Warwick, U.K.--An 18-karat yellow gold 1970 Omega Constellation that Elizabeth Taylor gave to Richard Burton while the couple was staying at their home in Gstaad, Switzerland sold for more than $12,000 at a United Kingdom auction house Friday.

The watch was estimated to garner between $7,000 and $9,000.

Sold by Omega of Zurich on Sept. 12, 1970, the automatic Omega Constellation is 39.9 mm x 32.9 mm and came with a hand-written note from Burton’s nephew dated Aug. 29, 2010 that reads, “I confirm that this watch belonged to Richard Burton. My mother remembers Richard wearing it.”

A native of Wales, Burton was a famous stage and screen actor who won Tony, BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for his roles (though never an Oscar) and also was known for his tumultuous relationship with Taylor, whom he married and divorced twice.

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During their on-again, off-again romance, Burton gave the violet-eyed actress a number of remarkable jewels--think the Taylor-Burton diamond--and she reportedly returned the favors. According to Silverstone, Burton’s diaries mention a number of gifts from Taylor, including a few gold watches.

Burton died in 1984. Taylor followed in March 2011, and Christie’s sold her jewelry collection--many pieces of which were gifts from Burton--for a record $156.8 million later that year.

A buyer paid 8,200 British pounds (approximately $12,600) for the Taylor-to-Burton Omega Constellation. Per the pre-sale agreement, about $4,050 of that will go to the Alzheimer’s Society, a U.K. care and research charity. (The last owner of the watch has a wife who has suffered from Alzheimer’s for the past 15 years.)

Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Privé sale, which included a total of 16 watches as well as automobiles, took place both online and on-site. The anonymous buyer who purchased the Omega Constellation did so in person.


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