The American “king of rock ‘n’ roll” Elvis Presley’s 1960 Omega watch fetched US$1.8 million, shattering all the records at an auction by Phillips thereby setting a record price for the Swiss watch brand. The Diamond-encrusted timepiece was given to Presley for selling 75 million records.
The watch, sold during the first session of “Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN,” achieved a remarkable final result of CHF 1,812,500/US$1,812,318/ €1,517,243 establishing a new world record for any Omega watch sold at auction. The 18ct white-gold, diamond-encrusted timepiece sold for 18 times the highest estimate.
Several collectors attempted to acquire the watch, with 10 bidders vying for the prize at one point, but it was the Omega Museum who will ultimately bring the watch back to their headquarters in Bienne, Switzerland, as the latest addition to a growing collection.
Elvis Presley’s Omega capped a wonderful evening for Omega, which also established a new world record for a Speedmaster following the sale of an early and well-preserved Speedmaster ref. CK 2915-1 (Lot 124) for CHF 408,500/$ 408,459/€ 341,955.
The back case of the watch bears the inscription: “TO ELVIS, 75 MILLION RECORDS, RCA VICTOR, 12-25-60” – marking the date, December 25, 1960, when Presley’s record sales reached that landmark.
During the sale’s second session on Sunday, a stainless steel A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Homage to Walter Lange sold for CHF852,500 (US$852,414), including the buyer’s premium, a record for an A. Lange wristwatch sold at auction.
Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant at Phillips, expressed his satisfaction after the sales: “Wow – this is the first word coming to my mind. I can’t remember having seen so much enthusiasm from the market for a series of watch auctions, ever in my career. Records were broken as collectors once again recognized that quality, originality and rarity, paired with excellent provenance, are the key ingredients in today’s watch collecting landscape. The atmosphere in the room was electric and the audience was rocking from the beginning to the end – not only when Elvis Presley’s Omega was auctioned!”