Jewelry & Watches

Kim Kardashian West Buys Jackie Kennedy's Watch at Auction

The personalized timepiece came with a painting made by Jackie herself.

Look closely at any photo taken of Jackie Kennedy in the '70s, and you'll likely notice one consistency: a Cartier tank watch on her wrist. Now, that watch allegedly belongs to Kim Kardashian West.

On Wednesday, the gold timepiece with a black band, which was paired with one of Kennedy's original paintings in Christie's Rare Watches and American Icons auction, sold to an anonymous bidder for $395,000, well above the estimate of $60,000 to $120,000.

TMZ and People report that anonymous bidder was, in fact, Kardashian West.

It makes sense; the reality star and business mogul has taken to wearing less ostentatious jewelry following her terrifying robbery experience in Paris, and the watch, while classic and beautiful, lacks a certain bling factor.

"It’s not to say that I’ll never wear jewelry again or anything like that," Kardashian West said in an interview on The Ellen Show earlier this year. "I truly don’t know if I’d ever feel comfortable. My whole life has changed in terms of how I travel and what security."

However, she could be making an exception here because of the watch's fascinating backstory.

In 1962, inspired by a 1908 executive order by President Theodore Roosevelt in which he mandated that all Marine officers should be able to complete a 50-mile hike in twenty hours, President John F. Kennedy challenged the Marine Corps, the White House staff, and the rest of the nation to the task. The president also personally challenged his brother-in-law Prince Stanislas Radziwill and his good friend Chuck Spalding to the hike, betting that they weren't in good enough shape to complete it.


The watch, estimated to sell for between $60,000 and $120,000

On February 22nd 1963, Radziwill and Spalding took up the President's bet and set out for a 50-mile hike along the Sunshine State Parkway in Palm Beach at 2:05 a.m. They wore hiking boots, but were accompanied by a car and an entourage who frequently radioed back to the President's house to request necessary rations (like steak, champagne, and orange juice), and Jackie Kennedy, her sister Lee Radziwill, and the President himself made frequent trips to the Parkway to check on the men. They finally finished the 50-mile at 9:35 p.m.

Shortly thereafter, Prince Radziwill and Jackie Kennedy exchanged gifts to commemorate the hike. Radziwill gave Jackie the Cartier Tank watch, engraved with the message "Stas to Jackie 23 feb. 63 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM," and Jackie gave Radziwill a painting she made of him and Spalding hiking along the parkway, inscribed with the dedication "February 23, 1963 2:05 am to 9:35pm/ Jackie to Stas with love and admiration."

The inscription on the back of the watch

The painting that Jackie made for Radziwill

Jackie wearing the watch in the '70s

Another photo of Jackie wearing the watch in the '70s

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Emily Selter
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