Andy Warhol Coin Watch

Watch out, watch in.

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The designs of Andy Warhol have been lent to many watches. Yes, there is a Campbell’s Soup can watch, but there are also: a banana style, from a Velvet Underground and Nico album; a Marilyn Monroe; the Playboy rabbit; and a vast array of what collectors call Factory watches. Some are predictably more valuable than others. But the Warhol Collection Corum Coin watch is a class apart.

Corum’s famous Coin watch was worn by six recent United States presidents: Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush (H.W.). That is some kind of popular culture clout in the brand’s history of watchmaking, which itself dates back to 1955. The Corum Double Eagle Gold Coin Watch is crafted using actual 22 karat gold coins; the dial is formed by the back, or tail, of a vintage $20 gold Double Eagle or $10 Liberty coin, while the caseback is fashioned with the face. To achieve this, the coin itself is actually sliced into two approximate halves, in which the watch mechanism is placed. (Corum currently offers $50 gold or $1 silver coin options.)

One of the Coin watches was acquired by Andy Warhol, and remained in the Warhol collection until early in the 1990s. It was then obtained by a private collector, and was hidden from view until very recently, when Corum had the opportunity to integrate it into its own museum. It’s one pretty good reason for Warhol aficionados to get over to La Chaux-de-Fonds. An appointment might be a good idea—and be on time.

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November 30, 2015