Kennedy doctor's death watch to make $150,000 at Christie's

The watch worn by the doctor who declared John F Kennedy dead following his assassination is to be sold by Christie's on December 17 in New York.

Kennedy doctor death watch
The watch was on Dr Kemp Clark's wrist as he called the time of death and signed Kennedy's death certificate

Dr Kemp Clark used the Patek Philippe watch to record the time of Kennedy's death at 1pm on November 22, 1963 in the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, before he signed the death certificate. It is now valued at between $100,000 and $150,000.

"There is endless debate among historians on the actual time of death and there was most likely also a clock in the ER," explained Christie's co-head of watches John Reardon.

"However, the family and historians agree to these facts: the watch was on his wrist that day and he called the time of death and signed the death certificate."

Dr Kemp Clark's mother originally bought the watch, a Patek Philippe Reference 1463, in Switzerland for 1,290 Swiss Francs (around $750) in 1949. Engraved with "Kemp Clark", it was gifted to him as a present while enrolled in medical school.

It is now being sold by a member of his family, as Dr Clark died in 2008. A portion of the proceeds from the sale are to be donated to the Red Cross.

Patek Philippe Reference 1463 was the company's first water-resistant chronograph wristwatch, with this example made in 18k gold with a pulsometer. It is being sold with its original certificate and box.

With the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination approaching, memorabilia from the president is attracting strong attention. The wedding ring of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald sold for $108,000 at RR Auction on October 24, while Kennedy's rocking chair is expected to make $50,000 at Heritage Auctions on November 23.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a stunning selection of Kennedy memorabilia for sale.

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