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”Kerching!” Of Rock’n’Roll

White gold watch covered in 44 diamonds, gifted to Elvis Presley by RCA Records, fetches an astonishing £1.4m in a Geneva auction

ALL MAMA’S CHILDREN

Just a year ago, in May 2017, a UK YouGov poll claimed of Elvis Presley that the value of “the late star’s rare merchandise has fallen dramatically.” Really? That may be the case of plastic “wobbly legs” Elvis clocks, but certainly no one has told the vintage watch market.

On 12 May, an Omega watch gifted to Elvis by RCA Records – to celebrate his sale of 75 million records – fetched over £1.4m ($1.812m) at auction in Geneva. It is the highest price ever paid for an Omega watch, and completely eclipsed the seller’s estimate of $100,000. The 18k white gold watch has the back engraved “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60” and came with added documentation that this was a watch The King regularly wore.

Elvis was actually a keen trader of wristwatches. The story behind this one is that The King was later sitting in a restaurant when he was approached by a man who said, “nice watch.” Elvis glanced at the man’s own timepiece, a diamond-set Hamilton, and replied: “I like your watch too. Do you want to trade?” And his RCA presentation Omega was gone. The watch was consigned to auction in May by the trading man’s nephew.

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