Introducing the Bamford × Revolution GMT Joe Cool

The Rake’s founder reveals our latest exclusive timepiece designed in collaboration with one of the most disruptive creatives in the industry.

On my Mount Rushmore of Cool, no, wait, make that seated in my Halls of Valhalla of Cool, presided over by the unassailable king, one Terrence Stephen McQueen, would be, in no particular order, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, James Byron Dean, Bob Marley, Bob Mitchum, Bruce Lee and a beagle that so embodied the ineffable quality that unites the cinematic legends and musical giants that, from time to time, they would whisper amongst themselves, “Goddamn, that dog is just so cool.”

I speak, of course, of Snoopy in his alter ego Joe Cool. One of the most fascinating dimensions to Snoopy has always been his multiple personalities, which he so totally embodies that he would make a Stella Adler master class in method acting stand and applaud. Of these alter egos, his most notable are the World War I Flying Ace, the World Famous Author and, of course, the irrefutable master of laconic élan, Joe Cool.

Joe Cool first made his debut in the Peanuts comic strip in 1971 and was ostensibly styled after jazz-crazy beatnik college students. In order to transform into Joe Cool, Snoopy dons a pair of dark sunglasses, slips on his red sweater emblazoned with the words “Joe Cool” and adopts a pose of ultimate equanimity by leaning against the wall. And just like that, he is transformed. Because Joe Cool is cool, I mean, really cool. Like Fonzie jumping the shark on water skis wearing his leather jacket kind of cool. Which resonates with me because ever since I was a boy, I was inexorably drawn to coolness like a moth to a flame.

Indeed, my favourite line from my favourite film focuses purely on coolness as an expression of love. It is written by Quentin Tarantino and goes, “Amid the chaos of that day when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you’re so cool.” Maybe it is because as a boy, it was a quality I so lacked that I find myself admiring it so much in others predisposed to it. But when I watch James Dean slouch and mumble in that beautiful way, see Bruce Lee sneer in the face of innumerable foes, hear Chet Baker play “Rondette” or Bob Marley recite the opening words to his paean for social justice, “War”, I find myself almost in tears because of the sheer coolness of these individuals.



June 2021

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