Katheleen DuRoss Ford passed away earlier this year. The widow of Henry Ford II had an extensive jewelry collection, and at least one piece currently up for auction was once worn by the former head of Ford Motor Company. It is a pretty impressive timepiece that has remained in very good shape.
The watch is a Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803, a model originally released in 1956. By 1970, which is around the time Henry Ford II acquired it, they were widely coveted. The case is made of 18K gold, the dial is silvered, and the watch is presented on a strap paired with a solid gold buckle. Overall, it appears Kathleen DuRoss Ford kept the watch in good condition.
Christie’s is offering the watch as part of the “Important Jewels from the Estate of Mrs. Henry Ford II” collection, and it is one piece among 80 lots, with most of the jewelry having been worn by DuRoss Ford herself. The auction house estimated the value between $3,000-$5,000, but bidding is currently at $8,000. The auction is scheduled to end December 1st, 2020.
Kathleen DuRoss Ford ended up with a portion of Henry II’s $350 million estate after his death in 1987. After a protracted legal battle, she ended up receiving an annual allowance. But the fact that she kept the watch is perhaps a sign that she still wanted something to remind her of her departed husband, whom she married in 1980.
DuRoss Ford was a dual widow. Before marrying Henry Ford II, she lost her prior husband in a car crash. And after the former Ford CEO passed away, she found companionship in Frank Chopin, her lawyer, who ended up caring for her as her health declined.