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WHAT DR. KING AND I HAD IN COMMON

WHAT DR. KING AND I HAD IN COMMON

Throughout his life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wore a Rolex Datejust ref. 1601. His was yellow gold with its champagne dial and fluted bezel on a Jubilee bracelet it was a fitting choice; a watch made for leaders of men, or entire movements. Mine was a Rolex Datejust Stainless Steel Fluted Bezel. Why did I own one, well the most powerful men in the world identified it and for me I got respect even when I wore shorts and tennis shoes. But the true reason I had a Rolex was a belief that if I was stranded in another country with no money my Rolex was my ticket home if I needed to pawn it.

What is it about the Rolex timepiece. It is a model that has found itself on the wrist of many great and influential people, including President Eisenhower and British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

There are claims that Dr. King's Rolex was a present from a fellow member of the Civil Rights movement whose aim was to help the most powerful men in the world identify with King; to find easy, ice-breaking common ground in an appreciation of something built to stand the test of time. King was photographed wearing it everywhere from the March Against Fear in June of 1966, to rallies in Cleveland, Chicago, and beyond. He eventually became so well-associated with it that in 2013, the company included him in an ad campaign alongside other notable Rolex owners.

Obviously, the Datejust on his wrist was not something he spoke about in speeches or interviews—his mind was on far more important issues than his personal watch. But photographs show us that his Datejust was present at many critical moments of his adult life even when he lost his life.