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Old 15 March 2018, 05:02 AM   #1
Etschell
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Meet a Rolex Forums Member #3 (Mid-March 2018) - GerardoG

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This edition (as it is coming up next month) I thought it would be appropriate to chat with the organizer of the Las Vegas GTG “WIS-CON”, GerardoG, whose name is actually Gerardo, to get an overview of the history behind the event, what makes it special and where it is going in the future. Oh yeah and to discuss Rolex.

Some members know that you are organizer of the Las Vegas GTG or “WIS-CON”. Tell us how it came about and how it has changed over the years.

Ahhhhhh Las Vegas…I hope you have a big-sized drink close by! Because of our businesses, I travel quite a bit; nowadays I have tried to cut back, but still hectic. Throughout the years, I have met many of you…easily over 100. Every time I was in a specific city or attended a GTG, the dynamics were similar; not that they are not okay, but I felt I could bring something ‘else’ into the picture. My passion for watches has brought me close to people in the industry, both manufacturers and retailers; so my first proposal to TRF was, Vegas is a place easy to fly in and with hotels for all budgets in a block, so ‘with ONE confirmation from anyone attending, I will by my ticket and make it happen’. The original group started with thirteen adventurous TRFers, who come back year after year, most of which have become great personal friends. In a few years, I have been able to secure prime vendors, unique timepieces (Tudor has brought the latest Basel releases just for us) and a unique opportunity to share with you a small part of my hobby and the people involved in it. Bringing, for example, owners of the largest reps in the US to sit down and talk to us, with no formalities; just sharing a drink or cigar, and answering all (or most) of your questions, is invaluable! I do not call Vegas a GTG, but an Experience…a wristwatch experience. Today, places are sold out a few months after they go out; which is a BIG responsibility on my part as I always look for ways to make it better. To do the same over and over would be boring; bringing excitement, new brands and moments is what will make everyone go back and say WOW! I had a great time, met incredible people AND learned!

What is your favorite part of WIS-CON?

First, meeting everyone. It is a tremendous challenge! When we had thirteen people, it took a few minutes; today, it takes me several hours to talk to everyone! After this, just looking at happy faces when they meet company officials, see exclusive timepieces and talk to my contacts in a relaxed environment…it is not just a GTG; it a social gathering with many things going on at the same time. Truly, unique!

How do you see the Las Vegas event growing over the next several years?

Well…my Santa Claus letter! Initially, it was to have everyone enjoy and share a bit of my watch-life; but this has grown and it keeps growing! I have spoken to company CEO’s and they all agree (I am humbled at their comments, last one just a bit ago) “What you are doing for the Swiss Watch Industry is unique, Thank You”.

Over the years the challenge is to grow it to a comfortable number, we still want a warm and fuzzy feeling, but the more people we can reach, the better. What is the final number…I still do not know. As goals, breaking even would be nice, as I will continue doing this as frequently as I can. It takes a lot time and effort both financially and through travelling, meetings, and calls. It all adds up. I am also doing something similar, but on a smaller scale (one day, 20-25 people max), in what I call “regional experiences”: Houston, El Paso, Miami, Chicago (thank you for the help!!!!) to name a few. These are perfect for TRFers that cannot make it to Vegas or spend three to four days with us.

One of your passions is food and cooking. What is your favorite meal to cook? To eat?

Tricky question! I enjoy food as it talks to me. By food we can understand culture, history, roots, traditions….centuries ago people cooked with what they had locally, so food is a BIG chapter in civilization. While cooking, dishes that take time in a central place are my favorite; paella without a doubt is a key one. Paella takes 3 to 4 hours; this is time you spend cooking, talking, opening a bottle of wine and sharing time with friends and family. Likewise, paella valenciana has everything! It is an explosion of flavors in your mouth that go with a vast array of drinks…truly a remarkable dish. If I am not cooking, I eat everything! Some of you have shared meals with me and know that I go from tacos in a stand up place to fancy treats. My favorite? Whatever I am having while sitting with great friends, family and a great drink.

What is your favorite adult beverage and cigar?

