10 Important Military Watches from World War II
From the A-11 to the Panerai Radiomir to the little-known A.T.P, we explore the Second World War's horological gems.
Nazi frogman watch sells for Â£52,000
A rare military diver watch, confiscated from a Nazi frogman during Operation Market Garden, has sold for more than £52,000. The Rolex Panerai 3646 timepiece, acquired by Sergeant George Rowson at Nijmegen Bridge in September 1944, was auctioned at Fellows in Birmingham. Sgt Rowson's children, Roland, Carol O'Neill and Margaret Lawrence, who decided to sell the watch were astounded by the purchase figure.
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WWII pocket watch that stopped a bullet may have saved the life of an RAF servicewoman
A military charity launched a worldwide hunt to track down the owner of a damaged pocket watch which may have saved the life of an RAF servicewoman in WWII - by stopping a bullet. The silver timepiece was discovered in a box of donated items left at a forces charity shop. A perfect bullet-shaped crater is evident in the protective flip cover of the watch. The case of the watch is inscribed with the name "Pte Hodgson" alongside the number 2055250. Military experts have identified the bullet which caused the dent as a 30mm calibre round - ammunition used in the MK108 auto-cannon which was mounted on German aircraft fighter planes.
Reading glasses Hitler tried to keep secret part of a large cache of Hitler memorabilia going under the hammer
They were made for him as his eyesight began to fail as WWII dragged on. But few photos of Adolf Hitler in his reading glasses exist because he regarded them as a weakness and thought it would undermine his authority. From 1933 onwards Hitler had all his speeches and documents written on a special typewriter with large print. The glasses come in their original black leather case with dark blue velvet embossed with the name of the Ruhnke opticians in Berlin which made them under great secrecy. The spectacles are part of a large cache of Hitler memorabilia to be auctioned off. Most serious collectors have their eyes on a gold watch that was given to Hitler as a gift in 1929 and which was found on his body in the Fuehrerbunker after he committed suicide in 1945.
Rare limited edition watch produced by the Nazi Party for Hitler's 47th birthday discovered by Polish customs officials
A rare limited edition watch produced by the Nazi Party to mark Adolf Hitler's 47th birthday in 1936 has been confiscated by customs officials in Poland after stopping a suspected smuggler. The pocket watch - covered in Nazi insignia (the swastika and the Parteiadler eagle) with the date 20 April 1936 - is thought to have been built for the Nazi Party faithful. The Nazi watch has been placed into the hands of the Polish Historical Museum, which tries to track down its history.
Story of Joachim von Ribbentrop's Nazi watch
At first scriptwriter Laurence Marks was happy to found out his $200 vintage Longines watch was worth £50,000. The catch? He is Jewish – and a secret swastika inside proved it once belonged to Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. It all started to unravel when Marks took vintage Longines watch to a City of London watch repairer. The watch repairer called 3 weeks later to tell the watch was now repaired - then there was silence. Cautiously he said: "I think there is something you should come and see." Engraved inside the watch were the initials "JVR" and a Nazi swastika. Sotheby says the watch is worth £50,000.
World War Two veteran reunited with watch he lost in 1941
Former Royal Navy Lieutenant Teddy Bacon has been reunited with the watch he lost during World War II. He lost his Swiss Bulova watch while throwing a line from HMS Repulse to Gibraltar Harbour in 1941. He left his name and address with the harbour master but never expected to see it again. Bacon said he was "amazed" when he got a parcel with a Gibraltar postcode and his watch inside. The watch, which he was told had been underwater in mud, is still working perfectly. "Remembering what my father said, nothing is lost until you are certain it's left the planet."
Auschwitz inmate Meyer Hack collected diamond rings and gold watches
In a nazi camp created to destroy people Meyer Hack refused to be dehumanized. He tied a cord around his neck and pulled it before inspections, rushing blood to his head and hiding his yellow, jaundiced skin. As a laundry worker at the Auschwitz, he found valuables that gave him hope (diamond rings, gold watches, large emeralds) that he recovered from the seized clothes of inmates. On Jan. 20 he will display the collection in Watertown. To Hack, the gold coins and other items he found symbolized a return to humanity. "You find some gold, you fished it out. So you find one, two pieces; you were desperate for more and more and more."
