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Auction Watch: Sotheby’s to auction Victory pocket watch given to Sir Winston Churchill

by Nick Gould on May 23, 2015

On the 22nd of September 2015, a very special pocket watch will be auctioned off at the Sotheby’s watches auction in London.   The pocket watch was gifted to Sir Winston Churchill by a group of prominent Swiss citizens in acknowledgement of Churchill’s strength and leadership during World War II.

It is one of four individual watches created for the Allied Leaders after the Second World War – the others presented to Charles de Gaulle, Joseph Stalin, and Henry Truman.

On receiving the watch in 1946, Churchill wrote to thank the group for their “superb gift”, saying it would always remind him of their “beautiful country” and “friendly feelings”.

He added: “I admire so much the care and the quality with which this delicate example of craftsmanship and Swiss precision was realised.”

WC

Sir Winston Churchill giving the “V” for Victory sign.  Picture: (C) Sir Winston S. Churchill Society of Edmonton

This exceptional timepiece was designed by the leading watch maker Louis Cottier, in collaboration with the distinguished manufacturer Agassiz and Co. Cottier invented the intricate the “Heure Universelle” (World Time) mechanism and this vintage piece, in beautiful condition, is an important and extremely rare piece. Louis Cottier made the same complication for some of the most celebrated manufacturers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex and Vacheron Constantin.

 

Sir Winston Churchill's Victory Watch Front

The specially commissioned pocket watch made for Sir Winston Churchill

The watch features a distinctive enamel dial showing St. George slaying the dragon, with a trident as the hour hand. As a symbol of the victory of good over evil, of brightness over darkness, as though Churchill has been reimagined as Britain’s modern day saint. ‘V’ for Victory is proudly engraved on the back of case together with a personalized dedication: “1939 – Prime Minister Winston Spencer Churchill – 1945”.

Sir Winston Churchill's Victory Watch Back Case

Engraved on the back is a V for Victory over a map of the world and the words “1939 – Prime Minister Winston Spencer Churchill – 1945”.

The watch has an estimate of £60,000 – 100,000.   We expect the final hammer price will be much higher considering who the watch belonged to and the significance of why the watch was gifted to him.

in London at 2:00PM British Standard Time

Click here for a video of the watch by Tim Bourne of Sotheby’s

For more information please visit Sotheby’s.

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