Tough question. It depends on the moment, the time of day or night…a hot day calls for a nice cold beer and some tequila; evening with friends and family a nice red vino. Relaxing with scotch…If I was to choose just one, it would be a tight decision between red wine and scotch. Cigars are the same; some powerful, some mild. During vacation sometimes I have two or three in one day; regularly I can have one a day or go for months without smoking. I like Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure 2 for the way it smells, Partagas D4 as my first cigar ever and Diplomaticos as a not-so-known brand with outstanding product. I celebrate big moments with any of these. I met the Director General of HabanosSA (the exporter of Cuban cigars to the world) and I asked him ‘what was the best cigar?’ His answer: “The one I am smoking right now” I wanted to see the ring (brand), he continued “it is NOT a brand. Today, talking to you, with this drink, in this environment, THIS is the BEST cigar. Tomorrow, it will be a completely different one…and it will be the BEST.”

I understand you travel quite a bit. What is the one place you would like to visit that you have not had the chance to yet and why do you want to go?

Geneva. I love watches. I am fascinated by the history, the brands, the way companies have survived throughout wars, quartz crisis….Geneva is a must. Just as Napa/Bourdeaux/Mendoza/Rioja for wine lovers. It is my dream. Oddly, my wife has been there several times while on vacation with her parents or siblings (I fully support them taking some time together), but all she has brought back has been catalogs from Bucherer!

When travelling what is your go to watch?

Two tone sub. No question. Lately, the Tudor Black Bay has been traveling a lot; but my “with eyes closed” is the sub. It is an incredibly versatile watch; so easy to dress up or down…perfect for swimwear at the beach or suit for business or dinner.
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In general, how did you become interested in automatic wrist watches?

I am an engineer by education (chemical engineer). I got hooked into watches a long time ago and my interest surged with Swatch. I just found fascinating how a group gears playing together could tell time with such accuracy (I still keep them); I added a pretty good number of Swatch and some fashion brands, but since high school I had my eyes set on my grail….
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What was your first Rolex, how did you get it, and what led you to acquire it?

Rolex DateJust two tone, white dial, romans. I still have it. When I was in high school, I saw an advertisement in NewsWeek….it just mesmerized me. I cut that ad and promised myself I would one day buy it….a DayDate. As a teenager and college student, I was into music…not as a player, but as an aficionado. Brands like Alpine, a/d/s, AudioControl, Klipsch to name a few were in my room and car. Some of the components are pricey for a college student. When I got my college degree, I said “time to do this”; so I sold all my audio equipment…next big question was where to start! Oddly enough, a friend of my then girlfriend (now wife) had just graduated in business and was working as a sales rep for the local Rolex AD!

I walked into the store, wanting a two tone DateJust (I could not afford a DayDate), my idea was the classic champagne dial. Her words still make my smile….Rolex was starting to venture into new dials; she told me, “a champagne dial Rolex is something for your dad or uncle….the new dials are just for you.” I fell in love with it and purchased the watch. My parents did not own a Rolex (I changed that later) so the shock was unique!
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What got you into the Rolex brand? What keeps you interested in Rolex?

I have said it before and will keep saying it: Rolex is a marketing GENIUS. Rolex meant you had made it, you could be part of the few (this was years ago). It is one of the few brands in the world with no glitches or fails. They have had their ups and downs but the name has always been tied to “the best.” Whether Rolex is the best or not, that is a personal opinion, but I have to admit that EVERY watch manufacturer compares themselves with Rolex. It IS the benchmark in the industry.

What separates Rolex from other Swiss luxury watch brands?

Ruggedness and timeless designs. It is a watch that you can kick, throw, spin, cook, dive and everything in between and it just keeps working! And the designs…many watch companies go with fashion trends. Rolex on the other hand is timeless. Even if you are not a WIS, a 1960’s DayDate or DateJust still looks beautiful today. Other brands play so much with designs that their watches look “old” after a few years. Once again, Rolex is a company providing a superb product with timeless design. Yes, others have outstanding decorated movements, enameled dials etc. and I admire and respect that; but Rolex is tried and tested.

Why did you join the Rolex Forums? Why did you stick around?

I joined TRF in 2005. I had started with Rolex for thirteen years prior to joining and I just admired the design so I wanted to know more. I had bought books and subscribed to magazines. While browsing I found TRF. I was nicely surprised by the amount of information and the friendly environment. Thirteen years later, I have made unique friends with whom I talk and/or see regularly, know their families, their likes and dislikes. This is all because of TRF. So, it does make sense to stick around. If I can contribute to this hobby hey why not!?

