In February, we reported that Phillips auction house, in association with timepiece auctioneer Bacs & Russo, would be offering an Omega watch formerly owned by Elvis Presley at the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN sale on May 12 in Geneva.
Now we know that the King’s watch delivered big-time. The timepiece nabbed $1.8 million at the auction, setting a new record for the highest price ever paid for an Omega at auction.
The 18k white gold–and–diamond watch beat the existing high auction price for an Omega, which was set at Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction in November 2017, when a stainless steel Omega tourbillon fetched $1.4 million.
Presley’s watch was retailed by Tiffany & Co. in 1961, and its face bears both the Omega and Tiffany & Co. logos. The watch was gifted to Presley in 1961 by RCA Records to commemorate the artist selling 75 million records worldwide. He reportedly wore the watch briefly before trading it away.
The Elvis-owned Omega is now the highest-priced Omega ever sold at auction
The identities of the watch’s seller and new owner have not been revealed, but Phillips wrote in the notes pre-auction that the timepiece was “given to the current owner’s uncle after he had expressed his admiration for [it].”
The tale has it that Presley traded the admirer the Omega for a Hamilton watch. The music legend apparently gave away several watches in his life—a few Presley-owned timepieces with similar backstories have gone to auction in the past.
The Omega has a cool inscription: “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60.” And the bezel is set with 44 round brilliant diamonds. 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 the watch.
Aurel Bacs, senior consultant for Phillips, said in a statement, “It was a true honor to offer at auction this superb vintage Omega wristwatch owned and worn by Elvis Presley, the ‘King of Rock and Roll’. The world record result stems from the incredible combination of Elvis’ global appeal, its extraordinary provenance, and one of the most sought after collectors’ brands.”
Top: The back of the Omega watch, inscribed for Elvis by RCA (images courtesy of Phillips)