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Watch of richest Titanic passenger sells for £1.17 mn

The auction of a gold watch discovered on the wealthiest passenger aboard the Titanic took place in England over the weekend, fetching an impressive £1.17 million ($1.46 million). According to auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son, this set a new record for any item associated with the infamous 1912 tragedy.

Published April 27,2024

A gold watch found on the body of the richest passenger on the Titanic was auctioned in England for £1.17 million ($1.46 million) on Saturday.

It was a record sum for an object linked to the notorious 1912 shipping disaster, said auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son.

A US buyer won the bidding war, smashing the auctioneer's pre-sale estimate of between £100,000 and £150,000.

The watch, engraved with the initials JJA, belonged to the US business magnate John Jacob Astor.

Astor was 47 when he died as the Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912. He was reputed to be one of the richest men in the world at the time.

He died after having helped his wife, Madeleine, on board one of the lifeboats. She survived the disaster.

Astor's body was found a week after the disaster, with the watch among his personal belongings.

"The watch itself was completely restored after being returned to Colonel Astor's family and worn by his son," said a statement from the auction house.