For the two-day auction of May 8th & 9th, the UK’s Charterhouse Auctioneers & Valuers may have one of the more unique horological finds on offer. Previously, we brought you a review of Hanhart’s modern recreation of their WW2 Pilot watch, the Hanhart Pioneer Mark I, but these watches for auction are vintage models from the war. A watch lot of two Hanhart and two Glashütte pilot chronographs are estimated for auction at £ 6,000 – 8,000 (£ 1,500 – 2,000 each). The vendor’s father was a RAF officer, and following the D-Day invasion, he interrogated prisoners, leaving no stone unturned.
The RAF officer arrived in France 11 days after the D-Day invasion and being conversant in German, began his duties for the Enemy Prisoner of War Interrogation Department, a division of MI 19. One of the German airmen tried to outsmart his captors by hiding his watch in his pants. Actually, he was, err, well-enough endowed, that he figured strapping the watch to his sexual member would go unnoticed. A bit of German ingenuity. The British, however, are a skeptical lot, and seeing what seemed to break the bounds of credulity, not to mention having a distinctive ticking sound, aroused one officer’s suspicion. In the end, much like Normandy, the watch was “liberated.” It now joins three other spoils-of-war at the auction block, but as to which watch once enveloped said Teutonic fecundity, no one knows.
Since the time of confiscation, these watches have been tucked away in safety until the West County owner read about the possibility of auctioning them. Upon his father’s death, the owner was going through his father’s things and discovered the four watches. If you wind the watches, they will begin to tick, but despite being in the safety of a drawer for over 70 years, they need repair before daily use.