Pope Francis’ watch is auctioned and sets a new world record

This past May, Pastor David Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, sent a letter to Pope Francis. He started by telling him about the life of Brian LaViolette, who died at the age of 15 in a swimming accident. The LaViolette family started a foundation in Brian’s name to raise money for aspiring college students, and to help, Pastor Ricken had only one request from the Dalai Lama: clock. “Holy Father, on behalf of the family, I humbly ask if you might consider donating a cheap watch that you have worn before,” Ricken wrote in a letter to Pope Francis.

Brian’s father, Doug LaViolette, explained to me that, at the age of 15, his son was already an avid watch collector. So, to raise funds, the foundation decided a watch auction would be the best fit. A wide net has been created to find collectible watches from notable personalities. This leads us to the Pope.

Who, gracefully, obligingly, sends back a Swatch. samples Once again is one of the company’s most basic models: a white face, black plastic case, and large Arabic numerals—it looks like a wristwatch version that preschoolers can learn to tell the time. Head to your local Swatch store now and you can buy this model for $55. However, on Wednesday morning, it went on sale to a bidder over the phone for $56,250, making it the most expensive Swatch ever sold.

The Pope is not alone: ​​other watches from Randall Park, Condoleezza Rice, Mason Crosby, Kenny Rogers, Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) Joe Theismann, Betty White, Randall Park, Tony Shalhoub, Fred Savage, Dick Vitale, Ronny Chiang, and Terry Bradshaw. “It was a real network effect in raising awareness and getting people to donate watches,” said Eric Wind, founder of Wind Vintage, who helped organize the auction.

The auction is proof of the power of origin in action. The Pope’s wristwatches selling for 1,022 times retail price may be the most dramatic result, but it’s not just pieces imbued with holiness far beyond their original value. Overall, the watches in the auction — a ring with a tiny Betty White watch on it, a nice-looking piece by Condoleeza Rice, and an elegant Seiko by Joe Theismann — were obtained. 335,507 dollars. However, nothing compares to the sale price of a watch from the Pope, making the most powerful watch in the auction the most unlikely: a Swatch.

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