Napoleon’s admirers will be able to carry his DNA on their wrists
after a Swiss company announced Tuesday its plans to sell watches
containing a fragment of the emperor’s hair.
Half-millimetre slices of his locks will be placed inside a limited
series of some 500 watches that are to bear the likeness of Napoleon,
said Viviane de Witt, CEO of De Witt watchmakers, told AFP. They will
sell for the price of around 8,000 euros (10,000 dollars).
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The first surgery-like operation to slice up the hair happened Tuesday
in the presence of a bailiff at the De Witt factory in Geneva.
“Napoleon was already quite idolised while he was alive, when he got
his hair cut people picked it up and kept it,” De Witt said.
In this case the hair was part of a 1,000-piece trove of Napoleon
memorabilia belonging to the royal family of Monaco, which fetched jaw
dropping prices during an auction in mid-November near Paris.One of
the most incredible sale prices was the 1.9 million euros (2.4 million
dollars) a South Korean chicken mogul paid for a hat worn by Napoleon.
De Witt spent a whopping 29,600 euros (36,900 dollars) for items
containing Napoleon’s hair at the sale, which had been expected to go
for up to 7,000 euros (8,700 dollars). Viviane de Witt’s husband, the
company founder, is a direct descendant of Jerome Napoleon, the
youngest brother of the early 19th-century French emperor.
De Witt makes about 1,500 watches per year with a staff of 60.