Titanic Victim’s Pocket Watch Sells for over $50,000 at Auction

34-year-old Sinai Kantor was aboard the Titanic with his wife, Miriam, when the doomed ship hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sunk in 1912. The two were from modern-day Belarus and headed to New York City to start new lives, but Sinai died that night, one of 1,503 passengers who perished in the freezing waters of the Atlantic. Miriam, who was ushered to a lifeboat earlier in the evening, survived.

Sinai didn’t have much on him in his final hours, but among his effects were a small telescope, corkscrew, notebook, and a pocket watch. His body was recovered from the water eight days later, and by the time Sinai was buried all of his personal belongings had gone missing. Miriam was able to recover them the following year, including the pocket watch.

Sinai’s watch features Hebrew numbering on its dial, and on its back there is an engraved design featuring Moses and the Ten Commandments.

Miriam, who later remarried, held on to the watch as a keepsake over the years. Recently, a direct descendant put Sinai’s watch up for sale through Heritage Auctions. Online bidding started early and reached $22,000 before the in-person bidding began. The watch was ultimately purchased for $57,500 by John Miottel, a California museum owner who collects timepieces from the Titanic.

This wasn’t the first pocket watch from the Titanic to go up on the auction block. Back in 2008, the pocket watch of the ship’s first class steward, Edmund Stone, was sold for $154,000.

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.