On April 27, 1963, Fidel Castro visited the USSR for the first time and met Nikita Khrushchev in his office in Kremlin. He sat across the Soviet Union leader and as he was lighting up his cigar, photographers started taking pictures. When the pictures were published, all eyes were on Castro’s left hand.
Cuba’s Lider Maximo, the man who orchestrated the Cuban Revolution along with Che Guevara and overthrew the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, was wearing not one, but two gold Rolex on his left hand:
In various pictures, even in those taken during the years of the Revolution, Fidel Castro was wearing two Rolex watches:
Analyzers identified that the two models were Daydate and Submariner but that was it – none could tell why he was wearing two of them. Several theories have evolved over the years with some being crazier than others.
The simplest theory suggested that he was wearing two of them so he could have both the local time at Havana and Moscow. The problem with this theory is that later on, Castro was wearing a Rolex GMT Master – a watch that has the ability to track two different timezones so it doesn’t really make any sense.
The second theory is a conspiracy theory. According to this one, Castro was a member (called olocha) of a religion called Santeria. According to this religion, Santeria members had to wear a bracelet on their hands for “protection”. So, some people suggest that Castro was wearing the second Rolex in order to cover up the bracelet. However, given that Castro was usually not afraid of telling his opinion and was loyal to his beliefs, it’s highly unlikely that this theory is true.
The answer came by two journalists who asked Castro himself. According to their own words, Castro’s reply was “for backup, in case one suddenly stopped working”. I don’t about you, but this sounds like a troll answer to me but hey, it’s the only official answer we have. If you believe it,that’s cool: mystery solved. If you don’t, good luck finding the answer as there is no other official record of Castro clarifying the reasons behind this indeed weird habit.
BONUS: Even though Rolex wasn’t the status symbol it is day, it still was an expensive watch as it was considered extremely reliable. Oh, by the way, Ernesto Che Guevara was also a proud owner of a Rolex watch:
Communism for the masses and capitalism for the bosses?
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: 7 Insanely Weird Facts About Fidel Castro
Photo: Creative Commons
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Communist Wearing Rolex | Fidel Castro wore two Rolex Watches on his Hand, there are Three Theories why! | The Secret Fidel Castro: Deconstructing the Symbol