We have a strange relationship with notorious gangsters of the past. On one hand, we understand that they were ruthless criminals responsible for a lot of deaths, but on the other, we are intrigued by their stories and the power and infamy that they achieved.

A mob boss is a busy man and when it comes to planning your next hit it’s important to keep track of time. Here we take a look at a few bad boys and their chosen timepieces.

The Krays

Twins Ronald and Reginald Kray, together with their gang “The Firm” ruled the East End of London during the 1950s and 60s with brutality. Between murders, psychotic outbursts of rage, and vicious tricks, the two former amateur boxers managed to establish a monopoly position for themselves. They even welcomed politicians and celebrities into their pubs.

The position of power that the Krays enjoyed enabled them to maintain a luxurious lifestyle, which naturally included good watches. Reg had a fondness for gold and wore models from Rotary and Omega, The Omega came with a delicate bracelet and a champagne-coloured dial framed by a bezel set with diamonds. Ronnie also liked a gold watch but his chosen brand was Longines.

John Gotti

One of the biggest and perhaps the most dangerous criminals in the United States was New York mob boss John Gotti. He took control of the most powerful of the city’s Five Families by the old-fashioned mob method of assassinating his predecessor. It was a huge prize.

Gotti’s chosen timepiece was a Piaget Ultra-Thin with the reference 9765 featuring a bezel set with diamonds, a white gold case, and a bracelet, also made of white gold. Known as the “Dapper Don”, Gotti showed his sense of style and fashion not only with his watches but also with his choice of luxury clothing in general.

Interestingly enough in the Hollywood movie “Gotti”, John Travolta played the main man, and to help him get into character Gotti’s son lent him his father’s watch. That could probably tell a few good stories!

Al Capone

Undoubtedly one of the most notorious criminals in American history, Al Capone, (AKA Scarface), was the figurehead of the American Mafia. With a hat, coat, machine pistol in his hand, and a cigar in the corner of his mouth, Capone stands for a rather dark chapter of the city of Chicago during the 1920s and 30s. His wrist, however, was adorned with a watch model you might not expect to see. Well, you could perhaps have seen a Rolex coming – but a Rolex Prince? The elegant Al Capone wristwatch in art deco design comes with a rectangular yellow gold case and a small second on a leather strap. Capone’s Rolex looks rather modest from today’s point of view, but based on the time it was made, it must have had an aura similar to that of a full pavé model today.

Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar is likely the most famous gangster of all time. He has an incredibly gripping story, which includes heartless cruelty toward his enemies, exporting cocaine all over the world, becoming a political player in Colombia, and much more. His journey is so compelling that Netflix recently produced a series about him and the law enforcement agents that took him down. To put his success in perspective, he amassed a fortune of roughly 55 billion dollars and managed around 80% of the cocaine market in the entire world.

What people talk about less is his penchant for luxury watches. The most famous of them was his diamond-encrusted, yellow-gold, Rolex Day-Date. Pablo was not one for understated style. Instead, he sported one of the flashiest timepieces you could dream up. The whereabouts of this watch are not known today. The reason is that the Colombian government auctioned it off and the buyer chose to stay anonymous. Doing so was probably a good idea, given the history!

At the risk of stating the obvious, you don’t need to be a gangster to sport a luxury watch. Why not pop on around to TimeTraders and find the piece that works for you, without any chance of getting “whacked”!

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