The timepiece was presented to Jackie as gift by her brother-in-law, Prince ‘Stas’ Radziwell, in 1963. That year, President John F. Kennedy had asked Americans to complete a 50-mile hike as part of a nationwide health initiative. The former first lady challenged Radziwell to attempt the hike, which he completed successfully in under 20 hours. On the back of the watch is a dedication, which reads: “Stas to Jackie,” and includes the date, as well as the start and stop time of Radziwell’s hike.
As a thank you for the gift, Jackie painted an image of Radziwell and family friend Chuck Spalding walking the hike. This original artwork will be auctioned along with the watch.
Christie’s says the watch and accompanying painting are two of the most important historic artifacts to surface from the Kennedy presidency.
“It was the height of Camelot,” says Reardon. “It was looking at the Kennedy family as positive role models in terms of health, and in terms of just doing something beyond, that seemed so impossible, and to really challenge oneself to do something outside of one’s comfort zone.”
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more vintage wrist bling check out “Secret Lives of the Super Rich.”