It is a diamond-paved cocktail watch made by Swiss manufacture Blancpain in the ’30s, and it’s absolutely stunning
She’d led a star studded life but Marilyn Monroe owned very few luxury items. In spite of her US$27 million (S$36.73 million) net worth, the actress who famously sang Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend favoured costume jewellery.
So this Blancpain timepiece was very likely one of her most valuable possessions.
The watch, likely a gift from third husband Arthur Miller, is now a part of the Blancpain historical archives. So it’s returned full circle to its place of origin.
Blancpain reportedly acquired this watch at auction for US$225,000 (S$306,090).
On its white rectangular dial, those yellow hour-markers – applied, not printed – and flame blue hands now aged with patina. Both are testament to Blancpain’s fine watchmaking prowess.
That vintage chemin de fer minutes track also underscores its Art Deco aesthetics.
Dainty but with a strong presence, fragile but also breathtakingly beautiful, it has a Blancpain ladies mechanical movement FHF 59 engraved with ‘Rayville Watch Co. 17 Jewels’.
Rayville here refers to the name of the company as registered in the ’30s after it underwent a change of ownership. It’s a phonetic anagram of the word ‘Villeret’ – the name of Blancpain’s spiritual home.
The Marilyn Monroe Blancpain watch first appeared in public in New York on 31 October 2019. It was at an event co-hosted by Blancpain and the Monroe Estate.
Along with personal belongings and a curated selection of photographs, this timepiece is an elegant memento of Monroe’s enduring legacy and eternal beauty.
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