Former FTX Europe Head Pays $1.5M for Gold Watch Recovered From Titanic: WSJ

Gruhn said he bought the watch for his wife, Maren Gruhn, and that they would display the watch in museums, according to the report.

AccessTimeIconMay 2, 2024 at 7:48 a.m. UTC
Updated May 2, 2024 at 6:03 p.m. UTC
  • The former head of FTX Europe has paid the highest sum ever for a Titanic buy memorabilia.
  • Gruhn said he used money earned from the sale of his companies and did not know about the fraud at FTX before it imploded.

Patrick Gruhn, the former head of FTX Europe, has paid nearly $1.5 million, “the largest sum ever spent at auction on a piece of Titanic memorabilia,” for a gold pocket watch recovered from the body of the Titanic’s richest passenger, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The watch belonged to American property magnate John Jacob Astor IV, who was returning from a European honeymoon with his pregnant wife, Madeleine Astor.

When the Titanic hit an iceberg in 1912, an officer told Astor he couldn’t join his wife on a lifeboat until all women and children were safe. A week later, Astor’s body was found in the water, along with his possessions - a 14-karat “Gold watch, cuff links gold and diamond, diamond ring,” and a “gold pencil,” the report said.

Gruhn said he used money earned from the sale of his companies to buy the watch for his wife, Maren Gruhn, and that they would display the watch in museums.

In July 2023, the FTX bankruptcy estate asked a U.S. bankruptcy court to award recovery of more than $323.5 million from FTX’s Europe leadership. Later, as part of a settlement, Gruhn and others agreed to buy back FTX’s European assets for about $33 million. Grohn also said he did not know about the FTX fraud before it imploded.

Since the FTX collapse in Nov. 2022, Gruhn has moved to Oregon, from where he runs a German Catholic TV network and is attempting to build a crypto derivatives exchange in Europe.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.