The watch Mr Jean Claude Killy wore before, during and after the 1968 Olympics
“We all know legendary Jean Claude Killy and his ambassador role for Rolex board of directors for over 40 years now. Although Rolex first advertisement with Mr Killy was to show the Orange Hand 1655 he was wearing during his ski career, his nickname to honor a important Rolex reference next to the Paul Newman Daytona, Jean Claude Killy became Mr. Datocompax alias The chronograph calendar, the Über Cosmo, that finally became most important chrono in the Rolex watch family with ref 4768, 4767, 5036, 6036, 6236.”
This is how most everyone in the Rolex world knows Mr Killy
But what watch was he actually wearing during his Ski career , which ended after he won 3 gold medals in the 1968 Olympics, and during his race successes in 1967 and 1968 ?
This question arose when I stumbled across the below picture
the caption of the pic is
““Jean-Claude Killy takes victory at Grenoble, 1968. At the lower edge of the frame you can see his Rolex””
But wait a minute , as far as I am aware that is not a Rolex ? The subdials are too small for a Daytona and the bezel numbers are too bold as well .
Maybe an Heuer Autavia ? But those were only 37mm in 1968 and again, the bezel numbers dont match .
Could it be a … ?
So my search continued . Looking for high resolution pics of the 1968 Grenoble Olympics and in particular ones where JCK visibly wore his watch. Then I stumbled across this picture and all pieces came together
And I thought to myself ‘I know that watch, I have one in the safe’
and everything fits , the black bezel with large ‘chrome’ numbers , the 15 minute counter subdial larger than the other 2 , the dial markings and ‘12’ on the top
it is a Breitling ref 765 CP made from 1965 to roughly early 1968
And when I read about Mr. Killy’s impressive race career I started looking at pics from those races as well…
- 1st at the targa Florio, catégory Grand Tourism, en 1967 (still looking for pics showing his watch)
2nd at the 1000 km de Monza, catégory Grand Tourism (You can clearly see him wearing his Breitling)
3rd at the 1000 km du Nurburgring, catégory Grand Tourism (still looking for pics showing his watch)
- Participation to the 24 heures du Mans – 1969 , (by this time he was Rolex Ambassador so I assume he was wearing Rolex)
After the 1968 Olympics and Monza and after becoming a Rolex Ambassador Killy always stayed close to Rolex, he is still today member of the Governor’s board, was appointed at the head of Research and Development in 2010 and it is said that he still have a strong influence on the design. His own daughter had been working for some years at the Rolex communication department. JCK is now an avid Rolex collector .
But , the watch he was wearing during the height of his successes does not seem to be a Rolex , but a 1965-68 Breitling ref 765 CP with a black anodized aluminium bezel
thank you for reading