Adolf Hitler’s gift watch to Theodor Gilbert Morell sold for $70,000
An historically important watch, an 18K gold, hunting-cased, keyless pocket watch, which is described as a "minute-repeating" watch by A. Lange & Sohne, Glashutte, I/SA, B/Dresden, No. 91764, was sold for $70,000. The watch was made in 1938, and sold to Adolf Lunser, Berlin, a company that was the supplier to the Third Reich. The watch, inscribed "22.7.44 mit den herzlichsten Wünschen" ("July 22, 1944, with most cordial wishes"), was presented to Dr Theodor Gilbert Morell by Adolf Hitler on July 22, 1944. Morell was Hitler's physician, and known for his alternative treatments. Historians believe that his practices contributed to Hitler's ill health.
Mail-order WW2 watches from 'Great Escape' camp fail to find buyer (Article no longer available from the original source)
Two watches bought by Allied POWS in the World War 2 camp portrayed in "The Great Escape" failed to find a buyer. The Rolex wristwatches were bought from the Swiss watchmaker by a British army corporal and a Canadian air force major during detention in the German Stalag Luft III camp in the 1940s. Neither of the watches, now owned by collectors, appealed to buyers at an auction that netted more than 11 million euros for 696 items. The most expensive lot was a Patek Philippe gold pocket watch - 928,900 Swiss francs. A rose gold pocket watch of Franklin Roosevelt failed to attract a buyer, while a pink gold watch of Charlie Chaplin fetched 20,060 Swiss francs.
Allied victory watches prove popular (Article no longer available from the original source)
Time is ticking away for Edmonton vets and war history buffs looking to nab a limited edition watch commemorating the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The VE commemorative watch, by a battalion of Canadian army reservists, has been selling like crazy in Eastern Canada, but only 250 are left. "Veterans are asking to be buried wearing it, others are bequeathing it to their family. The watch is a tangible memento of an emotion that can't be described." ... "I was a hick boy from Sedgewick when I went to Normandy for D-Day. When you get on in life you want little mementos like this," said Bert Braiden.
An American selling a collection of Adolf Hitler memorabilia
An American has decided to sell a collection of Adolf Hitler memorabilia, including a watch the Nazi leader presented to the architect Albert Speer. The items include: a gold and enamel pocket watch presented by Hitler to Speer who later became German minister of armaments, a large silver tea tray presented to Hitler on his 50th birthday; in the center are his initials surmounted by the German nazi eagle, a map of Poland produced by British and American authorities for the Nuremberg. Buyers of Hitler relics and items are usually private collectors of military memorabilia or World War II enthusiasts.
Adolf Hitler's gold and enamel pocket watch up for sale
A gold watch belonging to Adolf Hitler is to be put up for auction. Among a collection of Hitler memorabilia to be sold is the gold and enamel pocket watch that Hitler gave to Albert Speer. Art dealer Minas Katchadorian described the collector as "devoting so much time and energy to building ... collection and we are sure there are similarly passionate collectors who will welcome the opportunity" to purchase the pieces. The same collector also put up for sale a desk and chair that was once the property of Hitler. Katchadorian said that there had been interest for the pieces from around the globe, highlighting the demand for Hitler memorabilia.
Rare Rolex WW2 watch auctioned for $65,000
In March 1944 Clive Nutting was a British corporal incarcerated in Stalag Luft 3, scene of the largest breakout of prisoners of war in World War II. A unique relic of his time in Stalag Luft 3 - a Rolex 3525 Oyster Chronograph which he bought as a POW in the camp - was auctioned. Mr Nutting - who was captured in 1940 at Dunkirk - did not take part in the escape, but he contributed to the escape preparations. Of the 76 men who got away via a tunnel, 50 were rounded up and executed on Adolf Hitler's orders. Nutting was put to work in the camp's cobbler's shop.
Pocket watch Hitler gave to Hermann Goering in 1934 sold for $621,691
Upon initial examination of the pocket watch, the value was not apparent, but that was only the beginning of the research into the unique watch. Records showed that it was manufactured in 1905, and sold in 1925 to Otto Pohland, Chemnitz, and resold to Adolf Lunser, Berlin, on Dec 24th, 1934. Further research revealed that the crest engraved of this watch belonged to Hermann Goering. An review of the inside of the case revealed an inscription: "In cordial friendship at Christmas 1934", and bears the engraved signature of Adolf Hitler. Hitler had a history of giving fine watches as gifts, and that those buys were handled through Adolf Lunser.