Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Auction Hammer: Elvis Presley’s Omega Constellation

It’s Now or Never, or it will be at the Antiquorum sale of Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces in New York on December 11. If You’re Lonesome that night you might want to take yourself downtown to Madison Avenue where among the highlights will be the rare sighting of a c.1960 Omega Constellation, which was once owned and worn by a king. And not just any old king either, we’re talking about The King himself – Elvis Presley!
elvis-presley-omega-constellation-gold-02Charlie Hodge, a successful musician himself, became a close friend of Presley during their time together when both were serving in the US Army. The two struck up a lasting chemistry between them, and their friendship would endure until the Legend’s death, with Hodge a faithful and loyal aide and counsel, and even residing in Graceland for 16 years. Presley’s Omega Constellation regularly drew admiring comments from his friend, and eventually Hodge was made a gift of the watch as a token of their bond.
The Elvis Presley Omega Constellation features the Cal. 504 manual winding chronometer movement with date, and is presented in a pink gold-capped stainless steel case, with gold decagonal crown and stainless steel caseback with pink gold-plated Constellation motif at centre. The black dial with cross-hair division and date window at the 3, has applied gold hour indices with luminous inserts, gold text and Omega logo and is in a refreshed condition with original pink gold dauphine hands.
The case is described as ‘3’ or ‘good’, and indeed it has clearly not been gathering dust for a large part of its life. It bears the signs of a watch which has seen regular active service, although there are no notable dings or dents, just very minor pitting and scratches. The Plexiglas however does have a few more prominent scratches, but who would change that? The watch is sold on a leather strap with pink gold-plated tang buckle.
Obviously the provenance of the watch has been looked into, and an accompanying letter from Hodge, as well as photographic records with Elvis wearing the watch means there is no chance this Omega Constellation might be a Hound Dog.
Antiquorum estimate that the winning bid will fall between $10,000 and $20,000, but I just can’t help believin’ that this sale could get interesting. If you’re interested in bidding, you might want to have your Good Luck Charm by your side, or you might end up spending a Blue Christmas, in your personal Heartbreak Hotel, and ruing what might have been.

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