Record $1.5m for Titanic Gold Watch

Record $1.5m for Titanic Gold Watch
Pic courtesy Henry Aldridge & Son.

A crypto-millionaire from the US has reportedly paid a record $1.5m for a gold pocket watch recovered from the wreckage of the Titanic.

Auctioneers in Wiltshire, England, have confirmed that the buyer was the German fintech entrepreneur Patrick Gruhn, 42, former executive at cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The exchange, founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, collapsed in 2022 and Bankman-Fried was subsequently jailed for 25 years.

The watch belonged to the property billionaire John Jacob Astor IV, who co-founded the original Waldorf Astoria hotel, and was engraved with his initials.

Astor’s pregnant wife Madeleine Astor was among the women and children who were given priority on the lifeboats and survived when the ship sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. Astor, the wealthiest passenger on the ship, perished and the watch, together with gold-and-diamond cufflinks, a diamond ring, a gold pencil and a pocketbook were found on his body.

The 14-carat gold Waltham timepiece was sold by Henry Aldridge & Son for $1.5m, the highest price ever paid for an item of Titanic memorabilia. The pre-auction estimate was $187,000.

“The watch itself was completely restored after being returned to Mr. Astor’s family and worn by his son (Vincent), making it a unique part of the Titanic story and one of the most important pieces of horological history relating to the most famous ship in the world,” said the auction house.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and TJM Media Pvt Ltd. is not responsible for any errors in the same.