Need we really go into what makes a vintage Rolex—a Rolex that’s seen a lifetime of adventures all its own—so legendary and effortlessly cool? Need we mention Harry Truman and LBJ, Che Guevara or Fidel Castro (who often wore two at a time), Sir Edmund Hillary and Jacques Cousteau (who explored the greatest heights and depths of our planet in Rolies), Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando (who didn’t even need a bezel*), and one Royal Navy Commander James Bond?
Probably not, but we can’t help it.
Why do people admire Steve McQueen or Paul Newman? Because they were damn good at their jobs and just happened to look damn good doing them. Such is the inimitable character of a Rolex, and nothing expresses that destined-for-legend air like a vintage piece.
A brand name synonymous with doing things the very best, the Rolex’s spirit is of unpretentious perfection. It’s the best at doing what it does simply because it’s important to do things exceptionally well, not because one covets acclaim. It’s a value one aspires to pass down to future generations, which is why a Rolex is an heirloom.
When one acquires a Rolex, he hasn’t obtained a piece of jewelry; he’s marked an occasion—a career achievement, a personal milestone, or the simple embrace of life’s rich history. All this can be contained in a fine timepiece, and it seems to veritably imbue it with life, particularly so in the glow of a vintage model. The precious metals and dazzling patina age elegantly (like bourbon, or Hollywood’s leading men of yore), leaving a handsomely loved timepiece that is at once seasoned and ageless.
But beyond the glamor and bling, what truly makes a Rolex a Rolex is its origin as a tool watch, a utilitarian instrument designed to serve a purpose and serve it well—a dive watch for diving, a chronograph for racing, the universally adored GMT-Master, commissioned by Pan Am for the first generation of transcontinental pilots. You could wear a watch frozen over with ice, but why would you when you can wear one that says “I am a man of substance and purpose. My style? Well, that just comes naturally.”
Many believe a Rolex is the only fine timepiece you’ll ever need to own. Even we have a hard time arguing with that…Fortunately, there’s no need to argue at all because you can enjoy over 30 of them (and counting) without ever buying a one as an Eleven James Member. What, you’re not a Member yet? Apply today.
*Please don’t remove the bezel of your Eleven James Rolex. To the very thought of that we say “Oh, the horror…”