The Culling Collection of Military Watches

Date of Auction: 15th September 2020

Sold for £130

Estimate: £80 - £120

German military: A Precision ‘Deutsche Heer’ pocket watch, by Orator, 1940s, the signed black dial with cream Arabic numerals, outer minutes track with luminous hour spots, luminous hands and subsidiary seconds dial, the chromed metal case with screw down back numbered ‘D.20908H’, diameter 51mm. £80-£120


Orator are believed to be a brand produced by Schild & Co., a Swiss watch manufacturer. At the outbreak of WWII, both German and British militaries would have scrambled to obtain the large number of watches they required at short notice, and both turned to Swiss manufacturers to meet their demand. There are examples of Orator Precision pocket watches also being issued to the British military under the G.S.T.P. designation.
These watches had nickel cases with screw down backs that require a special three pin spanner to open them - this ensured the case was tightly sealed against damp and dirt, and also the inquisitiveness of clumsy soldiers.

See: Wesolowski, Z. M., A concise guide to Military Timepieces, 1880-1980, Crowood Press, 1996, p42.