JFK watch believed to be a gift from Monroe sold at auction

A gold Rolex watch believed given by Marilyn Monroe to the late President John F. Kennedy has been sold for $120,000, an auction house said on Monday.

Bill Panagopulos, founder of Connecticut-based auction house, Alexander Autographs, said on Monday an American collector outbid a European for the watch and case, Reuters reports.

Panagopulos said the watch was kept secret for decades, Reuters reports. He said documentation showed it was handed down through the family of Kennedy’s late presidential aide, Kenneth O’Donnell, and the former president appeared uncomfortable with the gift.

The watch is reportedly inscribed “Jack with love as always Marilyn May 29th 1962,” Reuters reports. The watch was sold with a poem titled: “A heartfelt plea on your birthday,” typed in black on a paper disk placed at the bottom of the gold case containing the watch. The two were rumored to have had an affair about that time.

A letter sold with the watch at Saturday’s auction, titled “The Unwanted Gift,” said: “This watch was given to my late father in 1962 by President Kennedy in person with the instruction ‘get rid of it,'” Reuters reports.

The gift was dated about the same time as Monroe’s seductive cooing of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to Kennedy at his 1962 Madison Square Garden party in New York.