Their sartorial legacy and taste lives on, so much so that they still serve as the benchmark for sophistication. Surely, John F. Kennedy’s watches, and those of his family, would be deemed iconic.
Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank
If you look closely at any photo of Jacqueline Kennedy, you’ll notice one other consistency aside from her classic style: a Cartier Tank watch on her wrist. The watch is made of 18k gold and was a gift from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw Radziwill in 1963.
It was accompanied by the dedication “February 23, 1963 2:05 am to 9:35 pm / Jackie to Stas with love and admiration.” In 2018, it was auctioned off by Christie’s and sold for $395,000.
John F. Kennedy’s Omega Ultra Thin
When JFK took the oath of office on January 20, 1961, he wore an Omega Ultra Thin ref. OT3980 gifted to him by then Florida senator Grant Stockdale. On its caseback was the dedication “President of the United States John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant.” Interestingly, Stockdale gave the watch to JFK months before his win in November.
The watch is now in the Omega Museum in Bienne, Switzerland after being bought for $420,000 in a 2005 auction.
John F. Kennedy’s Cartier Tank Louis
In 1957, Jackie Kennedy gave JFK an 18k gold Cartier Tank Louis for their fourth wedding anniversary. Inscribed on the watch were his initials, the Kennedy family arms and the couple’s wedding date.
It is also said to be the watch that he wore on his wrist the day he was assassinated in 1963. Jackie later gave it to his former secretary after his death.
John F. Kennedy’s Rolex Day-Date
Perhaps the most notorious of JFK’s watches is the one he never wore. He is said to have a solid gold Rolex President Day-Date given by Marilyn Monroe on his birthday in 1962.
The Rolex is engraved “Jack With Love As Always From Marilyn, May 29th, 1962.” Marilyn had given the watch to Kennedy’s aide Kenneth O’Donnell so he can pass it on to JFK, but was told to “get rid of it”, so the story goes.