Cartier watch worn by Scottish soldier on Western Front set to fetch £10,000 at auction


A CARTIER watch worn by a Scottish soldier during the First World War is set to fetch £10,000 at auction.

The watch, one of Cartier’s oldest, was worn by a Captain A.D. Thomson at the Western Front.

Captain Thomson received the watch in May 1915, as a gift from the army.

The same month, his division, The 51st Highland Division, was sent to France to stem the German onslaught at the Second Battle of Ypres.

The watch was gifted by the army to Captain Thomson the same month he and his division were rushed to the Western Front

Captain Thomson’s watch was a design called the Tonneau due to its barrel shape, and was the second ever wristwatch model created by Cartier.

The model was launched in 1906 and Captain Thomson’s watch was originally sold by the French company’s London store in October 1914.

The timepiece features a back engraving which reads: “A.D. Thomson, 152 Inf Bde., 51st High Div., 1/5/15.”

The watch is Lot 48 in Fellows’ Luxury Watch Sale, taking place on Monday, February 15.

With an estimate of £6,000 – £8,000, it is likely to fetch in excess of £10,000 including fees.

Almost 80 years later, in 1994, the Cartier watch was purchased for £1,000 by its current owner from the Thomson family.

The watch was sold by Thomson’s family almost 80 years later and was then worn twice by the new owner before being put up for auction

In the 27 years since, the Cartier has been worn only twice, at two weddings.

Also for sale is a group of eight prestigious medals belonging to Thomson and what is believed to be Thomson’s father, which were also passed across to the current owner.

The medals include honours from the Great War and the late 19th century. An authentication document from Cartier and a later watch box is also included with the lot.

Sporting a beautiful 18ct yellow gold case, the Tonneau Curvex Cartier watch has a manual wind movement.

It features a silvered dial with Roman numeral hour markers.

The watch is fitted to an unsigned brown leather strap with an 18ct yellow gold deployant clasp.

It will feature in Fellows Auctioneers’ Luxury Watch Sale, which is live now.

The auction will take place as a live, behind-closed-doors sale at Fellows’ Birmingham Jewellery Quarter saleroom.

Michael Jagiela, Senior Specialist from the Watch Department at Fellows Auctioneers, said: “This Cartier is a standout item with a phenomenal back story which should entice watch collectors and history enthusiasts alike.

“The Cartier Tonneau is one of the earliest wristwatches that Cartier ever produced and it’s incredibly rare to see one so old and in such good condition.

“The story of the watch being sold in 1914 and belonging to such a decorated war hero such as Thomson only adds to the value of the item.”