James Dean’s Elgin Pocketwatch Sells for $42,000 at Auction

Discussion in 'Pocket Watches' started by Korean Cowboy, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Korean Cowboy

    Korean Cowboy

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    LOL Westy, right after I replied to your pocket watch thread, I came across this...:)

    Link

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    James Dean’s lucky pocketwatch was one of the main attractions at Antiquorum’s June 22nd Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces auction held in Hong Kong. As we reported two weeks ago, the piece’s estimated price was around US$5,000, but after several bids from around the world, the watch sold for eight times that estimated value at about $42,000 (HKD $325,000). The watch was made circa 1889 by Standard USA, featuring an Elgin movement and the initials “JD” engraved on the front cover.
  2. westys

    westys

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    That is hawt!! I love just a classic design with flip open cover like this. James Dean is already recognized for having great taste and this just proves it.
    Korean Cowboy likes this.
  3. Korean Cowboy

    Korean Cowboy

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    It is indeed...I feel like it's worth it for the condition that it is in alone.
  4. andrew

    andrew

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    this is the classic pocket watches and i read history about this watches and here it is about this watches pocket history
    Dean purchased his prized watch in late 1951 while still a struggling young actor working in New York. It was his first big purchase, and he was so proud of it he had his initials engraved on the gold cover. Dean considered the watch his good luck charm and wore it while performing in TV and plays. The charm worked, as he was soon summoned to Los Angeles to audition for 'East of Eden', his breakout film, where he met the author, John Steinbeck. While visiting Los Angeles, Dean visited his estranged father, who gave him his own gold watch chain to prevent his son from losing
    his lucky watch. Dean wore it in his pants pocket, with the chain dangling from a belt loop, even throughout the filming of 'East of Eden' despite director Elia Kazan's protests. His performance in the film would earn him his first of two posthumous Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globes.
    James Dean ultimately gifted the watch to Tillie Starriet, a Warner Brothers employee whom he befriended during the filming of 'East of Eden'. He bonded with Tillie from the beginning of his movie career in L.A. and called her Mom. She was older than Dean and acted as surrogate mother for the young 23 year-old actor —she was the only person he would allow to prepare his hair for 'East of Eden' and 'Rebel Without a Cause'. Tillie Starriet mentioned in a letter of authentication accompanying the watch: “My two favorite presents from Jimmy are the lucky gold watch and chain that he loved, and when he gave them to me he gave me a card that said To Mom”. Dean was quite superstitious and attributed his early success to the lucky watch, but perhaps he should have hung on to it a little longer —he was killed in a car accident at the age of 24, leaving behind relatively few personal items. His Porsche Spyder was scrapped in Texas decades ago, the red jacket he wore in 'Rebel Without a Cause' was given by him to Sammy Davis Jr. —whose widow has said she will never part with it— and there is, Dean's lucky pocket watch —an item that personifies his place in time and his contribution to film history.
    Details on the Lucky Pocket Watch
    Elgin, No. 3071580, case No. 4275904. 37 mm case made circa 1889 by Standard USA, with an Elgin movement. The gold filled case features 'bassine et filets', engine-turned back, a cartouche with the initials 'JD' engraved on the front cover, a coin-edge case
    band and a hinged 'cuvette'. The dial is white enamel with radial Roman numerals, an outer minute track, sunken subsidiary seconds and blued steel spade hands. The movement is rhodium plated, with a 3/4 plate, five jewels, straight line lever escapement and a cut-bimetallic compensation balance with blued steel balance spring. The movement and case are signed. The time on Dean's watch is still set at 5:43, the time he lost his life in the tragic car crash.
  5. Korean Cowboy

    Korean Cowboy

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    This is awesome, thanks for sharing that with us Andrew!
  6. andrew

    andrew

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    you're most welcome KC