This mid-week, we have a touching story from one of our readers who gifted a Rolex GMT-Master II to his father. Steven Rochlin is a long time friend of the Chief Editor, and founder and creative director of the popular website Enjoy the Music.
Text and photographs from Steven Rochlin.
Destro Dad Gifted A Very Special Rolex GMT
You don’t merely own a Rolex Destro GMT, you gift it to your dad because he’s your mentor, hero, and has done so very much to help (literally) tens of thousands of people live better lives, and thus making the world a far better place to live within. Some say an article (or review) says as much about the writer as it does the subject matter. Some timepiece enthusiasts on the internet may be familiar with my posts within various discussion boards, yet know little of my personal life and how dad earned being my hero (and yes you too mom ☺ ). But first, let’s get to the timepiece, and in this case, it is something quite rare and very special, just like dad.
We all know Rolex surprised the world with their Watches & Wonders Geneva 2022 announcement of the new 126720VTNR GMT. While the green and black ceramic bezel is something new for the various GMT colorways, the moment I saw it and realized this GMT is for left-handed humans I had to hope and pray to get one for leftie dad. After all, he has done so very much for our family. Being the obsessed timepiece geek, I immediately texted Nick Squitieri at Mayors in Tampa (owned by Watches Of Switzerland) in hopes of getting an allocation for my dad.
And today is that day.
My AD and longtime great guy Nick texted me a few days back saying the Rolex GMT arrived, and so now my Muse / wife and I had to find a way to get my mom and dad to the store. Under the guise of a nice family lunch out, after we ate we walked into the International Plaza and Bay Street mall… and into Mayors. Dad had no idea other than, well, it’s just my son Steven at a timepiece store, so life as normal for decades. Nick came out with a closed green Rolex box and carefully placed it in front of us. Me, my mom, dad, and of course my Muse.
That’s when I let dad know that this Rolex is for him. My gift for all he has accomplished in helping so many people within the world, including the self-sacrifices he’s made to support his loving family. While our family values a bit of privacy, those within the garment industry may be familiar with my dad Eli Rochlin, who has done so very much for many within the manufacturing side of the clothing industry. Would say more, yet my father is far too humble for me to list the many people and companies he’s helped over the decades, and in turn, the tens of thousands of families globally who have lived better lives because of his efforts. The new Rolex GMT made for lefties like dad was perfectly timed to show our deepest appreciation for all he continues to do for others selflessly. He truly is a humble, modest man, though does appreciate…
We’re sitting there in front of Nick in anticipation of which timepiece was hidden away inside? He opened the box and there she was, a Rolex 126720VTNR GMT… but dad still didn’t realize it was for lefties. Did ask Nick not to divulge this fact and to let dad realize it on his own.
At first, dad was in sheer awe, speechless, and overjoyed at this amazing gift from his son! So he put it on his wrist and you could feel his deep appreciation of a fine timepiece. Keep in mind dad is the same guy who helped his local Leica store owner as a teenager in the 1950s and used a Leica M3 with the highest fidelity lenses he could cull out of a big batch. Yes, back in the day that meant using different lenses and focusing on the eye, then enlarging the photo… That’s the camera I grew up learning about photography. He also saw the future with CNC machining and computers long before they became the norm. Dad’s a geek, like me. Actually, he’s far better than me, but let’s not let that derail this loving situation.
So with the Rolex 126720VTNR GMT on dad’s right wrist, I asked him if he sees anything different. It did take him a bit longer than expected (call it 10 seconds instead of 2), so while holding my GMT with blue/black ceramic over his green/ black GMT he did notice “the date window was on the other side”. And it was just then that you could see the awe in his eyes as good ol’ leftie dad realized it was a timepiece made for, yup, Southpaws! He had never seen or even heard of such a thing! With the new Rolex in his hands, he was in awe. His eyes lit up brightly as a biiiig smile shined brightly on his face.
Nick fitted the bracelet to dad’s wrist and dad tested how it felt on his wrist. A father being gifted a Rolex from his son is a very special occasion to be celebrated! Am grateful to say today was dad’s day. Rest assured he earned it, and not just for all he’s done for others and our family. I was a troublesome teen / musician during 1980 in Miami. Remember when I wrote earlier about an article is as much about the writer as it is about… Those of you personally familiar with Miami during the 1980s can surely ‘read between the lines’ of the lifestyle I feel into, and the depths of despair my parents had to deal with due to years of my self-inflicted downfall.
Eventually I hit ‘bottom’. I mean the ‘final’ true depths of personal despair. And while I asked to be left alone and ’face the music’ of my actions, mom and dad came to the rescue (yet again). This was nearly 35 years ago. They say you only truly realize who you are after life ‘breaks you’. Looking back, I can say it was those formative life lessons decades ago that have shaped who I’ve become today in helping others selflessly. There is no way to measure just how much my parents had faith in who they knew I could become, and the sacrifices they endured due to their troublesome teenage son. Tears are right now (literally) filling my eyes.
We don’t always get the opportunity to thank our parents, and when the Rolex 126720VTNR GMT was announced it felt like the world was giving me a way to show how very special left-handed dad means to me. With the GMT fitted to dad’s wrist we thanked Nick of Mayors and continued our joyful day together as family.
As we walked through the mall, every now and then I caught dad looking at his wrist with the new Rolex GMT. Hmm, that sounds familiar for many of us doesn’t it ☺
So to you dad, my unending love, appreciation, admiration… and here’s a timepiece you can wear that is made ‘just for you Mr. Leftie.’
PS: Sorry for pic quality, was too busy enjoying time with dad and so relied on others for pics.
PPS: Instructed dad to never take it off, just wear it and enjoy. Scratch it up, and want dings to happen… because they’re dad.
PPPS: Huge thanks to Rolex, Watches of Switzerland / Mayors, and of course my longtime AD connection Nick Squitieri in Tampa. Together we made my dad verrrry happy. What more could a son desire?