JFKs watches

Our 35th president was a man who exuded style and class. John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy  became one of the most popular presidents and his administration was refered to affectionately as Camelot. He garnered respect from politicians on both sides of the aisle, but he also had a fair share of detractors. Some disliked him so vehemently that they were able to take his life on November 22 1963. Of course any discussion of JFK can go in so many directions; His politics are open for debate, his storied personal life, and many rumored trysts make for sordid conversation. He without a doubt left a huge legacy here in america and depending on your perspective will decide the degree of said legacy. I wont be addressing those topics here, I want to talk about Jack’s personal style, specifically his taste in watches. There are four specific watches related to JFK that tell stories of their own. Four distinguished pieces belonging to the president that he wore for various reasons in noteworthy situations.

Cartier Tank

The first piece to bring up is the Cartier tank, my assumption is that this particular watch was one of his favorites as he was often photographed wearing this model. The tank has been a mainstay for Cartier since nearly their inception and being displayed prominently o a popular presidents wrist certainly helped.Jacki O. Jackie had her own Cartier tank, as a matter of fact she was rarely seen with out it. Being the style maven she was it  is no surprise that this was her choice, as well as her Husband’s

Omega Tank

50 years ago John F. Kennedy gave his first State of the Union speech. For that speech he wore an Omega tank wristwatch. He obviously liked the design since this is the second piece he wore with this case shape. It went up for auction a few years back, and Omega watch company purchased the very watch that JFK was wearing at that speech. The company says it spent $350,000 to acquire it, and has also created for sale a commemorative version, a copy of the one JFK was wearing at that speech that day.

Cartier

JFK

Another watch from the fabled french design house. JFK often wore an 18 carat gold Cartier watch given to him by his wife Jacqueline for their fourth wedding anniversary. It is inscribed with the President’s initials, the Kennedy family arms, and their wedding date. This is the watch he was wearing the day he was assassinated in Dallas Texas. This watch was removed from the presidents wrist and given to the first lady, it changed hands to the president’s secretary and was eventually left to a collector, Robert White, along with some other mementos.JFK Cartier

Rolex President (Day-Date)

 
Purist will say there is no such thing as the president. When people use the term President they are referring to the Day-Date model which was very popular among the holders of that executive office starting with Dwight D. Eisenhower so hence the moniker. The jury is still out on whether JFK ever actually owned this watch, but it makes for a good story to be included here. The story was that Marilyn Monroe gave the to the president after she famously sang happy birthday to him during a Democratic fundraiser at Madison Square Garden. The watch case also contains a poem, titled:
A Heartfelt Plea on Your Birthday.
“Let lovers breath their sighs and roses bloom and music sound.
Let passion burn on the lips and eyes and pleasures merry world go round.
Let golden sunshine flood the sky and let me love or let me die.”
Rumors abound when it comes to this watch, some are convinced of its provenance, and others say some talented grifter contrived this after his death, either way it is a great piece. Everything aside, these watches related to our 35th president, JFK, are as I say, Swell.
Rolex President.jpg

(Images courtesy of: Omega, Celebrity Watches, and Jake’s Watch Blog)

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One response to “JFKs watches

  1. Pingback: Help me find a watch that fulfills my odd obsession with mid-century New England - Page 2

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