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German Luftwaffe watch sold at auction for £3,000 in Banbury

A watch made for the German Air Force in World War Two has been sold at an auction for £3,000.

The 1940 German Luftwaffe B-Uhr (Beobachtungsuhr) Observers went under the hammer at Hanson Holloway's in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on Saturday.

Paul Fox, valuer at the auction house, said "to find one in Banbury 79 years after the 1939-45 conflict" was "extraordinary".

The watch, which does not have a strap, is said to be extremely rare.

Mr Fox said: "Our client brought the watch in for valuation and we were amazed. It's such an important military find."

The seller, who is from Banbury, took the watch for valuation after seeing a similar one on Antiques Roadshow.

"It was in my father's possession for as long as I can remember," he explained.

"My first memories of seeing it was as a child in the 1950s.

"My father was a decorated officer in the Belgian army during World War Two.

"I assume the watch came into his possession during this time."

The seller's father spent time in a German Prisoner of War (POW) camp in Germany after the invasion of Belgium.

He later escaped to England and took part in the D-Day landings in Normandy.

"It has been in my possession since my father's death in the early 1980s," he said.

"It has moved around with me in my father's old briefcase since then.

"Ironically at one stage it was with me in Soest, Germany, which was the location of one of the POW camps my father was held in."

The B-Uhr Luftwaffe Observers watch was created for bomber navigators and was designed to be robust, precise, and easy to read.

Mr Fox said: "The watch face was big and bold with black dials and large luminous numerals and minute and second indicators.

"The hands were coated with radium so it would glow in the dark and the movement featured a mechanism to aid precise time setting.

"Every watch underwent the stringent testing for accuracy before being certified by the German Naval Observatory."

He added: "They are highly prized collectors' items because, due to heavy losses sustained by the Luftwaffe in World War Two, few survived the war."


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