Offered At Bonhams

Watches and Wristwatches
20 Nov 2018
London, Knightsbridge

An Emery pocket watch that belonged to Francis, 1st Baron Churchill is to be offered at Bonhams Watches and Wristwatches sale in Knightsbridge on 20 November 2018. It is the first time the watch has appeared at auction and its estimate is £50,000-70,000.

Josiah Emery was among the first rank of watchmakers in his time and followed in Thomas Mudge's footsteps to produce a watch with a lever escapement, a technically difficult and highly expensive escapement to produce. It is estimated that Emery made approximately 38 lever watches during his lifetime - one of which was worn by Horatio Nelson when he fell at the Battle of Trafalgar - and they were highly prized as luxury items due to their complexity and their elegant design.

This watch is an exquisite example of Emery's ability as a Master Watchmaker and comes from the estate of the late Victor, 3rd Viscount Churchill. It is believed to have descended to him via Francis, 1st Baron Churchill, the younger son of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough of whom Diana, Princess of Wales, was a direct descendent. This branch of the Churchill family, (cousins of former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill) have been at the heart of the British political and Royal establishment for over 200 years.

Grant, Fleet Street, London. A fine and historically interesting 18K gold key wind open face chronometer pocket watch used and owned by the explorer James Weddell.

A Grant 18K gold key wind open face chronometer pocket watch used and owned by the explorer James Weddell on his record-breaking voyage towards the South Pole will also be offered. Estimate £15,000-20,000. On the 20 February 1923, Weddell successfully travelled more than three degrees of latitude further south than any ship had before, a further 214 nautical miles south than the renowned Cook. Weddell's attention to detail is seen from his records of Longitude noted in the accompanying text, A Voyage Towards the South Pole. He and his crew relied on three chronometers - numbered 403, 820 and the current example of 3540 to ensure accurate passage and documentation across the seas.

Penny Morris, Head of Department, commented: "Both of these watches belonged to very prominent figures in British history and it is a rare and exciting occasion to see timepieces of this significance come to market. Not only did they belong to important historical and cultural figures, but both watches are very desirable and complex in their own rights.'


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

  1. Penelope Morris
    Montpelier Street
    London, United Kingdom SW7 1HH
    Work +44 20 7393 3869

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