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wearing wrist watch over the shirt sleeve

December 25 2017 at 11:56 PM
Karl  (Login OysterCollector)
VRF Member
from IP address

Seasons Greetings to everyone!!
a few days before arriving in Australia, I spent a day in Milan - Italy and stopped by some of the watch boutiques.

Interestingly, I stopped at a very unique watch store which was a family business. One of the gentleman was in his late 80s and still helps out his grand children with the running of the shop. Please do not ask me how to find this store as I will still jet lagged and would have to have lightening strike me twice. He has worked there since 1948 and somehow we got into an interesting conversation with my limited Italian.

In the discussion, he mentioned that prior to wrist watches becoming mainstream, most people at the time would wear their wrist watch over the sleeve of the business shirt being a direct analogy of a pocket watch worn in the side pocket with the chain across the chest. He mentioned of Giovanni Agnelli (FIAT tycoon) and Luigi Oreste Anzaghi (Italian music composer and author of music texts) who can still be seen in some photographs wearing their watch this way. He went onto say that back then it was encouraged to wear a wrist watch this way as most of the wrist watches back then were made from 3 piece cases with snap on backs without a back gasket to avoid perspiration from the wrist into the crown and therefore just barely dustproof.

He himself had an oversize 39mm Longines with a sub seconds hand from 1945 which has been his every day watch since then where you could see an ivory damp section on the dial just near the crown.. Amongst his inventory, were prodominantly Rolex timepieces.

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