New York-based Praesidus Watches, a company that raises money for military veterans with every timepiece it sells, is celebrating the 100th birthday of Tom Rice, who it describes as the world’s oldest watch ambassador.
Mr Rice took part in the D-Day landings in 1944 as an airborne paratrooper who parachuted into France on June 5, 1944.
In honor of Mr Rice’s service, Praesidus has been manufacturing a recreation of the A-11 watch that should have been on his wrist when he landed behind enemy lines on that night, but was ripped away from him while he jumped.
“As watchmakers, Tom’s story touched us in so many ways. We made sure that he is involved in the process as much as he can. We’d like to bring back what he lost and share to many this unique story of a man and his watch.” Oscar Chabrat, brand manager of Praesidus, describes.
This month, Mr Rice turns 100 years old, and Praesidus is drawing attention to his extraordinary story once again as he plans to make another parachute jump to mark the occassion.
He last made the jump in 2019 on that year’s anniversary of D Day.
Praesidus donates 5% of the value of every watch it sells to military veterans in the United States.
The Tom Rice A-11 reproduction, priced at $195, delivers the same reliability and accuracy as the original thanks to its NH35 Seiko Automatic Movement with 48 hour power reserve.
There are 38mm and 40mm versions and a variety of straps.
All Praesidus watches are assembled in the United States.