Marty was best man when Elvis married Priscilla on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas, USA. It is believed the watch was given to Marty before Elvis’s wedding day as a thank-you for being best man. It was also worn by Marty at the wedding making it one-of-a-kind.
The timepiece has been nicknamed ‘the groom’s watch’ by fans who recognise its importance as a symbol of Elvis and Marty’s enduring friendship. The Swiss-made gold-finished watch, custom made by Harry Levitch Fine Jewelers (crrt) of Memphis, Tennessee, USA, is being offered in Hansons Auctioneers’ Music Sale on December 8 with a guide price of £5,000-£10,000.
The seller, a 49-year-old Cheshire businessman and father of two, said: “There is only one in the world and it’s been hanging in a frame behind my drum kit in my music room for 20 years. Elvis had Marty’s name printed on the dial making it completely exclusive. It was given to me as a gift in 2005 when I was working as a watch designer for Graceland, Elvis’s former home in Memphis, Tennessee, which by that time was a museum. Being a huge Elvis fan, I’ve always treasured it but the time has come to let someone else enjoy owning it.” He continued, “It’s special because Marty was one of Elvis’s most trusted friends. He was part of the Memphis Mafia, a group of men who lived and worked with, and for, Elvis.”
Claire Howell, music memorabilia specialist at Hansons, said: “I see some good Elvis-related memorabilia from time to time but this watch has the wow factor. It’s part and parcel of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s incredible story life, and a timely reminder of true friendship.
“Marty and Elvis went back years. They met in junior High School in Memphis. Marty was one of two best men chosen by Elvis when he tied the knot with Priscilla. He worked as a bookkeeper and secretary for the legendary singer and was also his sounding board.
“Their friendship spanned three decades and after Elvis’s sudden death in 1977 aged only 42 Marty ensured his friend’s memory continued to shine bright. He became a tireless advocate for Elvis sharing memories and anecdotes that delight fans to this day. Marty passed away at the age of 80 in 2017 and was loyal to Elvis until the end. This watch is a symbol of their special friendship.”