According to sports memorabilia specialists SCP Auctions, it is still “functioning perfectly”. With an astonishing estimated value of $300,000, an unassuming looking Hamilton ‘Piping Rock’ once owned by Lou Gehrig is one of the lots currently listed in an online auction that will run until 23 August 2014.
Lou Gehrig’s 1928 championship wristwatch was one of thirty that were given out on the opening day of the 1929 Major League baseball season, after Gehrig’s New York Yankees, for whom he play for seventeen years, to commemorate their win against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1928 World Series.
Gehrig retired in 1939 because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dying in 1941. The neurodegenerative disease later became known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. His 2,130 consecutive games played stood as a record until being broken by Cal Ripken Jr. in 1995.
Engraved with “Henry L. Gehrig” on its side and “Yankees 1928 World Champions” on its back, the watch was was given to family friend Ruth Quick upon Christina Gehrig’s death in 1954. In 2011 Ruth Quick’s son consigned it, along with a number of other items, to auction, when it had an estimate of $20,000.
Hamilton introduced the Piping Rock in 1928, named after a Long Island country club. It has hinged lugs, a creamy dial, blued hands and Roman numerals on a black enamel bezel. It was released in either 14k yellow gold or white gold.
To bid on Gehrig’s Hamilton (Lot 666) or to see what else is listed, click on this link for the catalogue and more information. The current bid is $88,579 and the reserve price has not yet been met.
UPDATE : it sold for the staggering sum of USD340,000.