What possessions do you own that could potentially stick with you for the rest of your days?

Apart from the obvious, precious and sentimental, like a wedding ring, we’d guess not too many. But, one reliable and often emotionally attached partner that does follow your journey through life is a decent watch.

Here we take a look at a few well-known names, their watches, and some interesting facts that go with them.

Buzz Aldrin – Omega Speedmaster

It’s fairly common knowledge that Omega was the first watch brand to land on the Moon and without a doubt, the achievement is a giant feather in the watchmaker’s cap. Even more well known is that the first man to set foot on the surface of the Moon was Neil Armstrong, but guess what – he wasn’t wearing his NASA issue Omega Speedmaster.

It was in fact the second man to set foot on the lunar surface, Buzz Aldrin, that had the famous timepiece strapped to the outside of his spacesuit.

Armstrong’s Omega now sits proudly in the Smithsonian Museum but sadly Aldrin’s watch, which was destined to go on display in the same place, never made it there. It may have been stolen or perhaps simply lost in transit but the fact is, this important historical object that encapsulates one of mankind’s major achievements, is out there somewhere….we just don’t know where.

John Lennon – Patek Philippe

It’s no secret that successful artists wear fancy timepieces, but rarely are the wearer and the watch, of the calibre of John Lennon and his Patek Philippe perpetual calendar, 2499, found together.

Produced between 1950 and 1988, little is known about this particular model apart from the fact that it’s one of the brand’s most coveted.

The watch was gifted to Lennon by Yoko Ono on his 40th birthday, in 1980, just a few short months before he was tragically shot and killed outside his New York apartment.

It is believed that just 350 examples of the watch were made, and in the rare event one pops up at auction you can expect to pay a king’s ransom if you want it!

Marlon Brando – Rolex GMT-Master

An actor that needs no introduction and one who played many iconic roles, but perhaps his best is Colonel Walter Kurtz in the eerie 1979 film, Apocalypse Now.

In the movie, Brando insisted on wearing his own Rolex watch but after a heated discussion with the producer, he was forced to give it a more rugged, authentic look, in keeping with the character, by removing the bezel and adding a simple rubber strap.

After its big-screen debut, the watch disappeared from sight, staying in the Brando family until it was auctioned off in 2019. This piece of Hollywood history sold after 20 minutes of bidding for just under US$2M.

Elvis Presley – Omega Constellation

Arguably the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis was gifted his timepiece by the record label RCA after becoming the first artist ever to sell 75 million copies of a single record, with Jailhouse Rock.

An 18 carat, white gold Omega Constellation with a diamond bezel, the watch was engraved on the back – “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60”

The story behind the watch is that Elvis was sitting in a restaurant when he was approached by a man who said, “nice watch.” Elvis glanced at the man’s own watch, a diamond-set Hamilton, and replied, “I like your watch too. Do you want to trade?” It was consigned to auction by the man’s nephew.

Kate Middleton – Ballon Bleu De Cartier

Her Royal Highness is hardly ever seen without her watch which she received as a gift from Prince William on their third wedding anniversary.

The watch is far from standard as William had a sapphire that belonged to his mother, the late Princess Diana, encased in the piece. It’s also thought that the watch complements Kate’s famous engagement ring, which was previously given to Diana by Prince Charles, following their engagement.

The Royal family seems to follow tradition when it comes to watches with Cartier being the go-to brand.

Madonna – Cartier Panthere

At the peak of her long and illustrious career, Madonna was regularly seen wearing a Cartier Panthere watch, which featured a quartz movement and signature blue sapphire crown.

After wearing the watch on her own wrist for many years and by the time she had sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, she is believed to have gifted it to Canadian singer, Alanis Morisette.

The model was produced from 1983 up until 2004 and was a staple for many celebrities around the time.  After the brand noticed a resurgence in vintage watches it was relaunched, in 2017. The new model was offered in either steel or gold and buyers could choose the with or without diamonds option.

Obviously, these are just a few of the famous faces we all know, but it’s clear from this snapshot just how much a brand can benefit from that all-important celebrity pairing!

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