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Omega gets JFK watch at Guernsey's auction

Dec '05
Global Swiss Watch Company Omega Watches after a fierce bidding war with avid collectors prevailed in the purchase of John F Kennedy's famed Omega wristwatch at Guernsey's auction of John F Kennedy: The Robert L White Collection held at New York's Seventh Regiment Armory.

At $350,000, the watch was by far the most expensive item in the session.

'They are thrilled that it happened this way.

Congratulations to Omega,' said Arlan Ettinger, founder and president of the auction house.

The watch, from 1960, was a gift to then Senator John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant Stockdale before the election. With a bit of humor and perhaps some premonition, Stockdale had the back of the watch engraved with the following message: 'President of the United States John F Kennedy from his friend Grant.'

Stephen Urquhart, President of Omega said, 'Watches are emotional purchases and they were very determined to procure this watch.

It is important to Omega due to its history and will reside in the Omega Museum next to the first watch worn on the Moon -- something Kennedy himself made possible.'

'They are delighted that this beautiful watch will be exposed to the public and placed next to other major pieces.

It is a fitting home for the Kennedy watch,' continued Ettinger.

Also available at the auction were a thank you letter written by Jacqueline Kennedy to Stockdale who lauds the Omega as 'nicer than the watch he gave him' and an image from LIFE Magazine of the 35th President wearing the watch on his inauguration day.

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