Rolex Oyster Submariner and Sea Dweller Watches for explorers

The world is your oyster



The chronometer was invented by Englishman John Harrison while proving to the British Admiralty it is possible to navigate using an accurate timepiece set to Greenwich Meantime (0 meridian) and regular mid-day sightings taken with a Sextant.  


The Swiss made timekeeping an art form.  Below is just one fine example of such design, crafted from solid 18 carat gold and encrusted with no less than 62 diamonds in total.



Rolex Oyster Perpetual - GMT Master



Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date Watch, "The Rolex President". 36mm 18K yellow gold case, bezel set with 52 diamonds, champagne dial, 8 round and 2 baguette diamond hour markers, and President bracelet.





Swans from around the world will gather for the 18th edition of the biennial Rolex Swan Cup in September 2014 at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) in Porto Cervo. 

With upwards of 100 Swans competing, this week long regatta transforms Porto Cervo into the centre of the Nautor's Swan world. Drawing some of the most beautiful Nautor’s Swan yachts and many of the world’s top sailors, the Rolex Swan Cup provides a week of the spirited racing and gala social events for which Nautor's Swan, Rolex and YCCS are renowned. 

The 2012 edition year saw over 80 entries from all over the world, including the current SwanLine- from the Swan 53 to the highly competitive Swan 60 thorugh to the sleek Swan 80- as well as many of the models from the Nautor's Swan archives with a class likely dedicated to the classic Sparkman and Stephens designed models. 





Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands provided the sumptuous setting for the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean, which concluded on Friday 15 March following four days of terrific, sporting competition. Over twenty Nautor’s Swan yachts representing nearly ten countries and territories provided a dynamic spectacle in idyllic waters and varying wind conditions.


With warm Caribbean breezes, turquoise waters and brilliant sunshine, the stage was set for the first day of racing at the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda.

The Race Committee, under the direction of PRO Peter Craig, took advantage of the conditions with a gently building breeze from the East to set the racing divisions off around Virgin Gorda. Starting off the entrance to North Sound, the 25nm course was straight forward - Necker Island to starboard, Round Rock on the Southern tip of Virgin Gorda to port before turning North, back up Drakes Passage to leave the Dog Islands to port, finishing in front of the entrance to North Sound.

Having had their appetite whetted for competition at the yesterday evening's opening reception at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda where Luca Lucheschi, Commercial Director of Nautor's Swan, unveiled the latest addition to the exclusive silverware collection, the bespoke handcrafted Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean, competition on the start line was fierce.

The Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad placed second overall at the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo last September and had a second place finish today in the Maxi Class. The American team onboard is focused on improving upon their results in Porto Cervo this week. Tactician Tony Rey commented, "We came into the last run of the last race at the Rolex Swan Cup and we broke a spinnaker while we were in the winning position, so were not able to recover in time. Likewise we're out for blood and hoping to win this one.

"The Race Committee had a tough challenge because the wind was very shifty before the start. We took a shot that the left was going to be ok on the starting line and a big right shift came in so we were on the back foot from there. To be honest the Selene crew on the Swan 80 sailed really well, they rounded first and were gone very quickly," added Rey. "The BVI is an absolutely spectacular place, a stunning place to sail. The wind in the Caribbean is always shifty and today was no exception. It was a fantastic day even if we weren't able to win."

Swan 53 Music of South Africa enjoyed a dominant win of five minutes on corrected time over second placed Swan 56 White Rhino in Class B IRC. Owner and helmsman, James Blakemore commented, "We had a very good start but there were few Maxis we had to keep out of the way of. We were the first in our Class to round the windward mark, which was very satisfactory. We then struggled a bit on the downwind run and a couple of boats made up ground on us, but we had a really fantastic beat up past Spanish Town towards the finish. It's a wonderful achievement to get a first today."

The cruising division enjoyed a shorter course of 14nm from the start off North Sound, round the Dog Islands to starboard and back to the finish off North Sound to bring them back to the dock ahead of the racing divisions.

