Al Capone’s diamond-studded pocket watch was sold today for a whopping $84,375, by Boston-based RR Auction. RR’s thematic “Gangsters, Outlaw & Lawmen” auction was filled with memorabilia from the likes of Bonnie & Clyde, James Whitey Bulger, John Dillinger, Meyer Lansky, the Barrow Gang, and other notorious figures. Capone’s watch, among other personal possessions of the famous gangster sold at the event, was far and away the top lot of the auction and above the initial $25,000 estimate. The platinum rounded triangular pocket watch made by the Illinois Watch Company, with the circumference of front bezel set with a series of seventy-two cut diamonds, a platinum face, and gold-tone impressed numerals and watch hands; the reverse of the case bears the initials “AC,” which consists of twenty-three cut diamonds, and is encircled by twenty-six more. Includes the original 12″ watch chain made of 14K white gold.
Eager to be perceived as an elegant gentleman, the formidable Capone was reportedly fastidious about his appearance and style, forgoing subtlety in favor of fine, flashy suits, large pinky rings, and no shortage of diamonds. Capone insisted that his Chicago Outfit also dress the part, and required each of his men to wear gray fedoras and spotless tailored suits.
The pocket watch reportedly was accompanied by a letter of provenance from Eric Griese, the great-grandson of Al Capone, in part: “Shortly after the passing of Albert Francis ‘Sonny’ Capone, his daughter, Barbara Prince, nee Capone, a resident of California, delivered the watch described below to me, along with other personal property that at one time was the personal property of my great grand father, Alphonse G. Capone.” “My great grandfather had given this material to my grandfather; my grandfather Albert Francis ‘Sonny’ Capone told his daughter Barbara Prince that this property was to be given to me following his death.”