- A YELLOW GOLD CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH REGISTERS MVT 12565 CASE 19652 CIRCA 1946
- diameter 36 mm
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."
After his defeat in the July 1945 election, Sir Winston Churchill, as the opposition leader, spent his time travelling, attending conferences and painting.
In 1946 he delivered two significant historical speeches. In March, during a trip to the United States, he introduced the famous term “iron curtain” referring to the USSR and the Eastern Bloc. On the 19th September at the University of Zurich he made one of his most important post-war speeches. He proposed ‘a kind of United States of Europe’, based on a rapprochement between the French and the Germans, he ended the speech with the statement “Let Europe Arise”. This speech was delivered at the end of a three week stay in Switzerland for Churchill, his wife Clementine and his youngest daughter, Mary. The family stayed from the end of August to September at the Villa de Choisi, in the village of Bursinel, Canton of Vaud. The richly decorated villa was lent by the Swiss banker Alfred Kern. The quiet residence was the perfect holiday retreat for Churchill to paint, however, he mostly spent most of his time writing the speech he was to give a few days later in Zurich. An official visit to the city of Lausanne was organised for him and his family on the 11th September. The local people gathered to welcome him and thank him for his actions during the war that had changed the world forever. During the event, the government of Vaud presented Churchill with a wristwatch and his wife Clementine received a painting by Bocion. Winston Churchill kept the watch all his life, it then passed by decent through his family and then to the present owner.
The present lot is the very watch which was presented to him by the Canton of Vaud. The watch is engraved to the back:
“Le canton de Vaud A son hote illustre Mr. Winston Churchill aout-september 1946”
Translated it says “From the Canton of Vaud to its famous guest Mr. Winston Churchill August-September 1946”.
The watch was a carefully considered gift. The name Lemania refers to the Leman lake bordering the Canton of Vaud. Lemania, which is now part of Breguet, was highly regarded for the quality of the movements it produced and they supplied ébauches to some of the most renowned makers such as Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. The present lot is fitted with a cal. CH27-C12 movement. This calibre was developed in the early 1940’s in partnership with Omega. It is best known as the Omega calibre 321.
More than 60 years have pasted and yet the present lot remains a symbol of Winston Churchill’s vision of peace and unity. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a very personal object with such an important provenance; it is also a fascinating piece of horological history.