It was 57 years ago today that February 25 was declared “Elvis Presley Day”, in honour of the American “king of rock ‘n’ roll”.
The governor of the state of Tennessee and the mayor of the city of Memphis had jointly named the day after the singer at a special lunch at the Claridge Hotel in Memphis.
At the same event, Presley was presented with a plaque and a diamond-studded Omega watch by his record company, RCA Records, to commemorate his achievement of selling 75 million records – thanks to a string of hits, including Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, It’s Now or Never and Are You Lonesome Tonight? – since the start of his recording career in 1954.
That same co-branded watch – made by Omega and sold by Tiffany & Co – will be auctioned at the Geneva Watch Auction: Seven on May 12 and 13.
Presley’s manually winding Omega calibre 510, set in 18ct white gold, is adorned with 44 round diamonds, and features the Tiffany & Co logo beneath the name of Omega at 12 o’clock on the dial.
The back case of the watch also has an inscription: “TO ELVIS, 75 MILLION RECORDS, RCA VICTOR, 12-25-60” – marking the actual date, December 25, 1960, when Presley’s record sales reached that landmark.
Presley, who had joined RCA from the small Memphis label, Sun Records, in 1955, was known for giving away watches he had bought or received.
He later exchanged his Omega watch with the current owner’s uncle for a Hamilton diamond watch.
The Omega watch is being offered with certificates of authenticity from the Elvis Presley Museum at Graceland and a 1982 book, titled Elvis, by Dave Marsh, which features photographs of Presley wearing the watch.
The watch has an estimated value of 50,000 Swiss francs to 100,000 Swiss francs (US$53,000-US$107,000).