Geneva: A historic wrist watch once owned by
India`s first president Dr Rajendra Prasad, possibly gifted to
him on the first Republic Day in 1950, will be put on auction
next month as part of a collection of rare timepieces by leading auction house Sotheby`s.
The dial of the rare 18K pink gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual
is decorated with the map of India with the date 26 January,
1950 inscribed on it. The map of India on the dial includes
the corridor of land linking India to Afghanistan and Nepal.
The Geneva auction has a selection of rare timepieces
dating from 1574 to today, and besides Prasad`s wristwatch
will also have among its showcases another Rolex owned by the
first German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
Prasad`s watch is estimated at between USD 222,000 to USD
444,000 and has never before appeared on the market, said a
statement from the auction house.
"It was commissioned together with a quasi-similar watch
in 1948 and delivered to the Rolex agent in Bombay in February
1949. The other watch (last sold by Sotheby`s Geneva in May
2003) was presented to the first Prime Minister of India,
Jawaharlal Nehru on the occasion of the inauguration of the
Republic of India.
"It was accompanied by a letter stating that the other
watch appeared to have been made for Dr Prasad," it said.
A freedom fighter alongside Mahatma Gandhi, Prasad became
the first president of independent India, an office he served
for 12 years until 1962.
"The forthcoming Geneva sale is set to capture the
imagination and interest of international collectors, with
unique models such as the Patek Philippe `Clarin Mustad 1518`
and watches that belonged to key figures of the 20th century
and witnessed pivotal moments in modern history," said
Geoffroy Ader, Head of Sotheby`s Watch Department in Europe.
The other exceptional writwatch that goes under the hammer
is engraved on the back with Konrad Adenauer`s name, and is
accompanied by its original leather folder and a letter dated
16 September 1955 from Rolex`s founder Hans Wilsdorf to the
Among the items that go on sale will also be a set of
luxurious pocket watches created for the Indian market in the
One of them is an 18K yellow gold and enamel keyless
chronograph watch made in 1890, and featuring a portrait of
Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, the ruler ruler of the Jodhpur
State from 1873 until 1895, the auction house said.