A vintage Omega that belong to the rock n’ roll legend Elvis Presley was sold for $1.8 million (AED 6.6 million) at the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: Seven on May 12, a record price for any Omega sold at an auction. A rare Speedmaster Ref. 2915-1 also achieved a record price for any Speedmaster model, but more on that later.
Presley, the first artist in history to have sold 75 million records, was gifted this watch by his record label, RCA Records during a charity event and concert in February 1961. RCA Records from purchased this 18K carat white gold Omega wristwatch with a diamond-crusted bezel from famed retailer Tiffany & Co. The caseback of the watch has the inscription “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60.” The watch appears on his wrist in several photographs taken during his illustrious career
The Omega uses a 32.5 mm 18K white gold mm case; the dial is signed by retailer Tiffany & Co. and 44 cut diamonds are encrusted on the bezel. It had a pre-sale estimate of $52,900-$106,000, but finally sold for $1.8 million (including buyer’s premium) breaking the record for any publicly sold Omega.
In terms of celebrity provenance, the watch falls behind Paul Newman’s Daytona (sold for $17.7 million last year) and Eric Clapton’s platinum Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 (sold for $3.65 million at Christie's in 2012), but is ahead of Steve McQueen's Tag Heuer Monaco (sold for $799,500 in 2012).
It was a good night for vintage Omega enthusiasts at the same auction. A Speedmaster Ref. 2915 ‘Broad Arrow’ was sold $408,492 (AED 1.5 million) surpassing its pre-sale estimate of $84,700-148,000 and breaking the previous record held by a vintage Omega Speedmaster which sold for $275,508. This reference CK2915-1 is the first iteration of the first line of Speedmaster models from and comes with large broad arrow minute and hour hands (hence the nickname ‘Broad Arrow’. The watch is believed to have been produced in 1958.
However, the sale value of both these watches put together didn’t add up to the price paid for ‘The Unicorn’ – a unique white gold Rolex Daytona Ref. 6265 – that was sold for $5.9 million (including buyer’s premium) making it the second most expensive Rolex ever sold at an auction. The property of renowned collector and author John Goldberger, the watch was sold in aid of Children Action, a foundation dedicated to helping the lives of youth all around the world, subsequently being one of the largest charitable contributions made in the field of watches.
While Paul Newman’s Rolex remains the most expensive wristwatch sold at an auction, ‘The Unicorn’ has occupied the second spot for all Rolex watches, replacing the Rolex Ref 6062 ‘Bao Dai’, which sold for $5.06 (AED 18.5 million) million last year.