Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is proud to announce the sale of a historically important Omega wristwatch, once belonging to Elvis Presley. A highlight of Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN taking place on 12 and 13 May, this exceptional timepiece, which was owned and worn by the rock and roll icon, was gifted to him in 1961 by RCA Records to commemorate his remarkable achievement of having sold 75 million records.
Elvis Presley signed with RCA Records in 1955, launching him into a career as a music phenomenon who electrified millions of attendees at his live performances and sold an unprecedented number of records. Over the course of his lifetime, Elvis had an active role in creating the modern American musical landscape and the development of a unique youth culture. His importance to the inception of rock and roll, and contemporary music as a whole, cannot be overstated. Research suggests that 25 December 1960 marked the actual date Elvis reached 75 million records, which, after two years of not having the chance to record, was an incredible feat.
Likely the first artist in history to reach this impressive milestone, RCA arranged a celebration charity event and concert on February 25, 1961 not only to award Elvis for such a significant achievement, but also to reestablish Elvis as a performer. Present at the event, the Governor of Tennessee proclaimed the date “Elvis Presley Day,” and the record company presented Presley with a plaque commemorating the 75 million records he had sold worldwide. Accompanying this plaque, which remains at Graceland, RCA Records also gifted Elvis this prestigious, 18-karat white gold and diamond Omega wristwatch, purchased by them at Tiffany & Co – the famed American luxury retailer. The case back of the watch, which will be offered for the first time ever in May, is inscribed, “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60.”