An Omega watch given to Elvis Presley by RCA Records in 1960 will star in a sale at Phillips Geneva.
The piece was a gift to celebrate Elvis selling 75m records worldwide. It’s engraved: “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60.”
Elvis was at the height of his career when he received this watch. He had released Elvis Is Back!, his barnstorming return to recording after his discharge from the military. His movie career was also kicking into high gear. He’d release around two or three films a year for the rest of the 1960s.
Elvis watches have a strong track record at auction; a black Omega Constellation Calendar he wore during his military service sold for $52,500 in 2012. The present specimen is valued at $108,000 ahead of the May 12 sale.
Paul Boutros, managing director for Phillips America, told Forbes: "This is the most historically significant Elvis Presley-owned watch to ever appear on the market.
"The watch commemorates an important milestone in the history of music and Elvis Presley’s career."
That significance could easily see it exceed its estimate.
Elvis is unusual in the world of memorabilia as there is no shortage of pieces connected with him. He was famously generous and liked to give away everything from watches to cars, to anyone he took a liking to. In fact, this very watch was swapped with a fan for a diamond-studded Hamilton.
While this has a dampening effect on his market in some respects, his enormous popularity and icon status mean collectors compete fiercely for those rare pieces that stand out.