There is a consensus that watches associated with celebrities, or any personality can drive up demand. This is what happened with the Omega Speedmaster (Ref. 145.012), seen on the wrist of Ralph Ellison, author of the award-winning novel Invisible Man. The watch attracted sufficient interest when it went up at the Phillips auction in New York. The watch sold at a record-breaking price of $667,800 – the highest hammer price for any Ref. 145.012 ever.
The new owner of Ralph Ellison’s Speedmaster 145.012-067SP is the Omega Museum in Biel, Switzerland, and it’ll be on display for visitors to see. Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega said, “It’s a great honour to bring Ralph Ellison’s watch back to Omega in Switzerland. He was a writer of immense influence and a man with such an inspiring personality and talent. This Speedmaster accompanied him through many years of his exceptional life and will be a special highlight within our heritage collection.”
Who is Ralph Ellison?
Best known for his 1952 award-winning novel Invisible Man, Ellison is an American novelist, literary critic and scholar. He also published two other collections of essays — Shadow Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986). He is also known for his lectures on Black culture, folklore, and creative writing while teaching at various American colleges and universities.
Ellison and his Omega Speedmaster
According to the watch manufacturer, the Speedmaster watch worn by Ellison (ST145.012) was delivered to the US in 1968. Shortly after that, Ellison was spotted wearing the watch in the same year (see photo below).
The author wore the watch for 25 years until his death in 1994. Petros Protopapas, Head of Brand Heritage at Omega stated, “Mr Ellison’s watch provides such a wonderful connection to American literature. Indeed, the timepiece itself shows signs of an active life and its well-loved appearance helps to give it a truly authentic provenance.”
Image Courtesy: OMEGA