Elvis Presley is one of the most musical and cultural influencers of all time. Born in 1935 to a family of modest means in Tupelo, Mississippi, he knew music was his calling after receiving his first guitar on his 11th birthday. Using his early influence of Southern gospel music and African-American rhythm and blues, he helped define the genre of rock and roll. He cut his first demo record in 1953 and found almost instant success when the record label owners took him under their wing.
Elvis’s style of performing along with his good looks, pouty lips, and sultry gyrations caught on around the world while mothers covered their daughter’s eyes. After a career span of over 30 years, he sold over one billion records, starred in dozens of movies, and earned the title “King of Rock and Roll.”
Elvis loved expensive cars, flashy jewelry, and watches. He bought them for himself, his friends, and complete strangers. Sadly, the King died at the young age of 42. Over the years, the watches in his collection sold at auction have brought an untold amount of money. Here’s a look at some of the most famous watches Elvis Pressley wore and the roles they played in his life.
Omega Constellation and the US Army
Elvis was drafted into the US Army in 1958. His producers at RCA Records prepared for his hiatus by stock-piling unreleased material, and Elvis did a few recordings on a two-week leave including the songs “It’s Now or Never” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight.” He was stationed in Germany alongside friend and musician Charlie Hodge.
An avid fan of Omega watches, Elvis had an Omega Constellation during the years he served in the military. Charlie often admired the watch, and Elvis eventually gave it to him as a gift. The watch went up for auction in 2012 and sold for $52,000.
Elvis’s Omega features a pink gold stainless steel case with a gold decagonal crown. The black dial has pink gold dauphine hands and raised gold baton indices with luminous inlay. A pink gold-plated Constellation logo is above 6 o’clock and a gold Omega logo is under 12 o’clock. A cross-hair divides the dial and a date window is at 3 o’clock. It features Cal. 504 manual winding chronometer movement.
The Elvis Omega Constellation fetched $52,500 at auction in 2012. As for Charlie Hodge, Graceland was his residence for 16 years.
The Tiffany Omega and 75 Million Records
Elvis was honorably discharged from the army on March 2, 1960, with the rank of sergeant. The train that carried him back to Tennessee was mobbed all the way, and the King appeared at scheduled stops. Elvis had a natural talent for acting and never had any coaching. Later that year, he starred in the movie “G.I. Blues.” The soundtrack from the movie quickly reached Gold and Platinum status.
He took a break from recording and touring in 1961, but his records continued selling like hotcakes. When sales reached 75 million, RCA Records rewarded him with the gift of an Omega watch signed by Tiffany & Co. It has an 18K white gold 33mm case with a diamond bezel set with 44 round brilliant cut diamonds. The white dial is minimalist with white gold hands and stick indices. It’s powered by Omega’s manual caliber 510 movement.
Elvis’ Tiffany Omega was obtained by the nephew of the man who got it from Elvis himself. It went under the hammer at the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction in 2018. It’s slated to be on display at the Omega Museum in Bienne.
Hamilton Ventura, the Swap, and Blue Hawaii
There’s a story behind the acquisition of Elvis’s Tiffany Omega. The nephew of the man whose uncle got it from Elvis traded his Hamilton Ventura for the Omega on the spot after Elvis admired it. As much as Elvis loved his Omega, the unconventional case design appealed to his unconventional spirit. The timepiece became iconic after Elvis wore it in the 1961 movie “Blue Hawaii.” It became known as the “Elvis Watch.”
A newer version of Elvis’ Venture, the Ventura Elvis80 was released on what would have been the King’s 80th birthday. It has a power reserve of 80 hours in his honor. The triangular case features a black matte dial with polished silver dauphine hands. The hands and alternating indices have white luminous inlays. A minute tracker on the upper right side has bright orange markings matched by an orange seconds hand. It’s powered by quartz movement.
Rolex Submariner Big Crown and Girls, Girls, Girls
Elvis liked watches in all price ranges. One of the most expensive timepieces he owned was the Rolex Submariner 6538 Big Crown. It was named for its oversized winding crown and absence of crown guards. Elvis wore this watch proudly in the 1962 movie “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Coincidentally, Sean Connery wore the Submariner Big Crown in the first Bond movie, “Dr. No.” which premiered that same year.
No one knows what happened to Elvis’ Submariner. Certified Elvis ownership along with the value of the watch would certainly fetch a big price at an auction today. Several Rolex Submariners pay homage to this timepiece. Known as diver survival tools, they feature the same large crown and the Submariner’s Oyster case.
They are water-resistant to 300 meters (1,000ft), have high-precision movement, optimal protection from shock and pressure, and unidirectional rotating bezels. The dials are the brand’s classical style with geometric indices and Mercedes hands.
The Gift of Corum Buckingham
Elvis Presley had a heart of gold…and an 18K solid gold Corum Buckingham. Once again, he gave it away to an employee and friend, Richard Davis. Elvis took the watch off one day and asked Richard to look at the back of it because something was wrong with it. Davis flipped the watch over to see the inscription: “To Richard from E.P.” Antiquorum sold the watch at auction in 2016 along with a letter from Davis and photos of Elvis wearing it for $22,000.
Elvis’ solid yellow gold Corum Buckingham had a square hobnail dial, a plain gold face, black hands, and a black leather strap.
Corum was founded by a Swiss watchmaker in 1955 in La Chaux de Fonds. The luxury brand has several collections with the same square hobnail dial designs in a variety of styles.
Credit to Wikimedia for the image used in the header.