Hosted by Oil Nut Bay, the social programme for the Swan owners and their crew moves for the evening to the stunning resort the fleet raced past earlier in the day. Caribbean chic is the theme for the Oil Nut Bay Beach Party and with live entertainment revelries are due to continue well into the night, a spectacular way to conclude an epic first day at the inaugural Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean




The week’s triumphant crews and recipients of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean Trophy and Rolex timepieces were: Stark Raving Mad (USA) in Class A (reserved for yachts measuring upwards of 18.29m/60-ft) and Arethusa (USA) in Class B (yachts measuring less than 18.29m).


The course marshal's for the racing divisions had reversed the route taken the day before, with a downwind start outside North Sound down Drake's Passage keeping the Dog Islands to starboard. Turning North with Round Rock to port the fleet raced hard on the wind along the East coast of Virgin Gorda before turning west at Pajaros Point, launching their spinnakers to pass Oil Nut Bay and continue towards Necker Island and on to the finish. PRO Peter Craig ensured that the fleet returned to the dock in good time for the ClubSwan Cocktail competition, which just got underway.

In the Maxi class a repeat performance of the previous days textbook sailing saw Swan 80 Selene take the wind off of Jim Madden's Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad. Meanwhile in Class B, it was the South Africans on James Blackmore's Swan 53 Music who were first in class with Phil Lotz's Club Swan 42 Arethusa in second.

"Pretty light conditions should make things a little more interesting in the coming days. We hope it is not too light, as we want to get the races in. We picked the sails we'd need down range under 10 knots, which we haven't seen much of. We always like coming here to this part of the islands, warm weather and nice breezes. The atmosphere and the parties are great," said Phil Lotz (USA).

Making the most of the event is the Cruising Class, specially created by the YCCS Technical Officer offering shorter courses, no spinnakers and a rating system classified from 'top secret' to 'incredibly super top secret'. After two days of 'racing', Swan 44 Hokusai (FIN) leads the Cruising Class.


The well-received event signalled a continuation of the long-standing relationship between Nautor’s Swan, Rolex and event organizers Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), which commenced in 1984 with the first edition of the now biennial Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. The YCCS launched its Virgin Gorda base in 2012.

The subtle likeness between one sailing paradise and another - Virgin Gorda and Porto Cervo - was not lost on some of the competitors. “It is similar to sailing in the Maddalena in Sardinia,” explained Tony Rey, tactician on Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad (USA). “It is an absolutely spectacular place, a stunning place to sail. The wind is always shifting providing many challenges.” Experienced America’s Cup sailor Mike Toppa, calling tactics on Swan 90 Freya (USA), confirmed: “A lot of the rock formations resemble Porto Cervo which is kind of neat. The Race Committee and organizers are the same between the Rolex Swan Cup and here. It is familiar and in that way very nice.”

Phil Lotz and his crew on Swan 42 Arethusa (USA) used the competition as part of their build up for September’s New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex. Lotz is in agreement that Virgin Gorda provides a scenic and testing environment: “We always enjoy coming here and sailing around the islands. Generally conditions are pretty good. We tend to come down every other year. It’s fun.”


In Class A, Stark Raving Mad arrived with a score to settle. At the 2012 Rolex Swan Cup, a broken spinnaker in the final race curtailed her hopes of Class victory. James Madden’s crew were in bullish mood. “We’re out for blood and hoping to win this one,” warned Rey. On the first day, and in a building breeze of 14 knots, Stark Raving Mad again had to settle for second place. Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80 Selene (CAY) claimed the first bullet of the week, attacking a 25-nm clockwise course around the island with gusto having led from the first mark.

A pattern was set. Selene began impressively on Day 2. Following a spectacular downwind spinnaker start she won an exciting reverse run of the Day 1 route. “We had pretty high expectations coming in to the week relative to the boats we are sailing against. When the breeze is in the 10-15 knot range we should be pretty competitive,” explained Selene’s tactician Robert Macmillan. “Our plan is to execute great starts and try to get to the first shift and first transition zone ahead of the competition. During the first two races the boat speed has been really good and the crew work exceptional. We’ve made a lot of sail changes and the team has been doing the best job possible.”

