Rolex watches weren't status symbol when this picture was taken.

Rolex watches weren’t a status symbol when this picture was taken.

Here Fidel Castro is seen smoking a Cuban cigar and wearing two Rolex watches in the Kremlin while he chats with Khrushchev, in front of a Karl Marx picture. The non-verbal body language in this photo is absolutely fascinating. Notice everybody in the room is staring at Castro’s cigar, and that everybody sitting is smiling with their hands folded in front of them on the table, and the three guys standing below the portrait of Marx, have their arms behind their backs. At that time this sort of pictures were censored, but after the fall of the Soviet Union, many photos and other documents stored away were released, including this one too.

On the 27th of April, 1963, the leader of the Cuban Revolution paid his first visit to the USSR, that journey lasted for forty days. He managed to see a lot of cities and visit numerous factories, secret military bases, a nuclear submarine, walk along Moscow without security guards, talk to the authorities and ordinary people. Already before the very departure Fidel Castro full of emotions and being so much satisfied with what he managed to achieve in the economic and military spheres, sent a farewell letter to N. Khrushchev with words of admiration and gratitude for the excellent trip.

Fidel Castro was often spotted wearing two Rolex’s at the same time – one of them a GMT, the other one a Submariner. In total the watches gave Castro a three time zone overview by a glance on his wrist. The watches have been set for Havana, Washington and Moscow time. Today Washington D.C. and Havana are in the same time zone (UTC -5), but between the years 1960 and 1964 Havana used the time zone UTC -4. Rolex watches weren’t a status symbol when this picture was taken. They were considered some of the most functional accurate watches of their time (before quartz era started).