What do you look for in a Rolex? What draws you to a particular reference?

To me, it is not the “hotness” of the model. I have a very good relationship and personal friendship with the largest accounts for Rolex in the US, so I know I can get pretty much any model (I never ever am in a rush. I can wait and it does not bother me to wait 9-12 months to get a sealed, fresh from factory watch). I like the designs, just works of art. The jubilee bracelet is stunning in its design and construction and the complexity of a Daytona movement is masterful just to name a few. When I started with Rolex I did not care for the Daytona. Well, about that…

If you had to choose, in your current collection what is your favorite watch and why?

I tie watches to special moments in my life so they all have a special meaning. The one I bought when my daughter was born, or when my son was born, when I hit a milestone, or that one that took me six YEARS to track down. If I had to pick one it would be my DateJust. Why? It is the Rolex that started it all. That watch has been with me while single, married, the birth of kids, big celebrations and anniversaries, signing important contracts and crying while closing some doors….so much history.
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What other brands outside of Rolex interest you and what about the brands interest you?

This is a very interesting question especially with the new products we are bringing to Las Vegas (and soon to regional gatherings). In the past, “nothing was like a Rolex”; the market was flooded with brands using ETA/Valjoux movements and charging a fortune with the company name on the dial, and “traditional” pieces I expected to be out of my reach. Now, it is surprising what companies like Cartier, Breguet, AP, Ernst Benz to name a few are doing. By developing our gatherings I have had the opportunity to re-discover brands and I am pleasantly surprised! This is what I want to share - rediscovering the brands. Some examples: Cartier has a design that has not changed in a CENTURY and it is the entry level watch: the Tank. Now, it comes with an in-house movement. Breguet had a pocket watch with the largest number of complications in the world and they are working on a NEW one that will beat that record! Their starting point (price wise) is way lower than I had expected. Richard Mille is, for example, a design that I am partial to but I admire how his watches weigh under 100 grams and yet withstand several ‘Gs’ of impact with no consequence. He designs watches to be worn and that is part of the contract the brand ambassadors have to comply with.

What is your grail Rolex and when do you plan on acquiring it?

(Staring at my computer and taking a few sips of scotch….a few minutes go by…) probably a 1970’s DayDate. Hopefully, I will acquire it in a couple of years.

What Rolex do you plan on buying next?

I have a big problem with watches that are not tied to special moments. I give them away to my family. I have three in mind. First, a Rose Gold Daytona on leather (I hope Rolex can still provide that) gave to my dad recently. Second, a Rose Gold Yacht master on Oysterflex. There is something about the color combination. Third, a SS sports model. The Hulk (116610lv) is a heavy contender, but at times the simplicity of the Explorer I and Oyster Perpetual 39 are unique. I hope I can do at least one this year.

What is the one Rolex you wish you hadn't sold or traded and why?

Easy! Polar Explorer II 16570. I bought it twice and gave it away both times. When I was to buy it for a third time it was discontinued. Love that watch.

Outside of being a Rolex enthusiast / WIS what are some of your interests and how do they inter-relate to Rolex?

When I embark into something I go to extremes. Slowly, but I try to improve every day. This applies to the gatherings which are now casual conversations with watch companies. Some interests include drawing (I was going to be an architect…story some other time) and food/wine. While talking to renowned cooks or wine people (they know me and my passion for watches; I post wrist shot pictures with them) they all have two kinds of watches: the tool watch and the “my” watch. The latter is an expression of them including their style, design, and admiration for beauty…Patek, Vacheron, Breguet, JLC. But their tool watch is always a Rolex. I asked one of them (top 3 in Mexico, top 10 in Latin America) why a sub? His answer was simple, “I own 7 restaurants; that is 7 kitchens. Things are hot and humid, sometimes cold; you run around all day. You need a timepiece that will bet banged with faucets and knives, splattered with water, oil and grease; and you need a timepiece that will just keep ticking so you can ‘time’ oven/boil/precise times. Rolex does a great job at it.”

If you aren’t on the Rolex forum you are probably....?

