Before we get to Ed and his watches, we first have to talk about the Cannonball Run.
The original, illegal Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash—or Cannonball Run, as it’s commonly known—took place five times between 1971 and 1979. Organizer Brock Yates imagined it as a rebellion against “the hypocrisy and futility of speed laws” on the U.S. interstate system. For context, the government had just set maximum speed limits to 55 mph, so he had a point. It was also something of a tribute. Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker, who the race is named for, made over 140 coast-to-coast treks by motorcycle and by automobile. It was that spirit of challenge and adventure that Yates sought to continue. (For more on the Cannonball Run’s history, read on here.)
So what does that have to do with Ed Bolian?
In 2013, he and two partners (Dave Black and Dan Huang) broke the Cannonball Run record with a transcontinental trip of 28 hours and 50 minutes. The three started from Red Ball Garage in New York City and ended up at the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, California—a 2,803-mile trek.
Frankly, Ed’s achievement is impressive. He’s most definitely a car guy at heart, but he’s also a budding watch collector.
“Time is what bonds me with cars. And watches do the same thing. These are all things we do to define ourselves and show the world how we want to be perceived and how we want to leave our mark. A significant watch does just that.”
“If I’m gonna have a crazy car, I’m gonna need a crazy watch to match it.” At the time Ed picked up his Big Bang in south Florida, he was saving for an orange Lamborghini, so the association really makes a lot of sense. He loves that it’s bold, but still flies under the radar for most people who don’t suspect he’s wearing an expensive piece.
This particular watch belonged Ed’s father. It’s a Datejust from the late 70s/early 80s that he wore for over 30 years before he upgraded to a new one and passed it down to Ed. It’s one of those watches that you can “wear and not look like you’re trying too hard.”
Ed has Tom Selleck to thank for his Submariner (for the full story, check out the video). Another watch from his dad, this Submariner was given to him as a high school graduation gift, and it’s essentially been his beater ever since. Ed loves it because it never goes out of style, and it keeps on ticking even though he’s taken it everywhere.
Want to learn more about Ed’s record-breaking Cannonball Run? Check out the video above or head over to our Youtube channel here.