Important Collectors' Wristwatches, P...

New York, Mar 05, 2009

LOT 538

Unique and Historically Important ?Kennedy Onassis? Wristwatch Worn by JFK and Gifted to Aristotle Onassis by Jackie Kennedy Nastrix, Automatic, 57 jewels. Made in 1962. Fine, center-seconds, self-winding, water-resistant, 14K yellow gold wristwatch. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Evelyn Lincoln (President Kennedy's White House secretary).

USD 150,000 - 250,000

EUR 120,000 - 200,000 / CHF 175,000 - 300,000

Sold: USD 120,000

C. One-body, solid, polished, bezel hand engraved in Florentine finish, straight lugs, between the lugs at 6 the initials "FALJ," case back engraved: "To President John F. Kennedy From The Evangelines 1963." D. Satiné silver with yellow gold baton indexes. Yellow gold dauphine hands. M. Cal. 2451, rhodium-plated, 57 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating flat balance spring. Case and movement signed. Diam. 34 mm. Thickness 8 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original


This watch was presented to President John F. Kennedy in January 1963.
It is one of three watches known to have been worn by President John F. Kennedy, and one of two with Presidential inscription. Later gifted to Aristotle Onassis as an anniversary present from his wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on October 20th, 1971. It bears the inscription ?To President John F. Kennedy from the Evangelines 1963? and an additional inscription between the lugs ?FALJ? (For Ari Love Jackie). Original alligator strap. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Evelyn Lincoln (President Kennedy's White House secretary).
Also included in the lot: - Letter from Evangeline Bruce to President Kennedy, dated Jan. 1963 (recto-verso).
- Letter on White House stationery from Evangeline and David Bruce asking that Mrs Paul Mellon be invited to the White House
- White House Memo to President Kennedy from General Maxwell Taylor, asking that three Polaroids of Caroline and Jackie be given to him. Found in middle desk drawer along with watch and presentation box.
- Three Robert White letters concerning the watch, and documents
- Robert White affidavit
- Two Robert White notarized descriptions of watch, front and back.
- Two pages of images and information on Evangeline and David Bruce Display frame, which houses the watch in a revolving cylinder of glass and sterling. Frame includes the White House letter describing how the watch was removed from the Oval Office middle top desk drawer on Nov. 23, 1963, signed by Evelyn Lincoln; a sterling Presidential seal; a photo of Aristotle Onassis wearing the watch with Jackie by his side, and an Alfred Eisenstaedt photo of President Kennedy behind his Oval Office Desk.
- Photo of Jackie and Aristotle Onassis
- Original photo of Jackie outside her N.Y.C. apartment
- Photocopy of a photo of Jackie hugging Evelyn Lincoln
- Envelope with Robert White documents
- Photos of the Oval Office, taken the day the watch was removed
In January, 1963 a waterproof automatic Nastrix 14 karat yellow gold wristwatch with the inscription ?To President John F. Kennedy from the Evangelines 1963 ? was given to JFK, the celebrated 35th President of the U.S, by David and Evangeline Bruce, a well-known and influential couple in Washington society at the time. They were great supporters of JFK and had been instrumental in his election. Mr. Bruce was later appointed US Ambassador to Great Britain by JFK. The watch was often used by President Kennedy throughout 1963, being worn even during the twice-daily swims he took in the White House pool to relieve his back pain. Following JFK?s assassination, on Nov 23, 1963, the watch was retrieved from the top middle desk drawer of the famous Resolute desk in the Oval Office by Evelyn Lincoln. Lincoln, JFK?s secretary, had been requested to clear out all of JFK?s personal effects by Lyndon B. Johnson. Ms. Lincoln gave the watch to Kennedy's widow Jackie.
Several years later, after marrying billionaire shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, Jackie had the watch inscribed with the letters ?FALJ? (For Ari Love Jackie) between the lugs and gave it to him on October 20, 1971 as an anniversary gift. Subsequent to his death in 1975, Jackie then gave the watch to Evelyn Lincoln, who had remained devoted to JFK throughout her life. Ms. Lincoln kept the watch until 1991 when she gave it to her friend Robert White, an avid collector of JFK memorabilia.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) John F. Kennedy, known as JFK, served as President of the United States from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. He represented Massachusetts in the US House of Representatives from 1947 -1953 and in the US Senate from 1953 -1960. In 1960, he defeated Republican Candidate Richard Nixon in the US presidential election. He was the youngest President ever elected to office and the only Roman Catholic President to date. Noteworthy events during his Presidency include the Bay of Pigs incident, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the Civil Rights Movement and the beginning of the Vietnam War. He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. They had two children: (in addition to a stillborn child and a son who lived only two days) Caroline, who was born in 1957 and John F. Kennedy Jr., born in 1960 and who died in an airplane crash in 1999. JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.
Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975) Aristotle Onassis, born in Smyrna, Turkey on January 15, 1906, is known as the most prominent shipping tycoon of the twentieth century. Before he became successful in shipping, he earned a fortune in tobacco in South America. In addition, he also founded Olympic Airways which he later gave to the Greek government. His first marriage was to Athina Livanos with whom he had two children, Alexander who died in 1973 and from whose death Onassis never recovered, and Christina, who died in 1988. Mr. Onassis was also linked for years with the famous Greek opera singer Maria Callas, before marrying Jackie Kennedy, the widow of President John F. Kennedy, on October 20, 1968. He died on March 15, 1975 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, of bronchial pneumonia.