Auctions

The King’s Omega Watch Sets an Auction Record

AuctionsMay 15, 2018

The King’s Omega Watch Sets an Auction Record

Elvis’ white gold and diamond wristwatch went for $1.8 million, setting a new record for an Omega at auction.

20180515_Elvis-Omega.jpg
The Omega “Elvis Presley” watch seen here was given to the musician in 1961 to mark selling 75 million albums. It garnered $1.8 million at auction in Geneva over the weekend.

Geneva--The watch given to the King of Rock and Roll to mark a major milestone is now the most expensive Omega timepiece sold at auction.

As part of the “Geneva Watch Auction: Seven” sale held over the weekend, Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, offered the historically important Omega “Elvis Presley” watch that RCA Records gave the singer in 1961. It sold for CHF 1.8 million ($1.8 million).

Phillips beat its own record for most expensive Omega timepiece ever sold at auction, previously held by a stainless steel Omega tourbillon that sold for CHF 1.4 million during “Geneva Watch Auction: Six” in November 2017.

Presley signed with recording label RCA Records in 1955, launching a career that would make him a music phenomenon who would go on to sell an unprecedented amount of records.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army and served from 1958 to 1960, but RCA continued to release songs that had been pre-recorded in anticipation of his absence.

By Christmas of 1960, Presley had two movies in theaters as well as the No. 1 music single in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Still, RCA was eager for his return.

According to Phillips, Presley reached a record 75 million albums sold on Dec. 25, 1960.

To celebrate this event and re-establish the Memphis resident as a performer, RCA planned a celebratory charity event and concert on Feb. 25, 1961, which the governor of Tennessee dubbed “Elvis Presley Day.”

It was there RCA presented Presley with the 18-karat white gold and diamond Omega wristwatch, which was purchased at Tiffany & Co. The case back, as seen below, is inscribed: “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60.”




According to Phillips, the watch was given to the current owner’s uncle by Presley, who traded him the Omega for his diamond-set Hamilton.

Phillips said Presley was known to give away some of the watches he bought or was given, with a few of them coming up at auction in the past, though Phillips noted this one is unique in marking such a significant achievement in his career.

Presley was photographed wearing the watch at the charity concert, and the Elvis Presley Museum also gave it certificates of authenticity.

The sale in which the timepiece was sold was part of an auction weekend that brought in a total of CHF 45 million ($45 million) for Phillips.

“Geneva

Watch Auction: Seven” totaled CHF 23 million ($23 million), while the “Daytona Ultimatum” sale, featuring 32 rare Rolex Cosmograph Daytona timepieces in a sale curated by renowned watch scholar Pucci Papaleo, totaled CHF 22.2 million ($22.2 million).

In addition to the Elvis Omega, records set over the weekend included the $5.9 million sale of “The Unicorn” Rolex at the Daytona sale, which became the second most expensive Rolex sold at auction, and the highest result achieved by an A. Lange & Söhne timepiece at auction with the sale of a unique stainless steel “1815 Homage to Walter Lange” for CHF 852,500 (about $849,700).
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

De Beers CEO Al Cook and Signet Jewelers CEO Gina Drosos
SourcingMay 24, 2024
Signet, De Beers Have a Plan to Promote Natural Diamonds

The two industry giants are working together on a new marketing campaign.

Stock image of a diamond engagement ring
SourcingMay 24, 2024
De Beers’ Sales Slide in Fourth Round of Sales This Year

The company sold $380 million in rough diamonds, compared with $479 million in the same period last year.

Tiffany Venetian glass bead ear clips
TrendsMay 23, 2024
State of Jewelry Design: 3 Themes That Will Shape the Next 5 Years

Color, storytelling, and the use of nonconventional materials are the signatures of today’s most innovative and influential designers.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Inoveo Platinum
MajorsMay 23, 2024
PGI to Debut New Platinum Alloy in Las Vegas

Inoveo Platinum will be distributed exclusively by Stuller in the U.S.

Weekly QuizMay 23, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these seven questions.
Take the Quiz
Alan Hart Headshot
MajorsMay 23, 2024
Gem-A CEO Alan Hart Resigns

He is stepping down in August after eight years as CEO.

Rose cut arch cabochons Columbia Gem House
SourcingMay 22, 2024
State of Colored Stones: Why the Market Is More Colorful Than Ever

As prices of “The Big Three” skyrocket, supply dwindles, and focus on sustainability grows, an age of open-mindedness is dawning.

