A rare 1960s wristwatch made for the BBC comes up for sale at Chiswick Auctions
in London on March 22. Made by Lemania, the stainless steel manual chronograph was chosen by the British television network for its great accuracy. In the pre-digital era, program staff and producers relied on a good timekeeper during live broadcasts. The watch has the BBC initials engraved to the back and the BBC inventory number 4269. It is expected to bring £1,500-£2,500 ($1,810-$3,015).
Chiswicks specialist Watches sale includes a number of very special issues. An extremely rare Breitling stainless steel automatic divers watch is from the estate of a spy who worked with MI5, Britains domestic counter-intelligence and security service. The 2009 Superocean Steelfish has the MI5 Security Service crest to the dial at the nine o'clock position and appropriate engraving to the case back. Made in a limited edition of just 900 pieces to mark 100 years since the creation of the agency in 1909, it is estimated at £2,000-£4,000 ($2,415-$4,830).
An 18K gold watch by Breguet is thought to be a unique piece made by the top-drawer Swiss brand 50 years ago. This manual watch with a skeleton champagne hour ring and black numerals and hands was sent to Breguet to confirm its authenticity. According to Breguet, the watch was sold on November 29, 1972 in London for the price equivalent of 3,850 French francs. Complete with its original strap with gold Breguet buckle, it comes to auction with an estimate of £15,000-£20,000 ($18,105-$24,140).
There was an era when the well-turned-out gentleman would also accessorize with a fountain pen. A particularly smart example to be offered by Chiswick is a No. 5 by Edward Todd & Co., New York, in an engine-turned gold case. Engraved for Thomas Griffin, Mayor of Kidderminster, England, 1925-1926, it was a presentation piece to Griffin who held the record for the longest-serving member of the Town Council, having been first elected in 1896. Estimate: £800-£1,000 ($965-$1,205).