JAMES DEAN’S ELGIN POCKET WATCH
Elgin, No. 3071580, case No. 4275904. Made circa 1889.
A keyless gold filled pocket watch. Accompanied by the
original fitted box, chain, lamp pendant and documentation
attesting to the provenance.
CC. Four-body, bassine et filets, engine-turned back, cartouche
with JD engraved on the front, coin-edge case band,
DD. White enamel with radial Roman numerals, outer minute
track, sunk subsidiary seconds. Blued steel spade hands.
MM. Rhodium plated, 3/4 plate, 5 jewels, straight line lever
escapement, cut-bimetallic compensation balance with
blued steel balance spring.
Movement and case signed. Diam. 37.
NotesJames Dean (1931-1955) referred to this pocket
watch as his “Lucky Watch.” It was purchased by
him circa 1951 as a young actor in New York.
Coincidentally around the same time, his acting
career started to flourish. Dean, being known
as a superstitious individual, started wearing
this watch as a good luck charm regularly. In
the movie East of Eden, he is seen wearing this
watch with an alternative cover in order to hide
his initials “J.D”. Years after his success as a bona
fide movie star, this watch was given to Ms. Tillie
Starriet, a former Warner Brother’s personnel
whom he called “Mom”, as an appreciation for
assisting him throughout his career