Thread: rusty woes
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Old February 10, 2013, 07:58 PM   #33
Willie Sutton
Junior member
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 1,066

I sent them the $15.00 right after I got my first job.

While we are tellinmg war stories...

I was unfortunate enough to crash an airplane a decade or so ago, spent mopre or less a year in the hospital, only survivor, not a good day. Turns out that my ancient gold Rolex GMT Master was damaged in the crash, the back was actually bent in when it impacted my wrist-bone in the crash (think about that for a minute). I sent it back to Rolex with a note... and got it back a few weeks later with the back hammered flat and a note essentially saying "no charge, thanks for the story, let us know if we can use it in our files of Rolex survival stories".

Another class act. Rolex is a charity, in case you're not aware. Hans Willsdorf, the founder, donated all of his shares to a private charity, and all profits are distributed by the charity secretly. Another company, like Ruger, where the ethos of the founder set forth the ethos for the entire company.

By the start of World War II, Rolex watches had already acquired enough prestige that Royal Air Force pilots bought them to replace their inferior standard-issue watches. However, when captured and sent to POW camps, their watches were confiscated. When Hans Wilsdorf heard of this, he offered to replace all watches that had been confiscated and not require payment until the end of the war, if the officers would write to Rolex and explain the circumstances of their loss and where they were being held. Wilsdorf, who believed that "a British officer's word was his bond", was in personal charge of the scheme. As a result of this, an estimated 3,000 Rolex watches were ordered by British officers in the Oflag (prison camp for officers) VII B POW camp in Bavaria alone. This had the effect of raising the morale among the allied POWs because it indicated that Wilsdorf did not believe that the Nazis would win the war.American servicemen heard about this when stationed in Europe during WWII and this helped open up the American market to Rolex after the war

On 10 March 1943, while still a prisoner of war, Corporal Clive James Nutting, one of the organizers of the Great Escape, ordered a stainless steel Rolex Oyster 3525 Chronograph (valued at a current equivalent of £1,200) by mail directly from Hans Wilsdorf in Geneva, intending to pay for it with money he saved working as a shoemaker at the camp. The watch (Rolex watch no. 185983) was delivered to Stalag Luft III on 10 July that year along with a note from Wilsdorf apologising for any delay in processing the order and explaining that an English gentleman such as Corporal Nutting "should not even think" about paying for the watch before the end of the war. Wilsdorf is reported to have been impressed with Nutting because, although not an officer, he had ordered the expensive Rolex 3525 Oyster chronograph while most other prisoners ordered the much cheaper Rolex Speed King model which was popular due to its small size. The watch is believed to have been ordered specifically to be used in the Great Escape when, as a chronograph, it could have been used to time patrols of prison guards or time the 76 ill-fated escapees through tunnel 'Harry' on 24 March 1944. Eventually, after the war, Nutting was sent an invoice of only £15 for the watch, due to currency export controls in England at the time

Love good companies.


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