A historic wristwatch once owned by India’s first President Dr Rajendra Prasad, possibly gifted to him on the first Republic Day in 1950, will be put on auction in November as part of a collection of rare timepieces by leading auction house Sotheby’s.
The dial of the rare 18K pink gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual is decorated with the map of India with the date 26 January, 1950 inscribed on it.
The map of India on the dial includes the corridor of land linking India to Afghanistan and Nepal.
The Geneva auction has a selection of rare timepieces dating from 1574 to today, and, besides Dr Prasad’s wristwatch, will also have among its lots another Rolex owned by the first German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer.
Dr Prasad’s watch is estimated at between $222,000-444,000 and has never before appeared on the market, said a statement from the auction house.
“It was commissioned together with a quasi-similar watch in 1948 and delivered to the Rolex agent in Bombay in February 1949. The other watch (last sold by Sotheby’s Geneva in May 2003) was presented to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Republic of India. It was accompanied by a letter stating that the other watch appeared to have been made for Dr Prasad,” the auction house said.