Posts Tagged championship watch

The Baltimore Colts 1968 NFL Championship Ring That Wasn’t

March 20, 2014


When the 1968 NFL Champion Baltimore Colts lost to the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, the team decided to break a long-standing tradition.

baltimore colts super bowl iii 1968 championship watch


Since the NFL-AFL merger had not been completed yet, the Colts were entitled to receive NFL Championship Rings for winning their NFL Championship game before facing the Jets in the Super Bowl.

Heavily favored going into Super Bowl III, they were startled by their loss to the Jets.

Perhaps a ring would have been a grim reminder of their historic loss and perhaps that was too much to bear. So the team decided to go with watches.

The watches are high-end, solid 18K gold pieces with player initials (including the middle name) and their respective uniform number engraved on the back of the watch.

The watches were made by luxury watch maker, Lucien Piccard. This watch, hardly worn, was recently added to my collection. The brown alligator strap is original and so is the presentation box.

baltimore colts super bowl iii 1968 championship watch

baltimore colts super bowl iii 1968 championship watch



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Pittsburgh Steelers 2010 AFC Championship Watch Picture Finally Surfaces


When the Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, they broke a 42 year tradition and opted not to receive a conference championship ring.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2010 AFC Championship Watch Surfaces
First it started as a rumor in the championship-ring collecting community back in 2011 when no fan or collector could find pictures or references to a Steeler 2010 AFC championship ring.  The rumor was that the Steelers received watches not rings.

Last year, after being unable to confirm a ring or watch was presented, I called the Steelers headquarters and spoke to a high-level executive.  He confirmed the team voted to award watches, not rings.  He politely refused to answer my question – why they decided upon watches.

This is a very unusual break with tradition.  Back in 1969, the Colts were so upset on their loss to the underdog Jets in Super Bowl III, that they too opted for watches and not rings.  In the 42 years since, every team that lost in the super bowl received a conference championship ring.  That is until the Steelers team of 2010.

In continuing to research all I could learn about championship rings, I discovered that the players from the Steelers 2005 team were upset when they received their Super Bowl XL rings.  The reason: They were too small.  Compared to the Patriots, Buccaneers and Ravens rings, the Steelers ring was tiny.

This situation was remedied three years later when the Steelers beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.  The rings they received for that accomplishment were huge.

When the Steelers were getting ready to award a keepsake from the 2010 AFC Championship year, could it be that the team didn’t want to go through awarding another memento that upset the players?  The team may have been forced to go small again since the NFL has strict limits on the size of conference championship rings.  The Steelers probably had to get permission from the NFL to award watches since the league has rigid guidelines on awarding championship rings.


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