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Watch Review

Elton John Gifts Husband an $80,000 Rolex Watch

Paul Altieri

Rolex watches have become the go-to timepieces for modern day celebrities. Although contemporary examples are by no means the most rare or expensive of options within the world of luxury wrist-wear, Rolex timepieces are designed to be worn every day, and come with an unparalleled level of familiarity and widespread brand recognition.

Additionally, due to their functional utility and ability to retain value, Rolex watches are popular gift options for those looking to give an extra special gift to someone very important in their lives. Whether the gift is for a landmark birthday, or simply to commemorate a special occasion or time in a person’s life, there is never a wrong time to give someone the timeless gift of a Rolex watch.

The watch Elton John gifted his husband was a gem-set GMT-Master II similar to this one
The watch Elton John gifted his husband was a gem-set GMT-Master II similar to this one

Recently, Grammy Award-winning musician, Elton John gifted his husband, David Furnish a lavish Rolex GMT-Master II while the pair was enjoying a family outing with their two sons in Portofino, Italy. Elton John will soon be starting a three-year-long farewell tour this September, after which, he will be retiring from touring so that he can focus on spending more time with his family.

During their time in Portofino, the 71-year old music icon paid a visit to the high-end jewelry boutique, Gioielleria Cusi, where observers reported that he purchased an extravagant, gem-set Rolex. Later that day, Furnish was spotted wearing the watch, while the family stepped out to enjoy a boat ride and lunch by the shore.

As you can see, 116758SA Rolex GMT-Master II is quite the lavish timepiece
As you can see, the 116758SA Rolex GMT-Master II is quite the lavish timepiece

The extravagant watch in question is a reference 116758SA Rolex GMT-Master II. Craft entirely from 18k yellow gold, and with lugs and a bezel that are set with 105 diamonds and 30 blue sapphires, the reference 116758SA is the ultra-premium, limited edition version of Rolex’s iconic, multi-time zone pilot/travelers watch.

The reference 116758SA that Furnish received is very similar to the more traditional, solid 18k yellow gold, reference 116718 GMT-Master II, and it is even powered by the exact same Caliber 3186 chronometer-certified movement. However, the lugs on the reference 116758SA are set with 76 internally flawless diamonds, while the bezel receives 29 diamonds and 30 blue sapphires, which are set in a pattern that emulates the split-color bezel pattern on the regular GMT-Master watches.

With an official retail price of $82,900, the reference 116758SA is among the most expensive Rolex watches ever produced, and was manufactured in extremely limited quantities. Additionally, the reference 116758SA falls into that ultra-opulent category of Rolex watches that are not so much actual configurations of their respective models, as they are exercises and interpretations of how to perfectly bridge the gap between jewelry and functional wristwatches.

Despite having one of the most expensive retail prices in Rolex’s history, the ultra-premium reference 116758SA can almost seem like a bargain when compared to certain other timepiece manufacturers – where the six-figure price-point can sometimes fall short of the entry point into ownership of their watches. Given that Furnish’s birthday is in October, there is a possibility that this watch was intended as an early birthday gift; however it is far more likely that it was simply purchased as a keepsake from their Portofino vacation, from the pop legend to his husband, before he leaves to kick off on his final farewell tour.

Paul Altieri