Watch that survived atomic bombing in Hiroshima sells for $31,000

Watch that survived atomic bombing in Hiroshima sells for $31,000Watch that survived atomic bombing in Hiroshima sells for $31,000
via U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
A wristwatch that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, has fetched over $31,000 at a U.S. auction, offering a poignant memory into the moment of detonation and the horrors of war.
Frozen in time: The small brass-tone watch, which sold for $31,113 on Thursday, was frozen at 8:15 a.m., the moment the B-29 Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” on the Japanese city. The winning bidder reportedly chose to remain anonymous.
How it was recovered: According to Boston-based RR Auction, the watch’s consignor said it was recovered from Hiroshima‘s ruins by a British soldier tasked to provide aid and assess post-conflict needs at the city’s Prefectural Promotion Hall. It was sold to the consignor at some point after its sale at an England auction house in 2015.

Why it matters: The watch serves as a reminder of the devastating toll of World War II and the immense destructiveness of nuclear weapons.
“It is our fervent hope that this museum-quality piece will stand as a poignant educational symbol, serving to not only remind us of the tolls of war but also to underscore the profound, destructive capabilities that humanity must strive to avoid,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction, according to AP News. “This wristwatch, for instance, marks the exact moment in time when history changed forever.”
Opposition: While the timepiece sheds light on a pivotal moment in history, its sale at the auction has drawn criticism. As per Kyodo News, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons opposed its listing, raising concerns about profiting from an artifact that carries significant historical weight.
About the auction: Alongside the watch, the auction featured a range of historical items. These include a signed copy of Mao Zedong’s “The Little Red Book” (which fetched $250,000), a George Washington-signed check ($135,473) and Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 Lunar Module Prep Checklist ($76,533).
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