Money

Jackie Kennedy Onassis watch to sell at auction

Courtesy of Christie's

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's iconic wristwatch will come up for auction Wednesday.

Christie's plans to auction the watch – a vintage Cartier Tank Ordinaire – at its Rare Watches and American Icons auction in New York City on June 21. The auction house estimates the timepiece will sell for between $60,000 and $120,000.

The 18-karat yellow gold watch is one of only three examples of its kind produced by Cartier in 1962.

"The value of the watch itself in the current market is under $3,000. The watch, originally in the 1960s, would have cost a few hundred dollars," says John Reardon, Christie's International Head of Watches. "The absolute solid provenance that this was Jackie Kennedy's Cartier Tank changes everything."

Courtesy of Christie's

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."