Within a few days of each other two stories at opposite ends of the human behavioral spectrum found their way into the mainstream media, and both stories featured Rolex. At one end of the spectrum is a story published on 27 February from Bulgaria second largest city, Plovdiv, where Metropolitan Nikolay donated his Rolex watch to a local church in order to keep the electricity running. At the other end of the behavioral spectrum is a story published in Britain’s The Telegraph profiling Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood requesting loans from fellow band members to pay his children’s school fees, but uses the loans to purchase a Rolex watch.
At face value, the donation of a Rolex watch to a church makes for a great headline, but Metropolitan Nikolay’s gesture does not come without controversy. Accused of leading a privileged lifestyle, Nikolay made the donation of one of his few personal possessions to the church’s Board of Trustees to sell and use the revenue to pay the outstanding electricity bill. Aside from the central government, Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church is the largest property owner in the country and has come under fire for accepting donations from rich patrons wishing to increase their stature. Nikolay’s watch, and a Lincoln automobile owned by another cleric have created multiple comments in the Bulgarian press.
In a similar twist of appearances and realities, the ever famous Rolling Stone bassist Ronnie Wood found himself at the scrutiny of The Telegraph who published on 24 February some of the details of Wood’s drug habit. Ronnie Wood’s former wife revealed to The Telegraph that during the early 1980’s the couple spent 18 months taking freebase crack cocaine, depleting much of the cash they had. Drugs combined with questionable management decisions by their then manager, left them broke.
Former Rolling Stone member Bill Wyman revealed to Wood’s ex-wife that Wood went to the band members for loans to cover Wood’s children school fees. Wood then pocketed the cash and purchased himself a Rolex. The Telegraph also chronicled other aspects of Jo Wood’s newly released memoirs. According to ex-wife Jo Wood, everyone knew about Ronnie Wood’s alcoholism and his infidelities, so she just “went into a bit more detail” about them.
Rolex’s marketing promotes “A crown for every achievement” in all of its public activities, but these types of articles are probably not what Rolex has in mind for promoting its image.