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Why Elvis Presley gave away his one-off Omega wristwatch?

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February 2018


Why Elvis Presley gave away his one-off Omega wristwatch?

A unique Omega wristwatch by Tiffany & Co. will hit auction this May, highlighting the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN. But how did the special watch end up on the auction floor in the first place?

It’s good to be king. Even when you’re not really around anymore.

More than 40 years after his passing, Elvis Presley continues to be one of the highest earners in the entertainment industry. The King’s estate is one of the most valuable in the world, earning well into the 8 digits each year from his image and music rights.

Omega “Elvis Presley” by Tiffany & Co.
Omega “Elvis Presley” by Tiffany & Co.

That means anything that has to do with Elvis is immediately of interest, and usually of value. And since you’re reading Europa Star, you know this time around we’re talking about one of the King’s watches.

The timekeeper in question is a special Omega by Tiffany & Co., which was gifted to the King in 1961 by his record label RCA to commemorate his remarkable achievement of having sold 75 million records.

Why Elvis Presley gave away his one-off Omega wristwatch?

To mark the occasion, the case back of the 18k while gold watch is inscribed, “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60.”

The watch is powered by a manually-wound Omega calibre 510 stamped with ‘OXG’, the import code for that series of movements the United States. The movement is among the most robust and desirable by vintage Omega watch collectors, but it’s not rare by any means.

What makes this watch special, of course, is its provenance. That, and the diamonds. It wouldn’t be a watch fit for a king without some bling, and this model in particular sports a bezel set with 44 brilliant diamonds, accenting the silver dial.

Why Elvis Presley gave away his one-off Omega wristwatch?

The watch will be sold with certificates of authenticity from the Elvis Presley Museum, along with a book titled “Elvis,” by Dave Marsh that includes images of Elvis Presley wearing this watch.

As the story goes, the watch was given to the current owner’s uncle by Elvis himself. Elvis had spotted the diamond studded Hamilton that the uncle was wearing and proposed a trade, something which he was known to do often.

The watch headlines the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN
The watch headlines the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

The elegant watch is being sold by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo and it looks set to be a highlight of Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN taking place on 12 and 13 May. The piece is projected to sell for somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 Swiss francs.

Knowing how dedicated Elvis fans are, there’s a great chance that projection will be blown out of the water. It’s also a good sign that Phillips racked in a sale total of $113 million at last year’s auction, including the record sale of the iconic Paul Newman’s Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona reference 6239.