Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold presentation "Golden Rule" wristwatch and bracelet given by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to Florida Senator George A. Smathers, 1956Ref. 2552, Movement No. 762499, Case No. 693476, the bracelet signed, Tiffany & Co.
Lot 182
Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold presentation "Golden Rule" wristwatch and bracelet given by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to Florida Senator George A. Smathers, 1956Ref. 2552, Movement no. 762499, Case no. 693476, the bracelet signed, Tiffany & Co.
Sold for US$ 33,550 inc. premium
Auction Details
Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold presentation "Golden Rule" wristwatch and bracelet given by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to Florida Senator George A. Smathers, 1956Ref. 2552, Movement no. 762499, Case no. 693476, the bracelet signed, Tiffany & Co. Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold presentation "Golden Rule" wristwatch and bracelet given by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to Florida Senator George A. Smathers, 1956Ref. 2552, Movement no. 762499, Case no. 693476, the bracelet signed, Tiffany & Co. Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold presentation "Golden Rule" wristwatch and bracelet given by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to Florida Senator George A. Smathers, 1956Ref. 2552, Movement No. 762499, Case No. 693476, the bracelet signed, Tiffany & Co. Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold presentation "Golden Rule" wristwatch and bracelet given by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to Florida Senator George A. Smathers, 1956Ref. 2552, Movement No. 762499, Case No. 693476, the bracelet signed, Tiffany & Co.
Lot Details
Patek Philippe. A fine and rare 18K gold presentation "Golden Rule" wristwatch and bracelet given by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to Florida Senator George A. Smathers, 1956
Ref. 2552, Movement no. 762499, Case no. 693476, the bracelet signed, Tiffany & Co.
Cal. 12-600AT, 30-jewel temperature and position adjusted automatic movement wound by 18K gold rotor, shock resistant Gyromax balance with micrometric regulator, matte silvered dial with applied gold baton numerals enclosing the motto "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", subsidiary seconds, gold hands, within a gold screw back case engraved "L.B.J. to G. A. S. / 1956", completed by a fitted 18K gold brickwork bracelet with deployant clasp. 36 mm diam.

Footnotes

  • Sold with an Extract from the Archives confirming the manufacture of the watch in 1955 and its sale, November 5, 1956. The Henri Stern Agency, New York subsequently sold it to Tiffany & Co., who then fitted the gold bracelet.



    Lyndon Johnson was a consummate legislator and an adept politician. He is widely considered to have been the dominant figure in the U. S. Senate during the 1950's until he was chosen by John F. Kennedy to be his Vice Presidential running mate in 1960.

    In the words of a Senate historian, Johnson was "a compromiser, a broker, and a master of the art of the deal. His hands-on method of persuading other senators, with its sweet talk, threats, and exaggerated facial expressions and body language, became widely known as 'the treatment'."

    In 1955, while majority leader, Senator Johnson was struck down by a serious heart attack. He turned to his friend and confidant, the influential Florida Senator George Smathers to stand in as floor leader during his period of recovery. Despite his impairment, Johnson continued to exert his control of the Senate through the Democratic leadership. Years later Smathers put it succinctly saying that Johnson's frequent telephone calls "Just ran us crazy ... getting things done." Smathers received this watch after Johnson returned to the Senate.



    A small number of "Golden Rule" watches have come to light in recent years. Among these is Lyndon Johnson's personal watch, a "Golden Rule" inscribed Ref. 2526, now in the collection of his Presidential Library and Museum. Patek Philippe Archives do not record who commissioned these watches, but their appeal to President Johnson is well documented.

    Throughout his career in congress and later as President, Johnson was a generous gift giver. The Golden Rule inscription was a deeply felt part of LBJ's political philosophy. It was inscribed on a number of the gifts he chose to bestow and occurs regularly in his speeches and public pronouncements.

    He announced after succeeding to the presidency, "this administration is going to be a compassionate administration. We believe in the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    In a 1964 address on Equal Employment Opportunity, he closed his remarks by saying,

    "The best way I know to leave you this morning is to ask you to please practice the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Put yourself in the position of someone that may have been born in a different part of the country from where you were born, who may have been born with a different color from what you were born, who may have been born of a different race or different religion than you were born with. Ask yourself how you would like to be treated if they were in your powerful position and you were in theirs. And then do unto them as you would have them do unto you. If you do that, I have no doubt about the results."
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