This file picture taken 22 September 1974 shows Argentina's President Isabel Peron waving to the crowd from the balcony of the Pink House, Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires. photo Getty Images

One of the most fascinating items in Bonhams next sale of fine watches on 10th June in London is a wristwatch once owned by Isabel Peron

María Estela Martínez Cartas de Perón (born February 4, 1931), better known as Isabel Martínez de Perón or Isabel Perón, was the former President of Argentina. She was also the third wife of former President, Juan Perón. During her husband's third term as president, Isabel served as vice president and following her husband's death in office; Isabel served as president from July 1, 1974 to March 24, 1976. She was the first non-royal female head of state and head of government in the Western Hemisphere.

Her watch, lot 44, is by Patek Philippe, and is a fine 18ct gold bracelet watch inscribed to the former President of Argentina Isabel Peron, it was made in 1972, and is engraved 'M.E. de Peron 25-12-74'. It is being sold, together with the makers pouch and certificate, case, dial and movement signed and is estimated to sell for £3,000-4,000.

Paul Maudsley, Head of Bonhams Watch Department, comments: “This is a strong sale with some very desirable items, many of them highly collectable.”

In 2007, an Argentine judge ordered the arrest of Isabel Perón over the forced disappearance of an activist in February 1976, on the grounds that the disappearance was authorized by her signing of decrees allowing Argentina's armed forces to take action against "subversives." She was arrested near her home in Spain on 12 January 2007 but Spanish courts subsequently rejected her extradition to Argentina.

She was born in La Rioja, Argentina, into a lower middle-class family, and became a nightclub dancer in the early 1950s, adopting a variant of her saint's name, Isabela, Evita or Isabel, as her stage name.

She met her future husband during his exile in Panama. Juan Perón, who was 35 years older than she, was attracted to her beauty and believed she could provide him with the female companionship he had been lacking since the death of his second wife, Eva ("Evita") Perón. Isabel gave up her career in show business and became Perón's personal secretary.

Perón brought Isabel with him when he moved to Madrid, Spain, in 1960. Authorities in that Roman Catholic nation did not approve of Perón's living arrangements with the young woman, so on November 15, 1961, the former president reluctantly married for a third time.


Patek Philippe. A fine 18ct gold bracelet watch inscribed to the former President of Argentina Isabel Perón

Movement No.1171288, Ref:3520/12, Made in 1972, Sold September 19th 1972

Jewelled Cal:175 manual wind movement, silvered dial with applied gilt and black baton hour markers, brushed and polished case with screw on back, textured bezel, integral bracelet with locking clasp, back engraved 'M.E. de Peron 25-12-74', together with makers pouch and Certificate, case, dial and movement signed. 30mm. Estimate: £3,000 - 4,000


Bonhams. Fine Watches & Wristwatches, 10 Jun 2009. New Bond Street www.bonhams.com