The strange case of John Lennon's missing wristwatch

Yoko Ono gave John Lennon a Patek Philippe 2499 wristwatch for his fortieth birthday on October 9, 1980, two months before he was murdered. This perpetual-calendar chronograph is a horological marvel. As Jay Fielden describes it in his story for The New Yorker:

The watch, which Ono bought at Tiffany on Fifth Avenue, records time in eight different ways; the dial houses three apertures (day, month, moon phase) and three subdials (seconds, elapsed minutes, date). If you never memorized the mnemonic "thirty days hath September," no worries—the 2499 Patek hath. Its miraculous ganglia of tiny wheels and levers will adjust its readings to the quirky imperfections of the Gregorian calendar, including leap years.

Patek only made 349 of these watches between 1952 and 1985. Yoko paid around $25,000 for it back then. Today, it's worth anywhere from $10 million to $40 million.

After Lennon's death, Yoko kept the watch safe in a locked room at her Dakota apartment. But by 2005, the watch had mysteriously disappeared. It was reportedly stolen by Yoko's chauffeur, Koral Karsan, who had full access to her apartment. Karsan tried to blackmail Yoko, threatening to release embarrassing photos and recordings unless she paid him $2 million.

The watch then started a wild journey across Europe, changing hands between different collectors and auction houses. In 2014, someone known as Mr. A claimed to have legally purchased the watch. This sparked an ongoing lawsuit to decide who the rightful owner is: Yoko or Mr. A.

Right now, the Swiss Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the matter. Meanwhile, the watch is being kept in a secret location in Geneva.

Previously: It's hard to tell the difference between a real $100,000 Patek Philippe and a $1,000 fake