View full screen - View 1 of Lot 7. Aviator Amy Johnson's Longines Wittnauer Sidereal, Ref. 38330 Silver wristwatch Circa 1937.


Aviator Amy Johnson's Longines Wittnauer Sidereal, Ref. 38330 Silver wristwatch Circa 1937



Aviator Amy Johnson's Longines Wittnauer Sidereal, Ref. 38330 Silver wristwatch Circa 1937

Aviator Amy Johnson's Longines Wittnauer Sidereal, Ref. 38330 Silver wristwatch Circa 1937


Wittnauer Sidereal, Ref. 38330

Silver wristwatch 

Circa 1937

Dial: white

Calibre: manual winding, jeweled 

Movement number: 5'442'715

Case: silver, hinged case and cuvette

Case number: 5'442'715

Closure: original leather strap with pin buckle

Dimensions: 47 mm

Signed: case, dial and movement 

Box: none

Papers: none

Accessories: : Longines correspondence and a letter of thanks to her fans and supporters commemorating Johnsons flight to Australia.

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Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report 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. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. 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. Please be advised that wristbands 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

In the early 1930s, the American aviator, Charles Lindbergh, designed the Longines Hour Angle using the Weems system. The Weems Second Setting Watch, with a rotating center dial allowing the seconds hand to be synchronized with a reference clock, which improved upon the previous Hour Angle.

The present watch comes to us from the family of Amy Johnson, who was one of the most active aviation pioneers of her time. Some of her achievements include being the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930, in 1932 Johnson set a solo record from London to Cape Town and in 1933 she and her husband flew across the Atlantic and set another world record for the crossing. Amy Johnson’s legacy has had a lasting effect on the history of aviation.

In 1937, Johnson left again for the US to be tutored in celestial navigation by navigator P.V.H Weems. On the 3rd of May of the same year Johnson is photographed twice in the the Baltimore Sun Newspaper, wearing the large 47mm Longines in each image. In one, Johnson sits next to Weems himself learning navigation techniques in Annapolis Maryland and in another of Johnson on the same day wearing the watch on the outside of her sleeve, as would be necessary when flying.

11 days after these photographs were published, Weems wrote a letter to another famous female Aviator Amelia Earhart, also offering navigational instruction. “I have just had Miss Amy Johnson here for two weeks. She did beautiful work and seems to be more than pleased with the results.”

The watch is accompanied by correspondence from Longines, confirming the invoicing of the watch via Wittnauer, (the agent for Longines in the USA) on the 10th of February 1937. It also includes a description of the watch and details the matching serial.

The watch accompanied Johnson back to the UK and is offered through the family.

This gives a once in a century opportunity to own a timepiece in amazing original condition, with extensive and historic provenance, linking the watch to some of the most famous names in aviation history. The watch comes on the original strap and is in full working condition, along with a printed letter from Amy Johnson following the flight from Croydon to Australia.