Bold Belles

Rolex has long ral­lied be­hind fe­male com­peti­tors to help them ex­cel in do­mains of­ten dom­i­nated by men. Melissa Twigg pro­files three in­cred­i­ble women blur­ring gen­der lines

Hong Kong Tatler - - Contents -

Rolex has long ral­lied be­hind fe­male com­peti­tors to help them ex­cel in do­mains of­ten dom­i­nated by men. Meet four in­cred­i­ble women blur­ring gen­der lines

Since its in­cep­tion, Rolex has been widely cel­e­brated for its pow­er­ful ties with some of the great­est ath­letic tal­ent the world has ever pro­duced. Not so widely known, how­ever, is the tale of how the lux­ury Swiss watch­maker has cham­pi­oned women from di­verse fields, spon­sor­ing and sup­port­ing them so they could achieve great­ness on an equal foot­ing to their male peers.

This quest for ex­cel­lence is re­flected in the watches them­selves, which may be beau­ti­ful and del­i­cate but func­tion per­fectly even in the most chal­leng­ing of en­vi­ron­ments, whether deep be­neath the sea or on the world’s high­est peaks. The fol­low­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary brand am­bas­sadors, or Rolex tes­ti­monees, have no doubts about the ben­e­fits.

The Deep-sea ad­ven­turer

Sylvia Earle has gone deeper into the sea than any woman on the planet. And with head­lines like “Her Deep­ness” in the New Yorker, “Hero for the Planet” in Time mag­a­zine, and “Liv­ing Leg­end” at the Li­brary of Congress, this oceanog­ra­pher, ex­plorer, au­thor and lec­turer is un­doubt­edly a woman to ad­mire.

She has led 100-plus ex­pe­di­tions and logged more than 7,000 hours un­der the sea, in­clud­ing lead­ing the first team of women aqua­nauts dur­ing the Tek­tite Project in 1970, in which they worked in a cramped un­der­wa­ter lab­o­ra­tory for an ex­tended pe­riod. To top that off, she set a women’s depth record of 381 me­tres in an open-ocean dive in an at­mo­spheric div­ing suit, and has since de­scended as deep as 1,000 me­tres in sub­mersibles she and her hus­band de­sign and op­er­ate.

Her con­stant com­pan­ion on her ever-more dar­ing feats has been her Rolex watch, a brand with which she first be­came ac­quainted when Rolex equipped the div­ing crew of the Tek­tite II. “I’ve had the joy of spend­ing thou­sands of hours un­der the sea,” Earle says. “I wish I could take peo­ple along to see what I see and to know what I know.” While she may not be able to take the pub­lic, at least she can al­ways be ac­com­pa­nied by her Rolex Oys­ter.

The Wim­ble­don Cham­pion

Play­ing on the cen­tre court at Wim­ble­don had al­ways been an am­bi­tion of fresh-faced Spa­niard Gar­biñe Mugu­ruza. But even in her wildest dreams, she could not have pre­dicted that one day she would beat Venus Wil­liams—one half of the most fa­mous tennis sib­lings in his­tory—at the Wim­ble­don fi­nal.

The 23-year-old Caracas-born player has al­ways been ex­traor­di­nar­ily tal­ented and this year, un­der the watch­ful eyes of the Span­ish and Bri­tish royal fam­i­lies, she showed ex­actly how bril­liant she is, be­com­ing only the sec­ond Spa­niard to win the woman’s ti­tle.

The vic­tory in July con­firmed her as a nat­u­ral part­ner for Rolex, a brand that has long sup­ported women who epit­o­mise pas­sion, per­for­mance and pre­ci­sion.

Mugu­ruza’s Rolex has been part of her roller­coaster of a ride, sit­ting com­fort­ably on her wrist for nearly ev­ery game. “When you’re play­ing a match, you only ever have one chance to make the shot,” she says. “So many fac­tors have to come to­gether to make it hap­pen.” And hope­fully her time­piece is one of them.

The all-amer­i­can alpine racer

Lind­sey Vonn looks like the kind of per­fect Cal­i­for­nian blonde the Beach Boys were singing about all those years ago. But this world cham­pion alpine skier is far from just a pretty face. One of the most suc­cess­ful skiers of all time, she has won two World Cham­pi­onship gold medals, four World Cup over­all cham­pi­onship ti­tles, and a women’s record of 77 World Cup races.

On her path to be­com­ing one of the most awe-in­spir­ing skiers of our era, she came to re­alise the chal­lenges women in sport con­tinue to face, from a lack of recog­ni­tion and sup­port to smaller spon­sor­ship deals and less award money. So to help young women nav­i­gate those dif­fi­cult early years, she launched the Lind­sey Vonn Foun­da­tion, which sup­ports girls through schol­ar­ships, education and ath­let­ics.

“It’s not about what ev­ery­one else says; it’s about what you do and how you do it that mat­ters,” says Vonn. “That’s why I’ve aligned with Rolex for so many years—be­cause they have a sim­i­lar motto. They carve their own path. They do their own thing. And they help oth­ers achieve the same. It’s what de­notes the best from the rest.”

ocean deep Sylvia Earle on one of her div­ing ex­pe­di­tions and (right) wear­ing the Oys­ter Per­pet­ual Date­just by Rolex

win­ning form Gar­biñe Mugu­ruza wears the Oys­ter Per­pet­ual Date­just 36 by Rolex and (inset) in ac­tion at Wim­ble­don in July

up­hill tra­jec­tory Lind­sey Vonn wears a Pearl­mas­ter in Everose gold by Rolex and (top) on the slopes

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