By Brecken Branstrator
This 18-karat white gold and diamond Omega wristwatch given to Elvis Presley by his recording company in 1961 will hit the auction block this spring.
Geneva--The King’s Omega watch that marked 75 million records sold is going up for auction this spring.

As part of the “Geneva Watch Auction: Seven” sale scheduled for May 12 and 13 in Geneva, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo will offer the historically important Omega “Elvis Presley” watch that RCA Records gave him in 1961.

Presley signed with the recording label in 1955, launching a career that would make him a music phenomenon who would go on to sell an unprecedented amount of records.

The year 1960 proved to be a pivotal one for Presley.

Though he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served from 1958 and 1960, RCA continued to release songs that had been pre-recorded in anticipation of his absence.
By Christmas of 1960, he had two movies in theaters, “Flaming Stars” and “G.I. Blues,” as well as the No. 1 single in the United States with “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and in the U.K. with “It’s Now Or Never,” but, still, RCA was eager for his return.

It was on Dec. 25, 1960, according to Phillips, that Presley reached a record 75 million albums sold.

To celebrate this event and to re-establish the Memphis resident as a performer, RCA arranged a celebratory charity event and concert on Feb. 25, 1961, which the governor of Tennessee at that time, Buford Ellington, dubbed “Elvis Presley Day.”

RCA presented Presley with a plaque to commemorate the milestone that still hangs at Graceland today. Accompanying it was the 18-karat white gold and diamond Omega wristwatch, which was purchased at Tiffany & Co.

The case back is inscribed: “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60.”

The watch houses a manually wound Omega calibre 510, stamped with the “OXG” import code for the United States. The bezel is set with 44 round brilliant diamonds, which accent the silver dial.

The watch will be sold with certificates of authenticity from the Elvis Presley Museum and a book titled “Elvis,” by Dave Marsh, which includes images of the star wearing this watch.

According to Phillips, the watch was given to the current owner’s uncle by Presley, who traded him the Omega for his diamond-set Hamilton.

Phillips said Presley was known to give away some of the watches he bought or was given, and a few of them have come up at auction in the past.

An Omega Black Dial Constellation Calendar nearly doubled its pre-sale estimate at Antiquorum in 2014 when it sold for $37,500. The stainless steel and pink gold-capped chronometer was owned by Presley until he gave it to his friend and fellow musician Charlie Hodge, who died in 2006.

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