|Man to crocodile: Drink rum! As a rum-runner back in the days of prohibition, my Uncle Charlie always had a story to tell. In the course of his life, Charlie wore many hats, including saloonkeeper, fisher, boat captain and gambler. He was a familiar face in the bars of Key West, and we could never tell if Charlie was joking when he said Hemingway still owed him twenty bucks. The stories always flowed as freely as the liquor when he was around, but my favorite was how he got his lucky watch, which we’ve recreated with the Stauer Rum-Runner. After the mob in New York took issue with old Charlie’s gambling debts, he went south and opened shop as a rum-runner. On his maiden voyage, Charlie filled his little motorboat to the brim with high-proof rum in the Bahamas and high-tailed it back to Miami. When a Coast Guard cutter spotted him, Charlie mashed the throttle down, jetting straight for the Everglades. He lost the Coasties, he was also lost himself. For hours he searched for a way through the marsh, and began drinking from his spicy brown cargo. Just as dusk began to set in, Charlie saw the last thing he wanted: a crocodile. To hear Charlie tell it, the beast was thirty-feet long and licked its lips at the sight of my drunk uncle. As the croc slid into the water, Charlie opened a bottle of the high-proof rum. When the croc resurfaced and snapped its gums at Charlie, my uncle threw the bottle into its mouth. The ferocious reptile was no match for the high octane. The beast decided to sleep it off back on shore. While the story changed through the years – and I can only hope it’s true – but one thing’s for certain, his leather crocodile embossed watch band was real. The Stauer Rum-Runner is inspired by that watch, and it’s the kind of well-built keepsake that Uncle Charlie would have loved. This watch boasts a classic face and a genuine leather crocodile embossed band. Its body is silver-finished with a stainless steel bezel and caseback. For longer voyages, the Rum-Runner includes the date and the day in its complications and is water resistant to 3 ATM. As I wear Charlie’s watch today, I can only hope to have a fraction of the adventures that he did.