An 18-carat gold watch will be sold at auction tomorrow, and the auctioneers suggest it will become 'the most important and monetarily valuable' Rolex watch ever sold. It's solid gold and was made in 1951, but the thing that makes this particular watch so desirable is its history.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date was given to Eisenhower by the Swiss watchmakers, as a token of their gratitude for his role in World War II. They engraved it with his initials, the date he was appointed as Supreme Commander of NATO, and five stars.
According to RR Auction, the auctioneers, it immediately became his favourite, and after becoming the 34th US President he wore it to work on a daily basis. The auctioneers claim that it is: "Without question, the most historically significant Rolex ever offered for sale."
The gift followed a tradition established by the company. This was the 150,000th Rolex ever made. The 100,000th had gone to Winston Churchill and the 50,000th to Swiss army general Henry Guisan. Just before his death, Eisenhower gave it to his valet, Sergeant John Moaney. When he died nine years later it was sold to a collector, who will put it up for sale again in Boston tomorrow.
According to the New York Post, the auctioneers expect bids of up to $1 million (£613,000). They say it's one of the most important Rolex watches in the world, and they expect it to make history.
However, bids would have to reach well over $1 million for that to happen. In May this year a rare Oyster Perpetual model with a cloisonné enamel dial surprised the auction house where it sold - fetching more than double its lower estimate, and selling for $1,220,632.
If Eisenhower's watch was to achieve a similar feat, it would secure its place as the most expensive Rolex ever made, but we'll have to wait until the auction tomorrow to find out whether that's on the cards.
Meanwhile, those with an eye on expensive luxuries ought to bear in mind that while Rolex comes with a certain cachet, when it comes to value it's a drop in the ocean compared to the most expensive Patek Philippe. The priciest one of these ever sold was the Supercomplication - custom-made for a banker in 1942 and featuring a chart of the night sky over New York. It sold in 1999 for a record $11 million.
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