Our quarterly watch auctions in London, Edinburgh, and live online offer the perfect platform to sell your military wristwatch. Our expert team have extensive experience of these specialist timepieces; from RAF pilot watches, to diver and navigator watches and trench watches, our thoroughly-researched cataloguing ensures that your wristwatch will reach thousands of interested and motivated bidders. Our free watch valuation service offers a simple way to find out how much your military-style watch could be worth at auction. Contact us below and a member of our watch department will be in touch to advise on an auction estimate, the best time to sell and more.
Fill in the estimate form below with photographs and as much information as possible, and we will match you with a relevant specialist.
A department specialist will be in touch within a few days to offer an auction valuation and further information on how to easily consign at auction.
Your item will be expertly catalogued and marketed to our extensive database, all designed to help you receive the best price at auction.
The value of army and navy wristwatches has grown hugely over the last 10 years. From WWI trench watches to WWII RAF watches, these historical pieces are now highly sought-after at auction. The most popular examples come from Rolex, Panerai, Omega, Tudor, IWC and Breitling.
The ‘Dirty Dozen’ is a term used to describe the twelve brands instructed by the British Ministry of Defence to create military watches to a particular set of criteria; these watches have black dials, luminous hands and stainless steel cases among other features. The brands chosen were Omega, Lemania, IWC, Vertex, Eterna, Record, Buren, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cyma, Gruen, Timor and Longines-Wittnauer.
Military-issue watches are easily recognisable from their casebacks: most will have an inscription. Many will say WWW or W.W.W. (if they are an example of the ‘Dirty Dozen’) and have a broad arrow which is a triangle with a central line denoting the watch to be the property of the state. German military watches will have ‘BUND’ and those from the USA will have ‘U.S.’ Most also have other numbers that can relate to the date the company started manufacturing the watches or the date the government received the watches, only occasionally will dates relate to the time the watch was issued to its wearer.
Recent military issue watch highlights at Lyon & Turnbull include an Omega WWII wristwatch that sold for £2,250*, a Lemania ‘Dirty Dozen’ watch that made £1,250* and a Jaeger-LeCoultre example that achieved £3,000*.
Our auction specialists are delighted to offer complimentary valuations on all military issue watches including British, Italian, German WWI, WWII and later army and navy watches, and will guide you through the auction process, securing the best result for your timepiece at auction. Should you wish to discuss a valuation, please contact Sarah by completing the form below or via phone 0141 333 1992 or email email@example.com
Although not necessary, there are a few things that help us speed up your watch valuation:
Your watch's model and serial number should it be available
Confirming whether the watch comes with box and papers.
Any information you have on the watch's age or provenance.
Information on the watch's condition, including any damage.
As many detailed photographs as possible.
Information on the watch's service history.
Please enter your email address below, we will send you a notification email when the sale is available to view online.
You can arrange a consignment appointment at at a location near you or by telephoning us on on +44 131 557 8844. We would be delighted to meet with you to discuss any consignment opportunity in person.
We are pleased to offer a complimentary auction valuation service. In some cases, where the item does not meet Lyon & Turnbull's selling criteria, we will not be able to advise on the provenance or potential price the piece may sell for elsewhere.
No, we sell watches of all ages in all conditions.
Usually not, many buyers prefer to make the decision on this themselves.
No, many watches sold at auction do not have the accompanying paraphernalia.
Yes, insurance is charged at 1.5% of the hammer price.
No, as many of the watches we sell are vintage, or have been inherited, few come with their original purchase receipt.
Yes, most of the watches that we sell have a reserve, a minimum price for which we will sell it.
We offer two types of watch auctions. Our first is Select Watches which takes place in London twice yearly. The second type are our combined jewellery and watch auctions which take place regularly in our Edinburgh saleroom throughout the year. These two focused categories allow us to place your watches in auction context that will be the most profitable for you as a seller. Both auctions are presented on Lyon & Turnbull Live, allowing an international network of buyers to bid on your timepieces.
Yes, all of our auctions are listed online and have a live bidding facility.
Valuations come in many forms, an auction guide price represents the current market value of the watch. An insurance price usually matches the cost of replacing the watch brand new, in a retailer.
No, but you are very welcome to come along!
Head of Jewellery | Edinburgh