Purchasing a Rolex has long been a rite of passage for successful men everywhere, often the first step toward building a collection worthy of passing down. But an even more select group wear the rarest Rolexes of all on their wrists—watches no amount of money can buy.
These are the world’s top guns in gentlemanly pursuits like sailing, motor racing, exploring and equestrianism, who have “won the watch” in competition, purely on skill and merit.
From a distance, the timepieces might not look that different from what you’d find in a high-end jewelry shop, but turn the watch over and its true character is revealed: the official engraving on the caseback, and especially the magic word, “Winner.”
These prizes are presented in Rolex’s signature dark green leather box, customized with scenes of the sport in question. But the exhilaration comes from the owner’s knowledge of what’s discreetly pressed up against the top of his or her wrist.
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