10th June 1940, 6pm. An unforgettable moment for the Italian people. From the balcony of Piazza Venezia, in his uniform of a honor corporal of the militia and standing with his hands on the belt, Mussolini announced the declaration of war against France and England. Broadcasted in every Italian city by Radiomarielli's devices, it ended with a clear message: "Rush to arms and show your tenacity, your courage, your valor!". A watershed message that marked the history of every Italian family and that, for many young men, materialized through a postcard.

This is how Marcello Bedetti, son of the founder Antonio, found himself fighting in North Africa.
"I remember an anecdote about that time, that my father used to tell me", says Massimo Bedetti. "He was a man who loved life, and even during the war he didn't lose his exuberant character. This is how, during a break at an oasis surrounded by palm trees, he saw a can full of water. He gathered around him his comrades in arms and a group of Bedouins and threw his precious watch in the can. Then, he rolled up his shirt sleeves, dipped his arm in the water and fished the watch out: everybody was staring at him, because the watch was still perfectly functional!"

It was a Rolex with an Oyster case invented by the Swiss maison in 1926. That was the world's first water-resistant case for a wrist watch, thanks to the patented system with bezel, back and winding crown screwed onto the case-middle. Already in 1927 the young English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze proved that, when she swam across the English Channel with a Rolex Oyster at her wrist. It took her 10 hours, and the watch kept undamaged.

"That's a watch I keep jealously - tells Massimo Bedetti - and thanks to the experience of our laboratory technicians it still marks the time perfectly. It's a witness of both our family's and the Rolex' histories, which have been united since almost a century."