Churchill’s Victory Watch to go under hammer at Sotheby’s
On 22 September 2015 Sotheby’s London will present for auction a unique Victory Watch commissioned for the great Sir Winston Churchill by a group of prominent Swiss citizens as an acknowledgement of his leadership during WWII.
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. Today, with VE day on Friday 8th May marking exactly 70 years after the end of WWII and 50 years after the death of one Britain’s greatest leaders, this watch is more than an exquisite masterpiece of horology, it is both an historical testimony to leadership and a symbol of courage.
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.”
What makes this watch even more special are the names of the craftsmen working on it. It 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 of this type. Additionally, Cottier made the same complication for some of the most celebrated manufacturers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex and Vacheron Constantin.
The enamel dial of the watch is decorated with the image of England’s patron, Saint George slaying the dragon, with a trident as the hour hand. A beautiful allegory of the role of Churchill defeating the evil that was threatening the world.
The back of the watch features the engraving of V for Victory embracing the a world map, as well as a personalized dedication: “1939 – Prime Minister Winston Spencer Churchill – 1945”.
It is estimated that Churchill’s Victory Watch will fetch somewhere between £60,000 – 100,000.