The Long and Winding Saga of John Lennon’s Missing Wristwatch


Switzerland’s Supreme Court is established to ascertain if a priceless observe presented to John Lennon by Yoko Ono will be returned to the late Beatles legend’s widow.

She statements the Patek Philippe 2499 was stolen by a for the reason that-fired chauffeur, even though an unnamed Italian national states he lawfully ordered the item. “To me, if just about anything, the check out is just a symbol of how perilous it is to have faith in,” son Sean Lennon tells The New Yorker.

The Patek Philippe 2499 is an strange artifact in that the organization developed fewer than 350 of them in between 1952 and the mid-’80s. Acknowledged as a perpetual calendar chronograph, the observe documents time in a then-groundbreaking quantity of methods, which incorporate seconds, minutes, date, day, thirty day period and moon period. No other firm skilled been capable to in fantastic shape all of these functions into a wristwatch ahead of.

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Lennon was famously photographed by Bob Gruen when carrying the Patek all through classes for Double Fantasy, unveiled just ahead of he was murdered by a deranged supporter in December 1980. Ono skilled supplied Lennon the appear at for his birthday in Oct, shelling out all more than $25,000 at Tiffany – or close to $100,000 at the moment. A now-eerie description on the back once again reads, “(JUST LIKE) Starting off Around, Like YOKO. 10 • 9 • 1980. N. Y. C.”

She placed the Patek Philippe 2499 in a locked region of her condominium adhering to Lennon’s loss of life, and it remained there for far far more than two a extended time. Estimates about how a lot the Patek would carry at auction assortment from $10 million to $40 million, in accordance to The New Yorker.

Ono’s extended-time personnel Koral Karsan was billed with grand larceny in 2007 ideal soon after she accused him of a $2 million blackmail scheme. Karsan countered that Ono skilled sexually harassed him but ended up pleading accountable to a lesser charge. He was despatched once again to his native Turkey just soon after serving 60 occasions in jail.

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Karsan reportedly took a treasure trove of stolen objects with him. Lots of have been afterwards recovered from a storage space at a bankrupt auction residence in Germany. “We imagine he was the thief,” Martin Steltner, a spokesman for the situation prosecutor’s workplace atmosphere in Berlin, told The New York Occasions.

Yoko Ono Did not Know the Priceless Observe Was Lacking

The Patek Philippe 2499, nonetheless, was continue to gone. “He took advantage of a widow at a susceptible time,” Sean Lennon explained to The New Yorker. “Of all the incidents of persons thieving points from my mom and dad, this a single is the most painful.”

Karsan evidently gave Lennon’s love away as collateral for a monetary loan, according to The New Yorker. By 2013, the appear at was under issue to contemplate for bidding on a new electronic auction method named Auctionata. The proprietor, granted anonymity in the courtroom files by German privacy legislation, believed he rightfully owned the Patek – mostly for the reason that an unaware Ono hadn’t submitted a missing report. Karsan also reportedly signed a notarized doc stating that Ono gave him the observe as a present in 2005.

The proprietor adjusted his intellect and in no way publicly auctioned the Patek Philippe 2499. As a substitute, he observed a private customer and struck a deal in 2014 for 600,000 euros – or about $800,000. When the view was subsequently submitted for a unique auction at Christie’s Geneva workplace, a consultant attained out to Ono’s lawyer for confirmation. Only then did she study the Patek was extended gone.

Lawful motion followed and the circumstance has been winding via the Swiss judicial method. An appeals court has currently affirmed a lower court’s declaration that Ono is the “sole legitimate operator of the view,” but a new enchantment took the situation to the Swiss Supreme Courtroom.

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Swiss Supreme Court Will Come to a choice the Rightful Proprietor

The Italian citizen who had the watch likewise maintains that it was not stolen. As the Patek languished in Christie’s Geneva vault, he decided to file his have authorized motion in 2018.

Meanwhile, the man or lady who’d initially experimented with to auction the Patek Philippe 2499 was uncovered guilty in Germany of knowingly operating in stolen merchandise. He was supplied a just a single-year suspended sentence, but only quickly soon after admitting that the chauffeur’s story about becoming gifted the appear at “did not correspond to reality.”

Read More: 20 Beatles Music That John Lennon Hated

That case has presented the lawful basis for prior decreased-court rulings in Switzerland. A remaining ruling is anticipated later on in the year.

“It can be vital that we get it back again for the reason that of all we’ve absent as a result of in excess of it,” Sean Lennon instructed The New Yorker. Ironically adequate, he’s “not a watch man.” Lennon also admits to remaining “terrified to place on practically something of my dad’s. I hardly ever even performed a single certain of his guitars.”

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Gallery Credit score: Nick DeRiso

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