Archive for March, 2010
Everyone knows by now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a huge fan of Audemars Piguet watches. And, with the Governator firmly ensconsed in his second term of office, we thought we would revisit some of his favorite AP watches and even his role in creating some of them.
Let’s start with his largest collaboration with Audemars Piguet watches in terms of size. One of the most iconic Audemars Piguet watches of all time is the famed T3 watch. Schwarznegger wore this watch in the 2003 movie “Terminator 3″. The Audemars Piguet T3 watch (ref. 25863TI.OO.A001CU.01) measures a massive 57.2mm wide, 61mm long, and 15.65mm thick. At the time, this size was considered beyond “large”. But true to form, Audemars Piguet stuck with it, and the T3 in particular was directly and significantly responsible for the subsequent trend towards larger watches.
The T3′s case is constructed of titanium, which resists magnetic fields, making it the ideal choice in the event of any attempted rise of the machines. In addition, the highly stylized crown and pusher guards do not provide additional water resistance. They are there mainly for appearance.
The T3 watch was produced in a limited edition of only 1000 pieces (750 with black dial, and 250 with silver dial), and owners of the watch also received a special treat in the huge silver presentation box that the watch came in. It included a collector’s set of the Terminator movie series (DVDs of Terminator 1 and 2, and a priority mail-in voucher to redeem the Terminator 3 when the movie was to be released on DVD). At the time, the T3 was considered a futuristic looking watch, and it’s extreme interpretation of the Audemars Piguet Offshore watch series, combined with the popularity of the movie, gained it plenty of fans. Once released, it was an instant hit and sold out with the dealerships in no time. Even to this day, the T3 sells far above the original $19,900 list price on the rare occasions that it actually does appear in the secondary market.
Next is the Audemars Piguet Arnold’s All Stars watch (ref. 26158OR.OO.A801CR.01). Similar to other Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watches, the Arnold’s All Stars watch has an octagonal bezel secured by hexagonal screws, a visible water-resistance seal between the bezel and the case (providing a respectable water resistance of 50 meters), and perfectly integrated case and bracelet. Where the Arnold’s All Stars differs is it’s warm rose gold case, rich chocolate brown dial and matching crocodile strap, slightly larger 47mm case diameter, and exclusive limited production of only 350 pieces (long since sold out with the authorized dealers). Echoing the foundation logo, the caseback is engraved with the inscription “Royal Oak Offshore Arnold’s All-Stars – Limited Edition”.
Arnold’s All Stars is a collaboration between Audemars Piguet and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the benefit of the After-School All-Stars charity which provides comprehensive after school programs that are fun for kids and also keeps them safe and helps them achieve success in school and life by improving kids’ lives by nurturing their minds, bodies and spirits through programs that incorporate independent learning, academics and enrichment activities. After-School All-Stars serves 35,000 youth annually through after school and summer programs in 15 cities across the country. For further information, visit www.afterschoolallstars.org.
Another Audemars Piguet watch that has Schwarzenegger’s name on it, is the Audemars Piguet Arnold Schwarzenegger watch. Lesser known that the Arnold’s All Stars watch, it is quite possibly even more difficult to obtain. The Arnold Schwarzenegger was produced in a limited quantity of only 400 pieces (and also long since completely sold out long ago with the authorized dealers).
Although the Arnold Schwarzenegger watch shares it’s namesake with the Arnold’s All Stars, it is more similar to the Royal Oak Offshore line in respect to size (44mm diameter). While the Arnold Schwarzenegger watch may also still remind some of the All Star’s watch, it’s case is yellow gold, and the black dial with gold subdials is sharp looking and contrasts nicely.
Last, but not least, is the rarest and most highly sought after of the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Audemars Piguet collaboration watches, the End of Days. The Audemars Piguet End of Days was one of the earliest watches that Audemars Piguet produced specially for one of Schwarzenegger’s movies and made a very brief appearance in one of the film’s scenes. The End of Days was also one of the earliest watches to sport a black PVD coated stainless steel case. And, similar to the T3 spawning the trend for larger watches, the End of Days started the subsequent trend for black PVD coated watches. What makes this watch so rare is that only 500 pieces were produced in 1999, of which less than 100 made their way to the United States. In addition, finding one in the secondary market that still has the black PVD coating in good condition is next to impossible.
Jackie Kennedy wore a Piaget watch set with emeralds and diamonds in the bezel and a jade dial. Here it is shown in yellow gold with matching gold hands.
