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Watch that was nearly thrown away sells at auction for £600

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: November 10, 2012

FIND: The pilot’s watch

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A watch that was nearly thrown away by a Frome charity shop has been sold at auction for more than £600.

The German Luftwaffe pilot's watch, which was found in the Age UK shop on The Bridge, was auctioned last week in Standerwick.

The watch, which included a chronograph, was dated to 1940 and it is believed to have its original strap.

But it could have been a very different story after shop manager Daphne Osborne nearly threw it away.

Mrs Osborne said: "The watch came to the shop after a donation was left on the doorstep.

"It was in a wooden box with two other medals and was all in bad condition.

"I nearly threw it away as I didn't think it was in a good enough condition to sell.

"But I got my daughter to look it up online and she came back to me and said it could be worth something.

"I then got in touch with Quintyn at Cooper and Tanner and he asked Christopher Hart to value it.

"It was then that we discovered it was very valuable.

"I am retired now and it was a great way to end 15 years at the Age UK shop."

Managing partner of Cooper and Tanner, Quintyn Howard-Evans, said: "We were very pleased to act on behalf of Age UK in selling this rare item.

"The market for militaria has risen considerably over the past few years, particularly for items such as this watch, given that relatively few have survived.

"This particular watch was in need of some repair, but its originality and unrestored character worked in its favour.

"We had several bidders in the room as well as two telephone bidders.

"I am pleased to say that the watch has gone to a locally based collector.

"I would love to know the provenance of the watch. Personally, I like to think that a downed pilot was made to surrender the watch at the end of a pitchfork.

"Probably we will never know, but it does show what can turn up in the most unlikely of places."

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