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Auctions: Eisenhower’s Rolex on sale at an estimated $1 million value

A valuable Rolex wristwatch owned by Dwight D. Eisenhower will be on sale for the first time in its history – valued at an estimated US$1 million – during a live auction event to be held on 17 September 2014  by Boston-based auction house RR Auction. 

Dating back to 1951, the yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateJust reference 6305 on a matching Jubilee bracelet with deployment clasp was presented to General Eisenhower by Rolex to celebrate the production of their 150,000th watch to obtain ‘Official Chronometer’ certification (the 100,000th was given to Winston Churchill), and to recognise the general’s great achievements in World War II.
The back case and the bracelet clasp were engraved with the DDE initials. On the back Rolex also engraved the five-star general insignia and date that NATO appointed him as Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, “12-19-1950.”
In the Dwight D. Eisenhower portrait that appeared on the cover of the July 21 issue of Life Magazine - just after he had secured the Republican Party’s presidential nomination - this rare Rolex is displayed in full view on his left wrist. Eisenhower frequently wore this watch throughout his tenure in presidential office. 
The watch is in good running order with some refinishing of case and bracelet surfaces. The dial was upgraded in the 1960's to the current original (never refinished) Rolex silvered dial, with applied gold markers, and tritium luminous dots matching tritium paint channels in the hands for nighttime vision. The original dial would have had radium activated luminous and more of a matte appearance, but the original red date disk was retained. Tritium was newly being used at the time in place of radium activated paints, as it was much more safe.
The accompanying documents mention that the President was having some difficulty reading the red letter date, but Rolex provided one of the newly developed 'Cyclops' crystals to aid his experience of the watch. The watch is accompanied by spare links for the bracelet, the original Rolex crown that was changed by Rolex when upgrading to the ‘Twin-Lock’ system, and various spare crystals. 

The wristwatch is among items from the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx collection who acquired the historical timepiece from the widow of Sgt. John Moaney, a faithful Army colleague who had followed Eisenhower all the way to the White House serving him as his personal valet. When Eisenhower died in 1969, he bequeathed his Rolex to his loyal friend as a token of appreciation for a lifetime of service.

For more details on this upcoming auction, visit the RR Auction web site.

September 22, 2014 Update
The watch was not sold at the auction as the best offer - US$ 475,000 - did not exceed the reserve. Evidently the historical aspects were not enough to justify the high price to collectors considering the overall condition of the watch and, above all, the replacement of the original dial.

COMMENTS

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Time and Watches: Auctions: Eisenhower’s Rolex on sale at an estimated $1 million value
Auctions: Eisenhower’s Rolex on sale at an estimated $1 million value
A valuable Rolex wristwatch owned by Dwight D. Eisenhower will be on sale for the first time in its history – valued at an estimated US$1 million – during a live auction event to be held on 17 September 2014 by Boston-based auction house RR Auction. Dating back to 1951, the yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateJust reference 6305 on a matching Jubilee bracelet with deployment clasp was presented to General Eisenhower by Rolex to celebrate the production of their 150,000th watch to obtain ‘Official Chronometer’ certification (the 100,000th was given to Winston Churchill), and to recognise the general’s great achievements in World War II.
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