At first glance this watch from Omega, with its simple white dial and diamond encrusted bezel, looks not to different from the hundreds of other Swiss watches that flood the market every year. But a glance at the caseback lets you know that the value of this watch is not in its movement, its diamonds or even in the company that made it. This watch is special because of who owned it: the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley.
The watch was gifted to the late singer at a charity event in 1961 by his record label: RCA Records. At the time Elvis had sold 75 million records, an impressive feat in an era long before digital downloads and streams were possible. This watch was purchased from Tiffany & Co. whose logo is below the Omega logo at 12 o’ clock. With a case made of 18 k white gold, the watch boasted 44 brilliant cut diamonds on the bezel and is powered by a manually-wound Omega calibre 510.
On the back is the engraving: To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60. The date represents the day that Elvis reached his historical sales figure. Supposedly, Elvis was known to give his watches away so it’s not that surprising that he swapped watches with a fan in Las Vegas after taking a fancy to the man’s diamond studded Hamilton. This story came straight from the fan’s nephew, the current owner of the watch.
The watch will now be part of Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo’s Geneva Watch Auction on May 12 and 13. It will be presented along with certificates of authenticity from the Elvis Presley Museum and Dave Marsh’s book “Elvis” that features images of Presley wearing the watch.
“This is the most historically significant Elvis Presley-owned watch to ever appear on the market,” said Paul Boutros, managing director for the Americas for Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo. “The watch commemorates an important milestone in the history of music and Elvis Presley’s career.”
“We think, given the importance of this watch, that it’s a fair estimate to not scare off potential buyers and to pique people’s interest to realize they can have something so exceptional and relatively affordable at around $50,000 to $100,000” Boutros added.