The lighter winds prevailing during the final two days proved more troublesome for Selene’s heavier disposition. On Day 3, Stark Raving Mad made the smoother start and led for most of the way. Selene recovered to finish first over the line but not by a large enough margin on corrected time. Madden’s crew secured a first bullet setting up a dramatic final day.

In 7 knots of breeze, Stark Raving Mad started the final 11-nm race with intent and quickly mounted an insurmountable lead. Final race victory and Selene’s second place ensured Madden’s crew were Class victors. “During the final two days the winds were lighter which overall is of great benefit to us,” said Madden. “The crew did a really good job making no errors, consistently trimming the sails well and moving the boat at speed.”

Madden was delighted to build on last year’s runners up finish at the Rolex Swan Cup. “It is fantastic. Seconds (places) are nice, first is a little bit better. Selene sailed really well and is a beautiful boat. It was very close racing.”


The competition drew boats and crews from around the world. The predominantly South African contingent onboard Swan 53 Music (GBR), competing in Class B, a case in point. On arrival, owner James Blakemore commented: “We have cruised here before so when this event was proposed to us it was a no brainer really. Swan, Rolex and the YCCS have done an excellent job and we look forward to a wonderful week.” Music – set for an active racing season with appearances planned in the Mediterranean at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez and the Rolex Middle Sea Race – commenced the competition in style.

Blakemore’s crew claimed the week’s first bullet in Class prevailing ahead of Swan 56 White Rhino (USA). On Day 2, she repeated her success showing gritty resilience after a far from perfect start which saw her trailing in fifth place. Arethusa, second on Day 2, grew in confidence claiming Day 3’s bullet to set up a tantalizing head-to-head with Music on the final day.

As in Class A, an impressive comeback was sealed. Arethusa dominated the competition in the decisive contest. Music, following another disappointing start, finished some 26 minutes behind the leaders, settling for fourth place on corrected time. Victory ensured Arethusa won Class B by a single point. “Conditions were perfect for us on the final race,” enthused Lotz. “We got a good start at our favoured end of the line. The first beat was clean which was important in a fleet with so many big boats. We wanted to sail as cleanly as possible.” Arethusa, like Stark Raving Mad, displayed persistence and harmonious teamwork, seizing the favourable shift in wind conditions as the week progressed. “Winning is a great achievement and we really enjoy being here,” closed Lotz. Arethusa’s intention is to defend her crown in two years time.

Sportsmanship and teamwork were hallmarks both on and off the water. The Swan world was united through both competition and the series of elegant and popular social gatherings that permeated the week. A spirit typified by the camaraderie displayed in the additional five-strong cruising Class which engaged in their own competition, representing the values of gentlemen sailing so typical of the Swan world.

Proceedings culminated with the official prizegiving at the YCCS clubhouse overlooking North Sound where the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean Trophy and Rolex timepieces were presented to Class winners Stark Raving Mad and Arethusa.




Place, Boat, Owner, Races 1-2-3-4-5, Total Points

Class A
1. Stark Raving Mad (USA), James C. Madden, 2- 2- 1-1, 6 points
2. Selene (CAY), Wendy Schmidt, 1- 1- 2- 2, 6
3. Fenix (GBR), NS60-008 Ltd, 3- 3- 3- 3, 12

Place, Boat, Owner, Races 1-2-3-4-5, Total Points

Class B
1. Arethusa (USA), Philip Lotz, 3- 2 -1- 1, 7 points
2. Music (GBR), James Blakemore, 1- 1- 2- 4, 8
3. Island Water World (USA), Nautor Swan Benelux, 6- 4- 3- 2, 15





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Laser weapons on boats are now a reality

SolarNavigator is a robot trimaran with an efficient active hull that runs on energy from nature using a new patent system. The 140' ship will run autonomously with guest crews as observers. A team of engineers and academics plan to start construction of the vessel in 2014, following model tank testing. The attempt at the World's first Autonomous Navigation will take place as soon as practical thereafter, in 2015-2016 - the ultimate ocean challenge for time machines and computers.



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