Al Capone will undoubtedly go down as one of the most notorious crime bosses in American history.
At just twenty-six years old, he became the boss of Chicago’s largest crime organization. Throughout the 1920s, Capone ran one of the most profitable bootlegging and gambling operations in the country.
He was also responsible for many violent offenses, primarily against other members of organized crime. One of the most famous incidents is the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. In an attempt to wipe out the “North Side” gang and take complete control in the city of Chicago, Capone ordered the assassination of seven members, including their leader “Bugs” Moran.
Despite his reputation as a man of power and influence, it seems that Capone spent much of his time at the top proving his worth. To start, appearances were of the utmost importance. In his first years as boss, Capone worked tirelessly to become revered as a savior of Chicago.
Capone also became known as a man of style. He indulged in custom suits made of imported fabrics from Italy, lavish getaways, and, of course, his iconic cigars. And like any man of status, he sported a luxury watch on his wrist.
His watch? A yellow gold Rolex Prince. Unlike the more utilitarian watches people often associate with Rolex, the Prince is most notable for its Art Deco-inspired design: a rectangular case, a large seconds sub-dial, and a distinctly aristocratic air.
The Prince is largely sidelined today for Rolex’s big-hitter models, but it played a key part in the brand’s history. It was one of the models that helped Rolex make a name for itself as a manufacturer of precise and powerful timepieces in the late 1920s, not far off from the company’s founding in 1905. It was also one of the first mass-produced watches to be chronometer-certified, which established Rolex’s superior quality and reliability standards.
It’s amazing how much you can learn about a man from his watch. Like Capone’s early rise to power, the Prince played a powerful role in the rise of the Rolex brand. And just as Capone placed importance on his style and appearance, the Prince was largely made for style and luxury. In the same way Capone rose up from his humble beginnings to become a man of status, the Rolex Prince itself became a status symbol.
It makes you wonder—does the man choose the watch, or does the watch choose him?
Images ©: Header; Wikimedia Commons. 1; Chrono24.