By Hannah Connorton
The late President Dwight D. Eisenhower wore his Rolex Oyster Ref. 6305 on the cover of Life magazine in July 1952 after he won the Republication Party’s nomination for president, and regularly donned the wristwatch throughout his two-term Boston--An 18-karat gold Rolex Oyster Ref. 6305 wristwatch given to former President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951 failed to sell last Wednesday, as bidding did not reach the reserve price established by the seller.

Bidding for the wristwatch did reach $475,000, but the seller was hoping for closer to $1 million, according to Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction in Boston, which included the timepiece in its Sept. 17 sale of the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection.

The Rolex was given to Eisenhower before he became president, for his achievements as a general during World War II including the planning of the D-Day invasion. 

When he died in 1969, he bequeathed the piece to army colleague Sgt. John Moaney. About 30 years ago, the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, an assemblage of Americana, presidential and military relics, acquired the watch from Moaney’s widow.

A representative at RR Auction said typically what happens when a reserve price is not met is that the parties who were interested in the object, in this case Eisenhower’s watch, will be contacted to see if an agreement can be made. 

The wristwatch features an 18-karat gold Jubilee bracelet with a deployment clasp and the initials “DDE” inscribed on the case back, as well as the five-star general insignia and date that NATO appointed Eisenhower as a Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, “12-19-1950.”

“The overall condition of the watch is excellent original, being in good running order, having minor band repairs, some normal refinishing of case and bracelet surfaces,” RR Auction said. “The case back retains its fine engraving with light wear, thanks in part to the preservation noted by the man who received the watch from the president.” 

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