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Swellboy on… the Easy Rider Rolex

Found: the timepiece that was born to be wild

Swellboy on… the Easy Rider Rolex

Image: Brijesh Patel

July 13 2010
Nick Foulkes

The other day a friend sent me a still from Easy Rider, which showed Peter Fonda with his nose applied to the surface of a small mirror. It came with the somewhat provocative message: “What’s the connection to Mr Foulkes?”

As it happens, it was not an allusion to a fascination with reflective surfaces; instead the link could be found poking out from underneath Mr Fonda’s cuff – a brown-bezelled pre-crown guard Rolex GMT, a watch of which I am inordinately fond. If you want a reference number, it was probably an early 1675, but the resolution of the picture was not such that I could make an absolutely positive statement that it wasn’t a 6542.

Of course this now means that I can attach a movie-star name to one of my favourite Rolexes. There is already the “Steve McQueen” orange-hand Explorer, the immortal “Paul Newman” Daytona, while I think there is a small community of watch-spotters who know a certain steel and gold GMT as a “Clint Eastwood”.

And now, at last, we have the Peter Fonda. It was a great discovery and it got me thinking: at about the same time that Hollywood was making Easy Rider, the British film industry was making… yes… Carry On films. In the interests of horological research, I now plan to watch, frame by frame if necessary, the entire Carry On oeuvre in the hope of matching some more actors and watches (the long winter evenings will just fly by).

After all, if McQueen, Newman, Eastwood and now Fonda have achieved immortality through eponymous timepieces, I see no reason why the same cannot be done for Eric Sykes, Sid James and Kenneth Williams.

See also

People, Rolex