Session One of the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN ended yesterday evening with a spectacular result for the Omega wristward formerly belonging to Elvis Presley. The Omega, an elegant 18k time only model retailed by Tiffany & Co. in 1961 sold for $1,812,318 following an intense battle, with several bidders in the room and on the phones vying for one of the most important Omega wristwatches to ever come to auction.
This timepiece, which was owned and worn by the King of Rock'n'Roll - and which appears on his wrist in several photographs during his illustrious career - was gifted to him in 1961 by RCA Records to commemorate his remarkable achievement of having sold 75 million records. Likely the first artist in history to reach this impressive milestone, RCA arranged a celebration charity event and concert on February 25, 1961 not only to award Elvis with a plaque, which remains at Graceland to this day, and gifted Elvis this prestigious, 18-karat white gold and diamond Omega wristwatch, purchased by them at Tiffany & Co – the famed American luxury retailer. The case back of the watch, which will be offered for the first time ever in May, is inscribed, "To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25- 60".
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. Elvis is well known to have given away watches he purchased or was given, and a small number of these have appeared at auction in the past. No other Elvis Presley-owned watch has been previously offered on the market that marked such a significant achievement in his career as the present lot. The incredible provenance of this historic timepiece is furthermore confirmed by photos of Presley wearing the watch at the charity concert, as well as certificates of authenticity from the Elvis Presley Museum.
The elegant dress watch is cased in 18k 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 logo at 12 o'clock. The bezel is set with forty-four round brilliant diamonds, accenting its vibrant silver dial. The watch was 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.
For more information, please visit the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN catalogue, here.