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 replica watches 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 cheap fake watches, 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.