Discovered: Unique Rotary Chairman Watch

We love the watch community and its fans’ fascination with a brand’s story and heritage, and we love especially people’s generosity in sharing what they know and what special timepieces they own. This week, we had a wonderful surprise in the form of an Instagram DM from Benjamin of @cartier_pre_must_de_tank, a vintage watch super fan.

Benjamin reached out and informed us that he is in possession of a rare, if not one-of-a-kind, Rotary watch.

“Back in the 1990s when I was in my 20s, I was buying and selling shoes, clothes, jewellery, wristwatches and what not, as a source of extra income.

One day, a friend of our mother visited us and noticed how I was cleaning and changing straps on some of the watches which I had to get ready for re-sale. She told me that she had a few dozen wristwatches which she had inherited from her late father. Her old man used to be one of the Rotary Sales Representatives for the UK market.

There was one watch in the collection (which she later gave me) which she pointed out was very special to her father. It was a Rotary watch which was gifted to him by the then Rotary chairman Teddy Dreyfuss. It was given to him on his retirement, and she remembered how her father would only wear the watch on special occasions, and how he was always showing off the watch and proudly telling the story how Teddy Dreyfuss took the watch of his own wrist and handed it to him as a token for his service and accomplishments.

Back in the 1990s, we had no internet, no eBay or Chrono24, and I was selling my Rotary watches anywhere from £20 to £50, depending on condition. But what I see now as a ''stroke of luck'', is that I caused a crack in the chairman watch’s acrylic crystal and I couldn't sell it anymore - it ended up in one of my drawers. Looking back, that is the only reason why I still got this watch today, and I love it!”

We treasure the brand’s history and love receiving stories like this to continue fostering this watch community. If you have anything similar to share, we are most happy to hear about it! Please get in touch with us on social media to share any vintage Rotary piece that you have.