A pocket fake watch made by the Illinois fake watch company and which was once owned by none other than the notorious Prohibition mob boss Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone has just sold at auction for $84,375 according to veteran fake watch and jewelry writer Nancy Olsen, writing for Forbes.com.ADVERTISEMENT
The fake watch is in a triangular platinum case and set with 72 diamonds on the bezel, and is still on its original white gold chain.
Olsen writes, "Capone, who was born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrants, later moved to Chicago where he was heavily involved in bootlegging and other nefarious pursuits during the Prohibition Era. But through it all, appearance was high on his checklist and he requested the members of his gang to dress in kind, requiring each of his men to wear gray fedoras and tailored suits. In fact, one of Capone's many nicknames was "Snorky," a term used for a sharp dresser, bestowed upon him by his friends."
Of course this raises a question which has come up several times this auction season, which is the extent to which provenance can reasonably or unreasonably affect the price of a fake watch at auction. Famous examples of replica watches for whom provenance was at least as important as collectibility as a watch, include the Replica Rolex "Bao Dai" fake watch reference 6062 (owned by the last emperor of Vietnam) the Patek Philippe ref. 2497 "Haile Selassie" (owned by the last emperor of Ethiopia) and of course the Tank owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, which unconfirmed reports say was won at auction by Kim Kardashian West. And we can't forget the infamous Vladimir Putin Patek (of which it can fairly be said that there is a non-zero probability that it's not actually Putin's watch). All of these replica watches have connections to persons on the continuum from famous to infamous but there's no doubt that fame in and of itself, whether because of fair deeds, or foul, or some combination of the two, doesn't hurt a watch's chances at auction.
Check out Nancy Olsen's coverage and analysis of the result on Forbes.com.ADVERTISEMENT Auctions AkriviA Tourbillon Regulator Fake watch 1540