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“The Godfather” of engraved gifts

marlon brando engraved watch

A Rolex.

And an engraving.

What costs more?

Followers of this blog will note that we have made the case many times before that the typical value of an engraved gift lies not in the movement, the springs, cogs, wheels or bracelet of the watch… but in a few letters engraved on the back.

Paul Newman’s watch (which set a record at auction for the most expensive Rolex ever sold), Elvis’ watch, J. F. Kennedy’s watch and many more besides have all been hotly coveted at auction because they bear an engraving which hints at the history of the item.

And so again we’re proud to further make our point today.

Currently listed in the Beverley Hills based GWS Auction House is a Rolex watch engraved on the back with:

“Vito’s / MB”

The “Vito” is reference to a famous film character, and the “MB” notes the initials of the actor who played the part: Marlon Brando.

It was reportedly gifted to the Hollywood icon in 1973 when he won the Academy Award for Best Actor with the part.

Though he notoriously declined to receive the recognition, some acquaintance still bought the watch as a memento of the achievement.

However, the significance of it may not have meant a lot to the legend of the silver screen.

In 1976 he apparently gave the watch away to his friend, Patricia Norris, who was the costume designer on “The Godfather”.

The current owner has a letter from the Norris family confirming that it was bought from them – but, beyond that, there is little further evidence of authenticity.

Nevertheless, despite the question marks, the mere suggestion of the provenance still commands a lofty price guide… $20,000.

At Engravers Guild of London, we’re proud to offer a selection of beautiful personalised pocket watches.

We consider our top of the range models an investment. But, it is the engraving you choose that brings the real worth to an engraved pocket watch.