Another former first lady, Jackie Kennedy, was also known to have worn a Cartier watch. In this 1969 photo, Jackie Kennedy is shown wearing a Tank Louis Cartier watch with a black leather strap. One can only assume that her watch would have been the white gold version of the Tank Louis Cartier as it was not produced in steel.
Michelle Obama wears a Cartier Tank Francaise watch in her official portrait shot in the White House. Her watch of choice is the simple steel version of the elegant Tank Francaise watch. The distinctive Tank Francaise bracelet and blue spinel cabochon crown are plainly visible in the inset picture. Named as a tribute to the tanks that made their introduction in World War I, the Tank Francaise watch from Cartier has become one of the world’s most recognizable watches.
Here is a closeup of the steel Cartier Tank Francaise in medium size.
A Florida thief with a peculiar penchant for Rolex watches faces up to 25 years in prison.
Leonardo Perez has pleaded guilty to charges he stole eight gold Rolex Presidential edition watches, each worth $50,000, over four months in 2007. The crime spree began just after Perez finished a 17-year sentence for stealing Rolexes in South Florida.
The 36-year-old Miami native is so loyal he even has the Rolex logo tattooed on a forearm. Investigators say he’s been able to glimpse and follow drivers wearing the watch from the other side of the road.
Perez was supposed to be sentenced Thursday in Orange County, but the hearing was delayed.
He primarily found victims out shopping, followed them home and robbed them at gunpoint.
Of all the items set to go on the auction block this week at a midtown Manhattan hotel, there’s one that would take some mettle to wear in public: A satin New York Mets baseball jacket emblazoned with the name “Madoff.”
The jacket – valued at between $500 and $700 – is among hundreds of pieces of jewelry, clothing and other personal effects once owned by disgraced financier and vanquished Mets fan Bernard Madoff and his wife, Ruth.
Madoff, 71, was sentenced in June 2009 to 150 years in prison for orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme that spanned decades. The property will be sold to raise money for his victims. Gaston and Sheehan Auctioneers Inc. held the auction Nov 10, 2009 at the New York Sheraton.
Though thousands of investors with Madoff’s once-respected advisory firm believed their securities accounts were worth tens of billions of dollars, he never made investments and instead siphoned new investors’ money to pay returns to existing ones – and to fuel a life of luxury.
Madoff’s punishment included a forfeiture order that stripped the Madoffs of nearly all their wealth. The order gave the U.S. Marshals Service authority to seize and sell his homes, boats, cars and other personal property.
The smaller-ticket collectables on the list of sale items include stationery with Bernard and Ruth’s names printed on it; flatware engraved with the initials “RMB”; and a wallet embossed with “BLM.” There’s art, golf clubs and fishing rods. Also a cache of designer purses – Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada – valued at hundreds of dollars a piece and antiques that range into the thousands.
It’s clear Madoff had a taste for wildly expensive wristwatches, especially Rolex. A half dozen Rolexes are available, including one listed as a “vintage Rolex O.P. ‘Monoblocco’ chronograph,” also known as – yes – a “Prisoner Watch.” Estimated value is $75,000 to $87,500.
The Mets jacket carries its own special meaning: Team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz were among the victims of Madoff’s fraud. Earlier this year, his season tickets behind home plate at the new Citi Field were auctioned for $38,100 on eBay.
Heiniger, 58, who took over from his father in 1992, is to leave to “pursue personal projects,” the group said.
Rolex, founded in 1905 and famous for its expensive watches, gave no details about a replacement but said Heiniger would remain as an advisor to the group.
Swiss newspaper Egefi linked Heiniger’s departure to the Bernard Madoff scandal in the United States, but the report published Wednesday was denied by Rolex.
Egefi claimed Rolex might be a victim in the alleged 50-billion-dollar fraud by Madoff and this had shown Heiniger’s willingness to take high risks.
The group is privately owned by the Geneva-based foundation Hans Wilsdorf and declined to comment further.
The new Action Express Racing team showed up at Daytona International Speedway this week simply looking to take its new engine for a test run.
What a run it was.
Joao Barbosa powered the team to the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona title Sunday, finishing an improbable victory in the organization’s first appearance in the sports car endurance race.
“I think we would agree,” teammate Ryan Dalziel said, “we didn’t come into this thing thinking we had a realistic shot.”
Neither did anybody else.
The team avoided major mechanical problems and benefited from a late blunder by star-studded Chip Ganassi Racing to win by about 50 seconds. No one else was within four laps of the lead.
Ganassi’s Justin Wilson was leading before he made an ill-advised stop into the garage late, believing something was wrong with the No. 01 BMW Riley. The crew didn’t find anything, and the difference was too much for teammate Scott Pruett to make up in the final two hours.
