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One of two golf legends' watches presented in this eventGold Rolex Wristwatch Presented to Jack Nicklaus for 1980 US Open Victory. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of Nicklaus' demise had been greatly exaggerated, as The Golden Bear ended a five-year drought in American Majors to set a new scoring record for the 1980 US Open with an aggregate 272, toppling his earlier record of 275 on the same course (the famed Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield Township, New Jersey) in 1967. This would prove to be Nicklaus' final victory at the US Open. One of the prizes earned by Nicklaus for the remarkable performance was this beautiful gold Rolex.
The watch was sold in a 1995 charity auction for the Junior Golf Foundation (a charity close to Nicklaus' heart) along with the Arnold Palmer-owned Rolex likewise presented within this Platinum Night event. A large "Certificate of Authenticity" signed by each iconic golfer was produced for that 1995 charity sale, and the original will accompany this Nicklaus model. The Palmer winner will get a full-sized high-resolution laser copy. The text reads, in part:
"While we have thrived on competition, one concept we have always had in common was an inherent appreciation of excellence. For almost thirty years we each have worn the quintessential symbol of quality: Rolex."
Nicklaus' watch is described at bottom, as follows: "Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date in 18 karat gold with matching concealed clasp President bracelet and Champagne Stick Dial with Roman numeral track, circa 1976. Case back engraved: 1980 U.S. Open Champion. Serial number L228779.."
The timepiece appears to have been worn sparingly, likely only when a particularly noteworthy occasion inspired Nicklaus to dress in his best. While the timepiece itself commands the attention of the sophisticated collector, its participation in the trophy room of one of American sports' greatest figures amplifies the appeal considerably. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph). Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph).
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