Royal Chain gold chains
Brought to you by
Record Gold Prices Have Consumers Undeterred. Here’s Why.

Despite the rising prices, consumers continue to seek out the precious metal.

Pandora Essence jewelry
CollectionsMay 22, 2024
Pandora’s New Jewelry Collection Reimagines the Essentials

The “Pandora Essence” collection brings a contemporary and sculptural feel to staples like gold hoops and pearl necklaces.

Instore show 2024
Events & AwardsMay 22, 2024
InStore ‘Cram Day’ To Focus on Lab-Grown Diamond Education

The limited-seating learning event precedes its second annual trade show, which starts Aug. 11.

Swarovski New York City flagship
IndependentsMay 21, 2024
State of Retail: 4 Retail Design Trends for 2024

From lighter color palettes to the integration of AR, experts offer inspiration for jewelers in need of an aesthetic refresh.

Dame Shirley Bassey’s
AuctionsMay 21, 2024
Dame Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Ready for Their Encore

Sotheby’s will auction jewelry belonging to the “Diamonds Are Forever” singer in Paris this October.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsMay 21, 2024
Successful Vendor Relationships: A Win-Win Approach

Sherry Smith shares tips for fostering successful vendor-retailer partnerships, from marketing investment to fast-seller replenishment.

Jennifer Herold, Independent Jewelers Organization vice president
IndependentsMay 21, 2024
Jennifer Herold Promoted to VP at IJO

Herold has been with the organization for 22 years and will continue in her current role of conference director.

Studs pop-up
MajorsMay 20, 2024
Studs Opens Luxury Piercing Pop-Up in NYC

“Fancy Studs” will feature revamped branding and a new lab-grown diamond fine jewelry collection.

Nivoda executive team at table
SourcingMay 20, 2024
2 Business-to-Business Platforms Secure Millions in Funding

Nivoda and Liquid Diamonds both have big plans for the new capital.

Stuller Packaging & Displays 2024-2025 catalog
MajorsMay 20, 2024
Stuller Issues New Packaging & Display Catalog

The 2024-2025 edition features new colors and styles, as well as storytelling elements.

Elephants wading in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
SourcingMay 20, 2024
State of the Diamond Industry: Botswana Beyond Diamonds

From moringa to ecotourism in the Okavango Delta, the country and its leaders are exploring how Botswana can diversify its economy.

Rough diamonds from De Beers
SourcingMay 20, 2024
Anglo American Confirms It Is Looking to Sell De Beers

The mining giant also wants to offload its platinum business as part of an overhaul designed to “unlock significant value.”

Buccellati jewelry
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Richemont Appoints Van Cleef & Arpels’ Nicolas Bos as New CEO

The announcement coincided with its full-year results, with growth driven by its jewelry brands.

Watches of Switzerland Mall of America store
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Watches of Switzerland’s Fiscal-Year Sales Flat

Looking ahead, the retailer said it sees “enormous potential” in Roberto Coin’s ability to boost its branded jewelry business.

My Next Question webinar series graphic
Recorded WebinarsMay 17, 2024
Watch: Preparing for Trade Show Success

Jewelry trade show veterans share strategies for engaging buyers, managing your time effectively, and packing the right shoes.

Cartier ring-tailed lemur brooch circa 1991
AuctionsMay 17, 2024
Piece of the Week: Cartier’s Ring-Tailed Lemur

This little guy’s name is Ricky and he just sold for more than $200,000 at Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction.

202.18 carat fancy intense yellow diamond The Yellow Rose
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Christie’s Holds 2 Sales Despite Cyberattack

Though its website has been down for a week, Christie’s proceeded with its jewelry and watch auctions on May 13-14, bringing in nearly $80 million.

The Allnatt yellow diamond
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Sotheby’s Withdraws 101-Carat Yellow Diamond from Auction

Despite the absence of “The Allnatt,” Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction totaled $34 million, with 90 percent of lots sold.

National Jeweler columnist Lilian Raji
ColumnistsMay 16, 2024
The PR Adviser: What the Designer Should’ve Done

Lilian Raji gives advice to designers on how to make the most of great publicity opportunities.

Mothae Diamond Mine Lesotho
SourcingMay 16, 2024
Lucapa to Shed Stake in Lesotho Diamond Mine

The mining company wants to divest its 70 percent holding in the Mothae Diamond Mine in an effort to streamline its portfolio.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy