watch for Countess Koscowicz
Source: Patek Philippe

Again, Patek Philippe claims to have created the first wristwatch with a perpetual calendar in 1925, which is not entirely true. While the wristwatch was indeed equipped with a perpetual calendar, the calibre inside the watch was originally designed for a lady’s pendant watch, which is not the same thing. In 1929, Breguet manufactured the very first wristwatch in history to feature a perpetual calendar movement specifically manufactured for a wristwatch.

Nour Abraham

by Nour Abraham

Nour is an enthusiastic watch lover who hails from the Canadian Rockies. She can spot a fine timepiece from miles away and identify it with the blink of an eye. Since moving to Germany and joining CHRONEXT, she has discovered a deep passion for Saxonian watchmaking and spends most of her time exploring the depths of the watch ocean.

Exceptional Service

Providing excellent customer service is one of our top priorities. We deliver your watch fast and with utmost attention to detail. Should you be looking for a specific model which is not in stock, we are happy to source it for you - free of any extra charges. If you would like to sell a watch, our experts will advise you on market developments and the ideal selling price for your timepiece.

Should you have any questions regarding delivery, price or history of a specific model, your personal advisor will be happy to help at any time.

+44 20 3901 3512

Guaranteed Authenticity

We always guarantee a safe transaction. When you buy or sell a watch on CHRONEXT, your contract of sale is made directly with us. We take legal responsibility for every transaction and provide the highest data security standards, secure payment methods and fully insured shipment. In order to ensure the authenticity and quality of all watches sold through us, every timepiece is thoroughly checked by our watchmakers before it is ever shipped to our customers.

This is guaranteed through our Certificate which you will receive with the purchase of any watch from CHRONEXT - new or pre-owned.

Fair Prices

Only the best is good enough for our customers. This goes for prices just as well as for service and security. Luxury watches are hardly ever cheap but there are still significant differences in price levels depending on where you shop. Thanks to our vast global network of suppliers and our low fixed costs, we are able to provide competitive prices at all times.

We scan the market daily for the best offers and always keep our prices up to date. Most important however is that our competitive prices will never lead us to compromise security and quality.

Change of Shipping Country

You have changed your shipping country. When changing this setting between an EU-country and a country outside of the European Union prices shown in the shop are automatically adjusted to reflect local VAT in the shipping country in some cases.

Ok
×

CHRONEXT Boutique Berlin

Opening hours

MON - SAT 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Boutique Friedrichstraße 71
10117 Berlin
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Boutique
×

CHRONEXT Boutique London

Opening hours

MON - SAT 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Boutique 53 Fleet St
London EC4Y 1BE
GB

Phone

+44 20 3588 0044

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Boutique
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Hamburg

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Ballindamm 39
20095 Hamburg
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Vienna

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Kohlmarkt 8-10
1010 Wien
AT

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Munich

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Maximilianstraße 2
80539 München
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Frankfurt a. M.

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Taunustor 1
60310 Frankfurt a. M.
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Cologne

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
SAT 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Lichtstraße 25
50825 Köln
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Zug

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Feldpark 9
6300 Zug
CH

Phone

+41 41 539 10 90

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Sydney

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 235 Clarence Street, Level 1
Sydney NSW 2000
AU

Phone

+61 3 9071 1811

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Maastricht

Opening hours

TUE - SAT 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Stokstraat 24-26
6211 GD Maastricht
NL

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Melbourne

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 330 Collins Street, Level 14
Melbourne VIC 3000
AU

Phone

+61 3 9071 1811

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Toronto

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 1 University Avenue, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M5J 2P1
CA

Phone

+1 416-800-2490

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Hong Kong

CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Vancouver

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 333 Seymour St
Vancouver, BC V6B 5A7
CA

Phone

+1 416-800-2490

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

CHRONEXT Lounge Montreal

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 3 Place Ville Marie, Suite 400
Montreal, QC H3B 2E3
CA

Phone

+1 416-800-2490

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×

Thank You for Subscribing

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! You will receive an email from us shortly. Please check your inbox and confirm your registration to start receiving updates from the world of fine timepieces.

Continue shopping

Error

An error has accured while registering your e-mail for our newsletter. Please try again.

Ok