Every month, an issue of Air & Space magazine would show up to my childhood home, and every month, I’d read it cover to cover, multiple times, skipping homework to indulge in daring tales about the miracle of flight. The first watch I ever noticed in an ad wasn’t because of the watch at all; instead, it was because the advertisement featured Chuck Yeager. In it, he was wearing a GMT-Master II, and the image of him wearing the watch was forever imprinted on me. A line of copy read, “History is not always written quietly. Sometimes it requires a sonic boom.” Now, I know the GMT-Master II has moved away from “the watch routinely on the wrist of swashbuckling pilots” positioning into what Rolex now calls “The Cosmopolitan Watch,” but to me, the memory of seeing the first GMT-Master II on Yeager will always define the watch. And for what it’s worth, Yeager currently lives in West Virginia. Hardly cosmopolitan.
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