Tavannes Pays Tribute to Its Heritage Watches by Bruce Shawkey - Page 2
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Thread: Tavannes Pays Tribute to Its Heritage Watches by Bruce Shawkey

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  1. #11
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    Re: Tavannes Pays Tribute to Its Heritage Watches by Bruce Shawkey

    I have to correct a few points Bruce has made about the original Submarine watch in this post.

    Slightly moot but, it was never known as the Submarine Commanders watch, simply the “Submarine” Watch.

    The Royal Navy representatives he mentions were not acting as representatives of the Royal Navy and did not approach Tavannes; the story goes that 2 off duty, Submarine commanders approached Brook & Son in Edinburgh who subsequently chose Tavannes as their manufacturer, this is important.

    As the pictures of the watch prove, the Submarine watch was available from 1915, so 11 years before the Rolex oyster watch.

    Bruce also mentions the watch was exported to several retailers and wholesalers in the UK, this is completely wrong and quite misleading as Brook & Son in Edinburgh had exclusive rights of sale for 5 years, from 1915 to 1920, meaning the only place you could buy this watch was from them, they were the sole retailer of their Submarine watch.



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    Last edited by kipstar; February 20th, 2019 at 23:27.

  2. #12
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    Re: Tavannes Pays Tribute to Its Heritage Watches by Bruce Shawkey

    Wow, KZ1000a2 what you have there is really special so thank you so much for sharing your pictures.

    Ok, so your watch is very special because, as you will know, it is the worlds first waterproof wristwatch, but yours is a bit more special than any other I’ve seen and helps prove that this watch was available in the latter part of 1915, the earliest I had seen was 1916. The patent for the case was only completed in September 1915 and yours has the London import mark and date letter for 1915.

    What is also interesting and unique about your watch is that your case has the George Stockwell “GS” sponsors mark, all the later versions have the “JW” James Weir sponsors mark. As a very early Submarine watch, yours has the correct dial, there appears to have been 1 revision of the dial during the lifetime of the watch, the difference being tails on the numerals, the diamond dial index markers at 12,3,6,and 9 are removed and the lower portion of the numeral 6 was replaced with just a dot of lume. I’ve only seen this type of dial on watches with a 4 digit case number. What confuses me a bit about your watch is the fact that it has 2 x 3 digit case numbers as well as the usual 33059013 case number, in all other JW sponsored cases I have seen it is either a 3 or 4 digit case number and I came to the conclusion that this was the watch issue number, as the 3 digit case numbers have the original dial with the 4 digit case numbers all having the revised dial.

    Hopefully other owners will post their pictures to add to this research and build a more complete history of this amazing watch, which was really the grandfather of all modern wrist watches having 3 of the most basic features of any modern watch right there in 1915.
    I believe there were less than 2000 of these watches made and they were only ever available from 1 Edinburgh shop, so a very rare and important watch with loads of little mysteries still to be solved and I'd really like to see another GS cased version of this watch now.

    KZ1000a2 from Ohio, welcome to a very exclusive Submarine watch members club - total worldwide membership now stands at 4 known. Hopefully we can recruit some new members and uncover more treasures with this thread.

    Was your watch a family piece? Any historic info you can share of how it ended up in Ohio all the way from Edinburgh?
    Last edited by kipstar; February 20th, 2019 at 23:28.

  3. #13
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    Re: Tavannes Pays Tribute to Its Heritage Watches by Bruce Shawkey

    [Quote]KZ1000a2 from Ohio, welcome to a very exclusive Submarine watch members club - total worldwide membership now stands at 4 known. Hopefully we can recruit some new members and uncover more treasures with this thread.

    Was your watch a family piece? Any historic info you can share of how it ended up in Ohio all the way from Edinburgh?[Quote]

    My father bought it in a Bath, England antique shop circa late 90's early 00's. He paid approx $100 for it, bought it because he liked the look, he knew nothing of its history. Lucky buy! He passed most of his watch collection on to me so he can see it being enjoyed while he's still alive
    Last edited by kz1000a2; February 20th, 2019 at 19:56.

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  5. #14
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    Re: Tavannes Pays Tribute to Its Heritage Watches by Bruce Shawkey

    My father bought it in a Bath, England antique shop circa late 90's early 00's.

    what a great eye for a bargain and a great looking watch your dad has, he sounds like a great guy letting you enjoy his watches, mine are getting sold before I go as my son has no interest in them at all. Thanks again for posting the pictures, it really made my day and reminded me I still have to take some of mine.

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