The Dalai Lama’s Patek Philippe

Jedde Reuters
7 December 2020
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The story behind this patek philippe pocket watch is so cool that it almost sounds made up. This pocket watch was gifted to the Dalai Lama when he was 7 years old, which is cool by itself. However, this watch was actually gifted by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the middle of the second world war. The watch wasn’t delivered by Roosevelt himself, it was actually brought to the Dalai Lama by the grandson of Leo Tolstoy, an exceptionally famous historical writer/philosopher.

Roosevelt had an agenda when giving the Dalai Lama this watch, the agents sent by Roosevelt to deliver the watch were also there to examine the possibility of constructing a road from India to China that would run trough Tibet in order to facilitate United States support of the war effort against Japan.

-The Dalai Lama’s watch

The watch itself is the Patek Philippe reference 658, an extremely rare pocketwatch. The watch features a perpetual calendar with a moon phase complication, a minute repeater and a split-seconds chronograph. These are all extremely high-end complications only produced by the best watchmakers in their most high-end pieces. It’s estimated only 15 pieces of the reference 658 were produced, this is made even more remarkable seeing as the reference was in production for about 20 years.

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