[Night Story] Patek Philippe In The Nazi Concentration Camp

Louise Woehrle is a city documentary director and she is making a movie about her uncle Charles. Her uncle Charles had a very extraordinary life. He gradually changed from a soldier to become a filmmaker. The story of this transition is beyond our imagination. During the film’s background check, Louise stumbled upon some communications between his uncle Charles and his Swiss watch company, Patek Philippe, when he was captured in Poland’s notorious Stalag Luft III concentration camp. When she asked his uncle Charles about it, he told her the incredible story below. Charles Woehrle is a B-17 artillery sergeant who served in the Army Aviation Corps, which is based in the United Kingdom. During an explosion in France, his plane was shot down by German soldiers. He was also captured and transferred by rail to the Nazi’s largest prisoner of war camp. There, he lived a miserable, cruel, tedious captive life for more than two years. To kill time, he resorted to reading, repairing, and even sewing. One day he stumbled upon a small ad from a Swiss watch brand that read: ‘If you want to learn more about Patek Philippe, please send us the form below and we will send you a brochure . ‘Charles sent the form according to the instructions in the ad, and he attached a note that read,’ If you can accept my payment after the war, I would love to buy a watch from you. ‘It’s hard It is believed that a few months later, a package containing a Patek Philippe watch arrived at the POW camp. Patek Philippe really sent Charles a watch! At that time, Charles’s watch caused a sensation among prisoners, not because of Patek Philippe’s prestige as a well-known watch brand, but because it exposed prisoners to the outside world and gave them hope and expectations. For the rest of his imprisonment, Charles kept wearing this Patek Philippe watch and fulfilled his promise to pay after the war. If the story ends here, it is already a legend. But this moving story continues. One day in the 1980s, Charles was stolen from his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his beloved Patek Philippe watch was stolen! This was a great blow for Charles, because not only did this watch come hard-won, but it also accompanied him through the most difficult and hard times in his life. In 2011, when Louise learned the whole story, she knew it had to be part of the film she was making. She also decided to contact Patek Philippe. What was unexpected was that Patek Philippe was very interested in this story. They searched the Internet and found for Charles a model similar to the watch the Charles gave to Charles in 1944. Patek Philippe repaired the watch and presented it to Charles at a ceremony in New York City. This story caused a lot of sensation at the time, both the New York Times and ‘Today Show’ reported on it. Until the summer of 2017, Louise released the news via HODINKEE: The documentary about her uncle was finally completed. It is a pity that Charles passed away a few years ago at the age of 98, but he has lived a full life. For him, the Patek Philippe watch in prison was hope, goodwill, and the dawn of the future.