I had just concluded creating an exhibition for a gallery in Paris when the coronavirus disaster strike. The show, and anything else I was functioning on, was quickly set on hold. For the initially time in yrs, I had no deadlines. I figured I could occupy myself in quarantine by drawing about death, a constant topic in my work—but as an alternative I resolved to let myself have pleasurable. So I have been applying the further time to get the job done on an concept that experienced been in my head for the earlier 18 months or so, a sequence of paintings of traditional American icons: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, and Robert Redford.
The day I started, I put on my 1972 Rolex ref. 1680 “Red Line” Submariner, and I have barely taken it off given that. We’re all hunting for ease and comfort and a thing familiar ideal now. This minimal piece of metal from 48 yrs ago would make me end and value all that I have at a time when it truly is easy to slide into despair.
Newman, McQueen, and Redford were being all steel Rolex men. Newman, of system, famously wore a Daytona. McQueen wore a 1964 ref. 5512 Submariner. But to me, Redford, who favored the Pink Line Sub, experienced the best taste of all. (He wears one in All the President’s Men.)
Launched in 1953 at the forefront of Rolex’s dive check out program, the Submariner—thanks in portion to its enthusiasts in New Hollywood—is the timepiece that most people photo when they assume of Swiss watchmaking. It embodies the stability of rugged mechanical innovation and tasteful scenario expression that has made Rolex the final term in check out structure.
The Purple Line Sub, launched in 1969, receives its nickname from the unique crimson Submariner script on the dial. It was the initially Sub to function a date window and was fitted with a bezel that is vulnerable to fading to a beautiful milky gray. But the pink script is the element that collectors definitely love—one of people exceptional aesthetic deviations that can jack up the price of a classic timepiece exponentially.
I purchased mine since it was developed the yr I was born. It was not right up until later that I identified the Redford connection—and now, when I seek the comforts of timeless points that transcend this disastrous minute, irrespective of whether in my perform or on my wrist, that connection is much more impressive than at any time.
A variation of this tale at first appears in the June/July 2020 issue with the title “Time Stands Even now”.