Historic Winston Churchill’s Pocket Watch to Be Auctioned

On their face, political junkies and horologists don’t have much in common; however, a watch coming to auction later this month might change that. This pocket watch, originally gifted to Winston Churchill in 1905, is expected to fetch more than £20,000–£30,000 when it goes under the hammer at Dawsons Auctioneers in the UK on May 23.

The timepiece holds historical significance as it was given to Britain’s most famous prime minister by Herbert Henry Asquith, who would later become the country’s first Liberal prime minister. The gift was a token of appreciation for Churchill, then a Conservative, having crossed the aisle to back the Liberals.

Edward Langmead, a watch specialist at Dawsons, expressed the privilege of delving into Sir Winston Churchill’s past: “There are certain moments in life when you feel truly connected to history. To hold a minute-repeating pocket watch with the Armorial bearings of Sir Winston Churchill, believed to be a gift from another former Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith in 1905, is nothing short of surreal.”

The pocket watch, known as a “full hunter,” derives its name from fox hunters who found it useful to open their watch with one hand while holding the reins of their horse (or hunter) with the other. The 18-carat gold case cover features an engraving of Churchill’s coat of arms, and the inner case bears the inscription “To Winston with gratitude H. H. Asquith Xmas 1905.”

Additional specifications include a keyless wound movement, a minute-repeater complication, a white enamel dial, and gold central spade and whip hands with a blued seconds hand spinning in the background.

This auction provides a unique opportunity to connect with history through the tangible artifact once owned by the iconic British leader. It’s a reminder of the fascinating interplay between politics and personal gestures, encapsulated in a timepiece that has witnessed pivotal moments in Churchill’s life.