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    John F. Kennedy: His 1960 Campaign Watch. This solid gold Benrus watch was presented to Kennedy shortly after his nomination that summer by several members of the Democratic National Committee, and was worn by him throughout the campaign. The back is inscribed "TO OUR NEXT PRESIDENT J.F.K." The watch is accompanied by a handwritten letter of authentication from Dave Powers, who was a trusted aide during the campaign as well as in the Kennedy White House, and who went on to become the first curator of the Kennedy Library after the President's tragic death. Powers had been with Kennedy since the beginning of his political career, having worked on his 1946 Congressional campaign and every one thereafter. On November 22, 1963, he was riding in the car immediately behind JFK's when the shots rang out.

    The following year, Robert Kennedy asked Powers to gather and organize JFK artifacts and memorabilia, and those efforts would form the basis of the Kennedy Library Collection's permanent collection. He remained for years friend of the Kennedy family, and passed away in 1998.

    Powers states that Kennedy found the watch to be heavy and the band to be loose; he almost lost it several times while riding in motorcades and shaking hands along the way. He later gifted it to Powers, who retained it until he consigned it to a Sotheby's auction, where it was sold in 1997. The watch is now consigned to Heritage by that 1997 purchaser.

    Wristwatches place very high in the hierarchy of collectable objects owned by famous personages because of their intimate connection to the individual. This particular watch is especially appealing because of the circumstances of its presentation to Kennedy and its subsequent history. In lightly worn, but basically excellent, condition. It winds and runs, however accuracy of operation is not guaranteed.

    While other watches appeared on the market over the years with claims that they had belonged to Kennedy, this offering is a rare opportunity indeed for serious Kennedy collectors to purchase an impeccably documented watch worn by JFK.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    17th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,807

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    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
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