Sleeping or call 911. You girls/guys are with me while I cook, travel, drink and smoke cigars…everywhere!

They say there is a story behind every Rolex. What is a story behind one of yours owned past or presently?

All watches have a story. You know the story behind my first. Here is the one behind my DayDate. The year was 2000. Basel had just finished and I was impressed with the new six digit DayDate: the 118238. First time Rolex went to the six digit DayDate with a heavy bracelet and domed crystal (yes, not flat!). Very shortly after, my Wife and I had a doctor’s appointment and the news was official; we were expecting our first child. After celebrating with parents and friends, I called my AD (we have known each other for decades) and told her, “I want a 118238 to celebrate.” This was 2000, so her answer was honest: “we do not know how long it will take, but we will make it happen.” Months flew by and in the first week of January, 2001 I got the call. The watch had arrived. The next day, I drove up just to pick it up. Four days later my daughter was born. They made it happen and in perfect timing!
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Additional information about GerardoG can be found below:

www.Aboutlife.club
https://www.instagram.com/aboutlife.club/
https://twitter.com/AboutLife_club
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5R...w7XZkZA/videos
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File Type: jpg Lead.jpg (4.1 KB, 839 views)
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:22 AM   #2
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Another fine read. Thanks Eliot and thanks "G".
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:25 AM   #3
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Excellent article Eliot!
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:26 AM   #4
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Meet a Rolex Forums Member #3 (Mid-March 2018) - GerardoG

Nice...
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:30 AM   #5
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another great write up.

Great guy that GerardoG. Great guy!!
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:30 AM   #6
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Excellent read!! Very interesting, anything involving “G” ALWAYS get my attention! to me Gerardo IS TRF!!
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:33 AM   #7
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:36 AM   #8
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Very nicely done again. I love reading these.
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:43 AM   #9
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To both Eliot and Gerardo. Thank you for the time and effort put into this interview. Once again a home run.
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:47 AM   #10
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Great work Eliot. Really enjoying these threads.. keep them coming.

Learned some things about G that I did not know. I always enjoy his posts and his openness about his life but it is great to learn more.
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Old 15 March 2018, 05:55 AM   #11
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Loved it! Thx
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Old 15 March 2018, 06:00 AM   #12
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Excellent read !!! Felicidades to you and Gerardo!!!
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Old 15 March 2018, 06:07 AM   #13
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Nice write up Eliot and thanks to Gerardo for taking the time.
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Old 15 March 2018, 06:08 AM   #14
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Another stellar article
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Old 15 March 2018, 06:15 AM   #15
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Cool.
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Old 15 March 2018, 06:24 AM   #16
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Great stuff Eliot! Gerardo was the perfect candidate for another interview.
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Old 15 March 2018, 07:17 AM   #17
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Awsome! Man when mine comes out it’s going to be pretty boring compared to the guys already interviewed.
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Old 15 March 2018, 07:17 AM   #18
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Awsome! Man when mine comes out it’s going to be pretty boring compared to the guys already interviewed.
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Old 15 March 2018, 07:32 AM   #19
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Great read and great member.
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Old 15 March 2018, 07:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Awsome! Man when mine comes out it’s going to be pretty boring compared to the guys already interviewed.
Not if you share Anna stories!!!

Great job, Eliot. I love these.
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Old 15 March 2018, 07:43 AM   #21
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Awsome! Man when mine comes out it’s going to be pretty boring compared to the guys already interviewed.
I don’t believe that for one minute Paul!! Can’t wait!
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Old 15 March 2018, 07:46 AM   #22
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Great article I expected 1 every couple months they are coming fast and furious
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Old 15 March 2018, 08:03 AM   #23
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Nice interview
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Old 15 March 2018, 08:17 AM   #24
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Awesome Eliot
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Old 15 March 2018, 08:27 AM   #25
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Great Job Eliot
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Old 15 March 2018, 08:30 AM   #26
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Nice work Eliot.
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Old 15 March 2018, 08:37 AM   #27
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Awesome interview with G! Thank you...
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Old 15 March 2018, 08:57 AM   #28
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Very Nice! Thank you again for sharing!

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Old 15 March 2018, 09:10 AM   #29
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Outstanding work Eliot!!! G is the man.
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Old 15 March 2018, 09:11 AM   #30
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