Treasure Hunt Tycoon -
Chapter 1630: Many Years Ago
Chapter 1630: Many Years Ago
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“What special stories are there about these watches?” The children were ecstatic and they squeezed near Li Du, surrounding him. They looked at Li Du like a bunch of puppies looking at a bone. They were anticipating his story.
Li Du smiled. “Does everyone know about World War II?”
The children nodded. “The war waged by the Nazi Germans and Crazy Japanese.””My great-grandfather was involved, he was in the navy and he fought a Japanese ship.””I’m Chinese, my dad and mom told me that that was the worst war!”
Li Du, too, nodded. He said, “During World War II, Rolex had already been a famous brand. The British royals and the air force men were all buying Rolex to replace watches that were not as accurate.”
However, when they were captured and sent to the camp, the watches were all confiscated, but many people found ways to hold on to theirs. In the year 1942, a British pilot was attacked when he was in the air. After he was captured, he was placed in a prisoner of war camp, and then he ordered a chronograph from Rolex and expressed his dissatisfaction with the Germans’ seizure of one of his watches.”
“After hearing about this, the founder of Rolex, the German Hans Wilsdorf, offered to replace the confiscated watch for officers of the prisoner of war camp, without them paying a fee until the end of the war.”
“Do you know what this means?” Li Du asked.
Victoria said enthusiastically, “It means that Rolex would give British pilots watches for free. That was the compensation he made for pilots as a German, right?”
Li Du nodded. “That’s right. Besides, the action of this executive also encompassed a deep meaning. It meant that he did not think the Germans would be able to win the war. He felt that the allied forces would win eventually, and that was an investment from him as a businessman.”
“After that, some of the British officers wrote letters to tell Hans Wilsdorf where they were being held, which camp it was and how the Rolex was confiscated.”
“Without needing any other form of proof, the chairman expressed his trust in everything in the letters from the British officers. The words in the letter were trustworthy evidence for him, just like the bonds in Britain were trusted.”
“Just like that, every individual who sent a letter received a Rolex 3525 watch. The model was specially modified for the pilots and those were the limited edition 3525 watches.”
“However, that was during the war. By doing that, Rolex was seen as providing enemies with resources. Hence, it was not easy sending out every one of those watches. However, Rolex exhibited extraordinary spirit in treating those customers. They followed up with every order and each one had the signature of Hans Wilsdorf.”
“What made that watch truly famous around the world was that on March 10, 1943, a British pilot, Corporal Clive Nadine, ordered a stainless steel Rolex from Wilsdorf...”
Hearing that, a teacher in his fifties smiled. “Ah, I know, that was truly a huge event. The Victory Escape was about to begin!”
Li Du smiled and nodded at him. He said, “That’s right, that watch the Corporal ordered was 3525. It was because it had an exterior made from steel, which was strong and sturdy. It was equipped with the famous Valjoux23 chronograph movement. It had a radium luminous dial, and could also be used at night.”
“The price of this watch was quite high. Nadine was going to use the money earned as a shoemaker in the prisoner of war camp to pay for the purchase of his Rolex. On July 3 of the same year, a Rolex was sent to the prisoner. Chairman Wilsdorf wrote a note telling Nadine that a British gentleman like him didn’t have to bother to pay for the watch and that everything could wait until after the war.”
Some of the children whose parents were businessmen could not help but marvel, “That is a generous chairman. He’s done many impressive deeds.”
Li Du smiled and continued, “As I was saying, this watch is not a typical one. It’s more accurate and can be used at night, and is durable and strong. Corporal Nadine had already come up with an escape plan when he asked for such a watch. He was going to escape from the prisoner of war camp!”
“Such a model of Rolex was used during the Great Escape. They were used to track the timing of the police patrol. It was also used to tell time on 24 March 1944 when they made their way through the tunnel.”
“In fact, after the escape plan had been drawn up, in the few months following, six hundred prisoners had dug three escape tunnels. One was useless and the other was found by German guards. Only one tunnel nicknamed ‘Harry’ was completed in March 1944.”
“On that night with faint moonlight, they got into action. The pilots lined up in the tunnel one by one in silence, hoping that two hundred people would return home by making their way through occupied Europe.”
“The order of escape was determined by a lottery. Corporal had drawn No. 67, but unfortunately, shortly after, the escape was detected by the guards and the tunnel was closed. In the end, there was only a small part still accessible. The brave corporal was not part of the group who made it out.”
“Hitler was furious when this escape took place. He ordered the execution of a group of people, including Corporal Nadine, who had been the leader...”
Hearing that, tears welled up in the children’s eyes.
Li Du did not continue with the story. He ruffled the hair of the children around him and passed the watch to let them take a closer look. Then, he said, “That’s the legend of the watch. This watch had not been just a tool to tell the time, it also represents the social responsibility of a businessman and the determination of a brave soldier who looked towards freedom!”
“Long live freedom, my children!”
The bunch of children echoed, “Long live freedom!”
Principal Kaden led the teachers and parents to applaud loudly. They looked at Li Du with admiration.
They led the children to pack up the warehouse and then played some games in the afternoon. The activity of real-life studies had ended after giving Li Du a lot of work.
Finally, they brought the students back to school. Li Du heaved a sigh of relief and said to the principal, “Fortunately, I have not disgraced myself.”
Principal Kaden praised him, “Not only that, your performance was perfect. You have so much knowledge, where did you learn all of that?”
Li Du smiled and said, “I learned that from a partner of mine, but he is not around anymore.”
The Principal immediately apologized, “Sorry, I had no idea. May God rest his soul...”
Li Du was stumped. “Heaven forbid! I’m just saying that he is no longer in this trade. He’s not dead, he just got married, and now he’s leading a good life.”
The principal fell silent.
It was a happy day. He had brought the children along and let them gain a taste of the warehouse auction trade. It was just like how Hans had once brought him to his first auction.
It felt like everything had just taken place the day before. He turned around for a look. It seemed like he could still see the silhouette of the boy who had once sat on steps out of Hannah’s building, legs dangling.
It was hard to believe that was years ago
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