I was contacted by a gentleman on Instagram who has an amazing story about an incredible acquisition of a Rolex 6538 from circa 1958. Additionally, Dan (@watchpartsmotorcycles) has an awesome website and Instagram showcasing his creations made of vintage and spare watch parts. Check out his amazing work!
When my twin boys were born I wanted to mark the occasion with something special. Being a collector of vintage timepieces, I thought I would try and acquire two of, what I considered, the most iconic watches of our time. I knew that it would take a long time to source these watches and set out on my search. My plan is to present my boys with these watches on their 21st birthday.
Being a “watch geek”, I immediately jumped on all my watch forums letting the collector population know that I am search for these 2 watches. One of the two watches showed up a couple months after my search (much to my surprise) in London, Ontario … less than a two hour drive. The owner of the watch told me it has been sitting in his safety deposit box for over 20 years and was reluctant to sell it. I presented an offer for the watch that he was agreeable to and the deal was done. I told him who the watch was for and had one last request for him. As provenance to the watch … I asked if he can write a letter to my son … who he is, what he liked about the watch, how he found the watch … and anything else he wanted to add. I told him I would present his letter with the watch at my son’s 21st birthday. This is what he wrote :
March 2, 2009
I hope this letter finds you well. Your father has asked me to write you a note to tell you what I know about your gift from him. As you can see it is an old watch. My guess is that by the time you receive it, it will be about 70 years old and you are very fortunate as this is no ordinary watch. Indeed it is a very special watch. You are holding a rare vintage Rolex model 6538 from circa 1958. It has a calibre 1030 movement in it. This watch is much sought after as it is the same model of watch as the one worn by Sean Connery when he portrayed James Bond in the 1962 film “Dr No”.
It is my understanding that the watch is in original condition and was owned prior to myself by a gentlemen who lived in Australia. It is obvious that he wore this watch for countless hours in the sun perhaps scuba diving or sailing because the dial on it shows a deep rich bronze patina. I have myself owned the watch for many years, saving it for something special though I had no idea what.
Recently word came to me that your father was looking for a watch such as this and it turned out that he had a special purpose in mind for it; that it should become a gift for you on your 21st birthday. And since I believe a watch like this needs purpose and deserves more than a solitary existence spoiled away in some dark locked box, I released it to your father. Albeit for a fairly tidy sum.
Once, a good many years ago while holding this watch and contemplating it’s lessons I was struck by five thoughts. I ‘d like to share them with you with the hope that they might help you on your journey.
The first thought I had was of the beauty and art and emotion expressed by it. These are all the things that give our world life and colour and love. It is a reminder that we should paint the world as we go, returning the love that we’re given and sharing the love that we have to give.
The second though I had was for the marvel of engineering and human perseverance that made this watch possible. Boundless are the limitations of human mind and determined spirit combined. This watch should serve as a reminder that we must be the engineers of our lives, doing what is right in life and persevering to leave all things better than when we first came upon them.
The third thought that I had as I held this watch was of it’s value and the power of saving and investing. Surely without saving there is no future nor any prospect of security for yourself or your loved ones. Nor is there the ability to help the man who has stumbled that he to might go on to help others. This watch should serve as a reminder that wealth with conscience is a powerful gift.
Fourth, I thought that this watch represents the importance of practicality and purpose in our lives. There is an old saying that goes “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light”. The same holds true in life. This watch should be a reminder to remain free of the burden of things that serve no good purpose, things rob us of our happiness, our dignity and our time.
Which brings us to the fifth and final thought that I had which was about time itself. This watch like all time pieces should serve as a reminder to us that time is the great equalizer and it is all we really have. In time all will be lost for each and every one of us but for the good deeds we have done. Your deeds of hope are your seeds of hope; plant them everywhere you can.
Remember Oliver, God winds our hearts but once, just how tightly is his secret. I hope you spend your time wisely and that your deeds carry both you and the lives you touch to great and wonderful places.
Wishing you well in your travels.