James Dean's "Lucky Charm" Watch to be Auctioned by Heritage In their upcoming Music and Entertainment Signature auction, to be held on April 5 and 6, Heritage will offer the lucky charm to which James Dean attributed his success - Dean's lucky watch
million dollars, and that her wedding band sold for $772,000. But unlike Marilyn Monroe, James Dean left behind relatively few personal items from his short life of 24 years, indeed, not enough to fill a small closet. His Porsche Spyder, with a standing offer of one million, was actually scrapped in Texas decades ago and will never be available for sale. Dean gave the red jacket he wore in Rebel Without a Cause to Sammy Davis, Jr.; Davis' widow has stated that she will never part with it. There is, however, Dean's watch - an item that personifies his place in time and contribution to us in film history like no other.
The time on Dean's watch is still set at 5:43, the time Dean lost his life in the tragic car crash. It was most likely set by Tillie Starriet in memory of Dean. Tillie cherished the watch until near the end of her life when, at age 76, she decided to pass it along for future generations. Over the years, Dean's family had wondered where the famous screen-worn watch had wound up; not until the present corporate owners of the watch contacted them, in 2001, were they made aware of its location. "This piece of timeless movie history brings with it an impeccable, well-documented provenance including a letter of authenticity from Tillie Starriet and formal procurement documentation from the present owner," said Doug Norwine, Heritage's Director of Music & Entertainment Auctions. "Being as it was, so close and dear to Dean, this watch is as much an American cinematic and cultural treasure as one can find, the ultimate collectible of the 1950s."
The piece is presented in a stunning 49" x 62" display case, attached to a pair of pants similar to those he wore in East of Eden, and includes three breathtaking backlit images of Dean wearing his lucky watch.
Heritage Auction Galleries will offer James Dean's pocket watch in their upcoming Music and Entertainment Signature auction, to be held on April 5 and 6, 2008, at their headquarters in Dallas, TX.
James Dean's "Lucky" Screen-Worn Pocket Watch from East of Eden: