Don’t ask too many questions. That’s what the man said when he agreed to show me the watch. "All I know is that it belonged to a man of questionable integrity," he said. "I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination." Then he opened the safe.
I’d heard stories that a cache of vintage wristwatches was found in a Chicago vault. Rumor had it that a player in the 1920s underworld had a thing for giving out luxury timepieces as gifts. He’d stocked away a good part of his collection at a local bank, but got "detained" before he could come around to collect them. They sat untouched in a safe deposit box for more than 80 years. Most had gone for top dollar to private collectors, but my associate had snagged one for himself. And he was eager to show off.
Did the watch really have a criminal past? Nobody can say for sure. Maybe it belonged to a prohibition-era mobster or maybe just a little old lady with a love for luxury watches. But after being locked away for eight decades, this piece had certainly served its time. I’ve always been a firm believer in second chances. And rehabilitated or not, a watch this remarkable deserved a comeback.
After all, the original watchmakers didn’t spend months crafting a timekeeping masterpiece just so it could end up lost in the pages of some hierological history book. The watch was born to be worn.
Inspired by that stunning antique, the Stauer Quarté II features a gold-finished tonneau case and a classically complicated ivory dial. Bold, Roman numerals surround a quartet of eyes that mark the month, date and day of the week. Just above the 6 o’clock position is AM/PM window. You can see that we’ve included the same details that distinguished the most prestigious watches of the day including a genuine sapphire crown and swirled, guilloche-style face. Protected by a solid, stainless steel case back, the Quarté II secures with a genuine brown leather strap and is water-resistant up to 3 ATMs.
We’ve reproduced the luxurious look of the 1926 original, but looks aren’t everything. Thanks to 21st-century timekeeping technology, the advanced movement inside the Stauer Quarté II may just make our update even more accurate than the original. And the fact that we can offer such a spectacular watch for this exclusive price could be seen as proof that sometimes crime does pay... for you!