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Buddy Holly’s diamond watch to be auctioned

His wife will also auction his passport and unreleased music recordings
/ Source: The Associated Press

Buddy Holly’s wife, Maria Elena Holly, will auction several items of the rock ’n’ roll legend’s, including the watch he was wearing when he died in 1959.

Holly wore a diamond-and-white gold Omega wristwatch, a gift from his wife, “the day the music died” on February 3, 1959, when he and singers Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash in Iowa. Holly was 22.

Maria Elena Holly married the singer in Aug. 1958, just months before the crash. Holly proposed on their first date.

She will auction the watch, unreleased music recordings, his passport and other personal items at Heritage Auction Galleries and Auctioneers in Dallas on April 14-15.

“I would like the fans of Buddy’s to have something of him,” she told The Associated Press on Friday. “At least I know that the people who are going to buy this are going to treasure it and keep it forever, and pass it down to their children. That’s the reason why I’m doing this.”

The watch is inscribed “Buddy Holly 12-1-58,” the date she gave it to him as an early Christmas present, and was recovered at the crash site. Later, Holly’s father, Laurence, wore it in honor of his son in the family’s hometown of Lubbock, Tex.

Doug Norwine, director of music and entertainment memorabilia at Heritage Auction Galleries, said he thinks the watch could sell in the “six figures.”

Despite his short career, Holly wrote several legendary songs, including “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be The Day” and “Maybe Baby.” A rock ’n’ roll pioneer, he influenced a generation of artists, such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

“I miss him,” said Holly’s widow, who has three children from her second marriage, which ended in divorce. “I wish he would be here today. (I miss) his companionship, having him around, being with him on tour, the love that he has for me.”