Sale of US general’s watch exceeds estimates

Seventy years after the end of the Second World War, a watch worn by legendary US five-star general Douglas MacArthur sold at a Geneva auction on Sunday for 70,000 francs ($75,000), far above the estimate.

Sale of US general's watch exceeds estimates
Photo: Antiquorum

The steel Jaeger-Lecoultre "Reverso" watch — a classic model in which the dial can be flipped to protect the glass front from shocks — was the star offering at Sunday's Antiquorum auction in Geneva, streamed live on the internet.
The watch, made in 1937 and bought in Geneva, has MacArthur's initials on the back and was put up for sale by his direct descendants.
The model in question — a rectangular 23 mm X 38 mm watch — is still being manufactured today.
"It represents a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire an important piece of world history that belonged to one of the great American military
heroes of all time," Antiquorum head Evan Zimmermann said ahead of the sale.

Antiquorum had placed a pre-auction estimate of 10,000-20,000 Swiss francs on the historic timepiece.

The buyer will pay a commission equivalent to 25 percent of the sale price.
Raised in a military family, MacArthur was chief of staff of the US army in the 1930s and was called on to defend the Philippines against the Japanese during the Second World War.
Although he was forced to flee to Australia, he fulfilled a promise to return to the Philippines and officially accepted Japan's surrender on September 2nd 1945.

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