Watch collectors all shook up at thought of buying historic Elvis timepiece

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Visitors to Watches and Wonders in Miami this weekend will be able to see a piece of Rock & Roll horological history in the form of an Omega wristwatch once owned by The King himself, Elvis Presley.

They will later be able to bid for it online when it goes up for auction in May at a Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo sale in Geneva.

The watch has a pre-sale estimate of CHF 50,000 – 100,000 ($58,000 – $116,000).

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The Omega was given to Elvis in 1961 by RCA Records to commemorate the milestone of having sold 75 million records, a total unlikely to have been achieved by any recording artist before that time.

The achievement is marked with an engraving on the back of the watch, which reads: “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, and the date 12-25-60 — Christmas Day of 1960.

 

 

The total of 75 million was all the more remarkable at the time because Elvis did not record for two years between 1958 and 1960 because he was drafted into the army.

The elegant dress watch is cased in 18ct white gold, housing a manually-wound Omega calibre 510 stamped with the ‘OXG’ import code for the United States – in accordance with the “Tiffany & Co.” retailer signature beneath “Omega” at 12 o’clock.

The bezel is set with forty-four round brilliant diamonds, accenting its vibrant silver dial. The watch will be sold with certificates of authenticity from the Elvis Presley Museum and a book titled “Elvis,” by Dave Marsh, that includes images of Elvis Presley wearing this watch.

 

 

According to Phillips, Elvis gave the watch to its current owner’s uncle after in exchange for his own Hamilton timepiece that he was wearing at the time.

“The watch was given to the current owner’s uncle after he had expressed his admiration for Elvis’s watch. Spotting the diamond studded Hamilton the admirer was wearing, Elvis proposed a trade, and they quickly exchanged timepieces,” Phillips says in its pre-sale publicity.

Elvis is  known to have given away several watches he purchased or was given, and a small number of these have appeared at auction in the past.

But Phillips believes no other Elvis Presley-owned watch with such a significance and history has come to auction before.

The Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo sale in Geneva takes place from May 13-12.

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2 Comments

  1. Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello said:

    I think the watch being made by Omega is the key to the estimated price of sale being “only” US$100,000. Had this been a Rolex, a Patek, a Vacheron or a Piaget, we would be talking about a lot more. That is why a silkscreen of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, called “Elvis/Marilyn” by David Scheinmann, currently located at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louiville KY, and which sold for US$4,500 could not, ever, compete with a similar sized Elvis silkscreen by Andy Warhol, say, the not so well known “Campbell’ s Elvis”, the one where he first superimposed two images onto a single canvas, and which auctioned at Christie’s on 9 November 2010 for US$1.45 million. That, of course, was peanuts compared with what Elvis helped garner for Sotheby’s and Christie’s after the 2012 and 2014 sales of “Double Elvis” and “Triple Elvis” (the latter currently housed at the SF MOMA,) namely $37,1m and US$81.9 m., respectively, let alone the US$100 million paid by a Middle Easterner billionaire for Warhol’s “Eight Elvises”, in 2008. Incredible as it may seem, Elvis silkcreens by Warhol have yielded a quarter of a billion dollars in sales for both US and UK auction houses and at private sales, in this century alone.

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