The long­time re­la­tion­ship be­tween Rolex and the golf world was on full dis­play at this year’s Masters Tour­na­ment in Au­gusta, Ga.

Cel­e­brat­ing half a cen­tury of part­ner­ships in pro­fes­sional golf, the ties be­tween the game and the Swiss watch­maker run deep.

Boston Common - - CONTENTS - By Mike Espin­dle

Nowhere was Rolex’s long-run­ning as­so­ci­a­tion with pro­fes­sional golf more ap­par­ent than at the Masters Tour­na­ment at Au­gusta Na­tional Golf Club in Georgia this spring, where Rolex (rolex.com) has been a key spon­sor since 1999. While the world watched the elec­tri­fy­ing sud­den-death vic­tory of Spaniard Sergio Gar­cia over Brit Justin Rose, guests of Rolex en­joyed prime view­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties; un­matched hos­pi­tal­ity at the Rolex House near the first hole; as well as the com­pany and in­sight of some of the game’s leg­ends, who stopped by dur­ing the tour­na­ment. The scene was as dra­matic as you might ex­pect—chock full of ex­cit­ing mo­ments and mem­o­ries. “When I was com­ing up,” for­mer Masters cham­pion Tom Wat­son shares, “I al­ways ad­mired the gold Rolex watches of the top play­ers.” The fa­mously hum­ble golfer, who won in 1977 and 1981, adds: “My goal was to treat my­self to a Rolex after I made a mil­lion dol­lars in win­nings.” Gary Player, the South African golf leg­end who was the first non-Amer­i­can to win the Masters in 1961 (he won again in 1974 and 1978), re­calls: “Back then, I was tak­ing on Arnold Palmer in his own house, so to speak, and the fans were—un­der­stand­ably—not in my cor­ner.” Still, Rolex was al­ways a wel­com­ing pres­ence for the feisty cham­pion. While the Rolex-golf con­nec­tion runs deep, some of the watch­maker’s most re­cent mod­els un­veiled at the Basel­world watch and jew­elry show in Switzer­land seem par­tic­u­larly apt for the links. New ver­sions of the iconic Sky-Dweller, with its mas­ter­ful fluted bezel, are now avail­able in a white-gold bezel, steel and yel­low­gold com­bi­na­tions. Rolex’s beefy Sea-Dweller dive watch re­ceives sig­nif­i­cant up­dates as it cel­e­brates its 50th an­niver­sary. With a new 43 mm size—sport­ing the iconic Rolex Cy­clops date mag­ni­fier for the first time and a Cer­achrom bezel—and wa­ter­proof to an as­tound­ing 4,000 feet, this time­piece can stand up to any wear and tear you might put in on the greens.

“When I was com­ing up, I al­ways ad­mired the gold Rolex watches of the top play­ers.” –TOM WAT­SON

Clock­wise from left: Win­ner of the 1977 and 1981 Masters Tour­na­ments, Tom Wat­son; with his 1961 win, South African Gary Player be­came the first for­eign-born player to win a green jacket; Sky-Dweller time­piece in steel and yel­low gold, $17,150, and Sea-Dweller time­piece in steel, $11,350, both at Sid­ney Thomas Jewel­ers.

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