Historic Pocket Watch Gifted to Winston Churchill Sells for £76,000


The team at Dawsons were proud to play a part in the successful sale of a historically significant Sir John Bennett minute repeating full hunter pocket watch, which was sold to a private collector for £76,000 in our May Fine Jewellery, Watches & Silver auction.


Watch the moment the gavel came down at £76,000 in our Saleroom 


Engraved with the inscription: "To Winston with gratitude H. H. Asquith Xmas 1905," the beautiful watch marked Churchill's brave decision “to cross the floor” and his political shift from the Conservative Party to the Liberal Party in May 1904, a move that helped the Liberals rise to power in December 1905.

The political and historical significance of this gift certainly sparked huge media interest both in the UK and worldwide with the pocket watch featuring on television, the radio, and within national newspapers across the globe in the lead up to the sale, and indeed, after the sale too.


In the lead up to the sale, the watch made international headlines


The watch's provenance is well-documented. Originally purchased from Hennell Ltd. in 1983 by the Rt. Hon. David Cole, 6th Earl of Enniskillen, it was a cherished family heirloom, until being consigned to Dawsons’ May sale. Crafted by Sir John Bennett, clockmaker to the Greenwich Observatory, the watch features meticulous hand engraving of Churchill’s coat of arms, predating his receipt of the Order of the Garter in 1953.

Auctioneer Edward Langmead commented, "It was an honour to be able to handle, research and auction this wonderful pocket watch. As ever, the team at Dawsons’ sole focus was to achieve the maximum possible sale price for our client, through expert evaluation and innovative in-house multi-channel marketing across the globe. Ultimately, it was a thrilling outcome for Dawsons and our client, after what has been an exciting journey with an exceptional item from history."


A Sir John Bennett Minute repeating full hunter pocket watch believed to be a gift to Sir Winston Churchill from H. H Asquith in 1905 for "crossing the floor" in 1904.

Sold for £76,000


The incredible winning bid of £76,000 underscores the high value placed on items of such historical importance, amongst collectors and enthusiasts across the world. Bidding was fierce on the day and whilst the winning bidder was UK based, under bidders were from many countries far and wide.

This fantastic sale result certainly highlights the enduring fascination with historical artefacts and their powerful stories. A symbol of political bravery, wonderful craftsmanship, and the rich legacy of Winston Churchill, the team at Dawsons bid a fond farewell to this incredible slice of history.


Are you considering selling any items of historical significance? 

With a global audience of over 10 million known bidders, Dawsons can secure the highest prices. 

Get in touch with an expert Valuer today for confidential sales advice, we’d be delighted to help:

0207 431 9445 / info@dawsonsauctions.co.uk