“It all happened so quick,” Wilson said. “You don’t have time to think. You just have to react.”
The group that has dominated the race recently could only watch as it lost to a team with few sponsors that, weeks ago, didn’t exist.
“What can I say? I’m out of words,” Barbosa said. “The teammates, the crew, they did a great job. Action Express rocks and it’s going to keep going through the year.”
The group was formed in the offseason after Brumos Racing cut back to a one-car team. That prompted longtime Brumos affiliate Bob Johnson to assemble Action Express Racing, bringing some crew and drivers over.
“This is amazing,” Johnson said minutes before the finish. “I can’t even begin to describe it.”
The move paid off quicker than anyone expected.
Barbosa, Dalziel, Terry Borcheller and Mike Rockenfeller deftly guided the No. 9 Porsche Riley through a rain-soaked start Saturday that caused cautions and spin outs for much of the field. They avoided accidents and poor pit stops that pushed so many others behind, and they didn’t succumb to the pressure in the final hours.
“I think as a new team to come here, I think it’s a huge accomplishment to our crew,” Dalziel said. “A lot of these guys only came together at the start of January.”
Ganassi had three straight wins in the prestigious endurance race until finishing second the last two years. The biggest blow it took in this one was self-inflicted.
Wilson pulled the car into the garage with about three hours remaining after he said he heard a popping noise. Crew members scurried to find a problem, losing the lead and falling behind by a lap.
“I heard a loud clank and the car kind of whacked,” Wilson said. “I thought I’d blown a front tire or something like that, and being so close to the garage, I figured I’d pull it in.”
That was the second disappointment of the race for the favored Ganassi team.
Ganassi’s No. 02 car retired in the early morning hours because of engine failure. Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Jamie McMurray had led a combined 139 of the opening 247 laps.
Then suddenly, stunningly, they were out.
“I did well at times and I struggled at times,” said McMurray, who lost some ground before Montoya took the wheel back and the engine failed. “I didn’t want to be the guy who runs the car off and messes it up for everybody else.”
Holding off Ganassi made the victory even sweeter for Action Express Racing.
To beat the best so fast in a race that’s so long, there was no room for mistakes. From weaving through the 3.56-mile road course that encompasses about three-fourths of the NASCAR track, to fast pit stops and accelerating on the straightaways, Action Express did it better for longer than anybody.
Playing spoilers was fun, too.
As Dalziel deadpanned moments after passing off the driver’s seat for the final time, “Nobody wants to see Ganassi win again. Somebody different needs to win.”
It was “one race, one chance” today at US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven stops of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2009-2010. After gold, silver and bronze medalists were determined yesterday in three Paralympic classes, it was now the turn for sailors in ten Olympic classes to claim podium positions, but the plot came with a twist. Just as will happen at the Olympics in 2012, only the top-ten finishers–determined after five days of fleet racing–earned the right to sail in today’s single medal race for each class, except for in Women’s Match Racing. In that event, which makes its Olympic debut in 2012, sailors competed in finals and petit-finals to determine medalists.
About US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR:
Established in 1990 by US SAILING, the Rolex Miami OCR annually draws elite sailors, including Olympic and Paralympic medalists and hopefuls from around the world. In non-Olympic/Paralympic years, the regatta is especially important as a ranking regatta for sailors hoping to qualify for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, which annually distinguishes the top sailors in each Olympic and Paralympic class.
For fleet racing in the Olympic classes, the 2010 event will consist of a five-day opening series and a double-point medal race. The top ten finishers in the opening series of each event will advance to the medal race. Competitors in the Paralympic classes will have five days of fleet racing and no medal race. For match racing, which makes its debut in the 2012 Olympic Games, the regatta will consist of an opening series, a knockout series, and a sail-off for boats not advancing to the knockout series. Medals will be awarded to the top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic event on Saturday, January 30.
Regatta Headquarters will be located at the US Sailing Center Miami, an official Olympic training center, in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, Fla. Event organizers have partnered with the city of Miami to provide world-class venues for competition. Additional hosts for the event include Coral Reef Yacht Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Rowing Club and Shake-a-Leg Miami. These sailing organizations host classes onshore, as well as help run the on-the-water racing. The Coral Reef Yacht Club also hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
About Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America’s Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including supporting the US Sailing Team, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, and offshore, one-design and women’s events. In 2010, Rolex will sponsor over 20 prestigious yachting events globally, including the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Big Boat Series, Rolex Capri Sailing Week, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race and the New York Yacht Club Race Week presented by Rolex.
Sources: Sailing.teamusa.org and rmocr.ussailing.org