I've posted the story of how Rolex became the iconic military man's signature timepiece: PRISONER of WAR ROLEX's Part 1, also Part 2, and Part 3. I wear a Rolex - saved up and bought it at the PX in Okinawa, a sort of present to myself that I'd arrived at where I wanted to be in Life. Around the same time I learned why we professional military men wear Rolex's . . . Hint: it ain't to tell the time . . . S.L.
The primary purpose of the Rolex - to a professional adventurer - is not as a timepiece but rather as a life insurance policy. When the situation goes pear-shaped and you've somehow made it to the airport, the Rolex buys you a seat on the last flight out of Heart of Darkness International Airport.
As your aircraft circles the city, you look down at the rising columns of black smoke and imagine the scene downtown in the city square where they're chopping the few remaining Westerners up into monkey meat, you look at your wrist where your treasured timepiece used to be and you think 2 things:
A) 'Well I guess the Rolex finally paid for itself . . .'
B) 'I can always buy another watch . . .'