Hello, new day. ☺
1986 Rolex watch ad from Bromberg’s Jewlery
reminder to anyone putting their clocks back today, just go back one hour, don’t make us repeat half of 2020 through your cursed time machine alarm clock
October 1989… first Rolex Daytona in space!
During the 4 days 23 hours STS-34 mission, astronaut & Naval aviator Michael “Mike” McCulley wore his personal Rolex Daytona 6263 chronograph onboard space shuttle “Atlantis”.
It was the fifth flight for “Atlantis” and the fifth time the astronauts carried an IMAX camera onboard the orbiter to shoot images for the “Wild Blue Yonder”. The crew launched the unmanned Jupiter-bound Galileo probe and carried out a set of student-inspired experiments.
Mike McCulley, who had served on several US Navy submarines before becoming a Naval aviator, had chosen to wear his personal manual winding Rolex Daytona 6263 chronograph with reverse Panda dial & screw down chronograph pushers.
The Earth revolves around the sun. It takes one year (more or less) to achieve this. Each day, during this annual journey, the Earth spins once on its axis. In fact a day is what we call the period of time for the sun to come up each morning until the next sunrise—one revolution.
For millennia, people kept time by the sun. Sunrise? It’s morning. Sun above your head? It’s lunchtime, midday. Sunset? Night, bedtime. As they needed more accurate divisions of the day to measure the tides, the rise and ebb, we started marking out the day into hours. “The tide will be up in the sixth hour after dawn” and so on. Eventually, to make all seamen able to use similar charts and navigation maps, because the tides determined when you could sail into shallow harbors, they started measuring the hours from midway through the night, midnight.
As more accurate measurement of the tides and daily lives became necessary and commonplace, the hours were first divided into quarters and then minutes. Only recently has any need of seconds been necessary. As with any tool, the accuracy of the measurement of time reflects the needs of the tool user. As we become more exact in our machines and daily lives, timepieces have been made to match our needs.
Trains changed time keeping. The need for timetables, all agreeing with the same arrival and departure of steam locomotives, forced districts across the country to synchronize their local time to match the needs of the railway. When the American distances became too big, they dropped an hour or added an hour and added a defining description to tell you what time you were really talking about: Eastern Standard Time, Mountain Time and so on. However, technology industries like telephone companies, aircraft, space vehicles, the Internet providers, and satellite transmissions similarly only deal with GMT (now called Coordinated Universal Time).
The world we live in has become busier, shifts moving to home offices or kitchen tables. We may all shortly, like the technology industries we depend on, need to know only what the global schedule is, what the same time is for everyone at one moment. If you were running Ford, with offices, plants and distribution centers across the globe, it would be more efficient to know that, say, at 02:30 the order left an office, at 11:20 was fulfilled by the plant and at 23:00 was delivered to the distribution center. It wouldn’t matter (so long as everyone is counting with the same GMT clock) that the office was in Stuttgart, the plant in Detroit and the distribution center in Los Angeles. The schedule would be understandable by all, even those who needed to go to work in the dark to comply.
For most of us, the day begins when light and ends after dark, but the new machines we’ve built, like the trains of the last century, will demand that we change our lifestyles to match schedules and work ethics with people far over the horizon. Once again, time keeping will be coordinated to allow us to efficiently match all our efforts. The pity is, the sun will still come up at the same time, the tides will ebb and flow on their own clock and we, on our new world schedule, will be further out of tune with nature especially if they force us to move the clock’s hands twice a year for no good reason at all.
Another Rolex wristwatch for astronaut Walter “Wally” Schirra…
Rolex-magazine pointed out a Rolex Daytona 6240 at the wrist of Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Schirra in this September 1968 photograph. Note the screw-down pushers in this Daytona chronograph.
Besides his personal Omega Speedmaster CK2998, Schirra often wore his personal Rolex 1675 GMT-master Pepsi pilot wristwatch… and a Rolex Daytona!