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Maharaja of Patiala Watch gifted to Princess Diana?

August 11th, 2010 No comments
Back in early July, we had featured a unique gold pocket watch made for the Maharaja of Patiala, by the firm of Picard Freres & F.Russer of Chaux De Fonds. 

Maharaja of Patiala, Patron of exquisite Jewellery

Since then several persons have come forward with information about the “Patiala Watch”.
The most interesting bit of information provided by Jasmijn Lee, at the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Message Board (NAWCC.ORG)
Ms Lee tells us that the watch featured by us as the only remaining watch of the four watches made for the Maharaja was NOT the last such watch.
She says:            
Picture of Sadness

Princess Diana, Alone at the Taj

“At least one more of the “Patiala Watches” did survive and was owned in the year 1992 by another of the grand daughters of the Maharaja of Patiala. 

This grand daughter was married to a very senior official of the Indian Foreign Office and was part of the welcome delegation for Prince Charles and Princess Diana, during their visit to India in May of 1992.

The above mentioned grand daughter of the Maharaja of Patiala had accompanied Princess Diana on her notoriously famous lonesome visit to the Taj Mahal and it was then, that she had presented Princess Diana with her “Patiala Watch”, in order to “put a smile back on the the face of Princess Diana”!

From all that we know of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, he would have greatly approved of the gift of one of his watches to the Princess Diana !”

We would appreciate it very much if any one else could add to the above. 

1920s square 2 colour gold vintage Rolex wristwatch

August 4th, 2010 No comments

A Rolex is not just a watch.

In most cases a Rolex watch is to be enjoyed for a life time and then to be left for the next generation as an heirloom,

That is normally the case, even for the most ordinary of the Rolex watches.

But then even within the Rolex family, there are watches that are extra special and can be termed as “The Rolex of the Rolex watches” !  Another Rare watch brought to you by the RareWatchesBlog  

This extremely rare 18ct gold vintage Rolex wristwatch definitely deserves that title!

An elegant and classic gentleman’s watch, it is just bursting with quality features.

The square two colour gold case is hallmarked 18ct, Glasgow 1928 and is curved to the wrist with flared sides.

The engine-turned silvered dial has Arabic numerals, cathedral hands, with a subsidiary seconds dial.

The case measures 27 x 41 mm (including lugs) – model 912 – and is signed:  R.W.C. Ltd (Rolex Watch Company Limited), Rolex 7 Worlds Record, Geneva-Suisse.

The Rolex Prima movement is timed to 6 positions, for all climates, with 15 jewels.

Another rare watch brought to you by the RareWatchesBlog

The dial is signed Rolex above the centre.

This design of case was clearly influenced by the design of the ‘Rolex Prince’ which was being made at the same time.

A rare and very desirable gem of a watch, which could well be an asset for the generations ahead.
The above Rolex wristwatch (3131) is priced at  £5,750-00  

For more information call  Olde Timers at :   +44 1227 750595

Or visit the Olde Timers web site here

Categories: Wrist Watches Tags:


August 2nd, 2010 No comments

Cartier always makes great things and this Cartier Diamond encrusted, 18 ct Gold Ladies Tank watch is no exception to that rule.

Diamond encrusted, 18 ct Gold Ladies Cartier Tank watch

Cartier Diamond encrusted, 18 ct Gold Ladies Tank watch

Here is a stunning ladies Cartier watch in mint condition and comes with the original box and papers.

The features include:

18ct yellow gold case with 3 rows of matching superb quality brilliant cut diamonds pave set to each side, 118 diamonds in total.

The Ivory coloured dial with black roman numeral and blue hour markers and a diamond set button.

18ct yellow gold flexi square 3 row sections with the centre section having a single stone brilliant cut diamond set in a smooth Collette.

There are 162 superb matching diamonds in total, (approximately F/G in colour and VVS/VS in clarity)

A total of  44 brilliant cut diamonds set to the bracelet which measures 9mm wide x 2mm thick and has a double fold-over concealed signed Cartier clasp.

The back of the Cartiers Watch

The watch is offered at £14995.00.

Available at Gemstones UK Ltd, who are at 35 Market st.Tamworth in Staffordshire.

The web site address is :

Categories: Wrist Watches Tags:

1930s gold duo dial – Doctors watch

July 29th, 2010 No comments
Rare Antique Doctor's Watch

Rare Gold Duo Dial Doctor's watch

Here is a very rare 1930s 9ct gold cased Doctors, duo dial vintage wrist watch.

The dial is signed duo dial and the gold case has an engraved edge.

A hard to find, large size example of a doctors watch.

Size: 23mm by 37mm      
Status: Available For sale                                

Inner Works of the 1930's gold duo dial Doctors watch

Stock No: 105
Price: £1,495.00

Email for enquireries: 

Categories: Wrist Watches Tags:

Rare & Unusual Fireplace clock!

July 7th, 2010 No comments

A Rare Fireplace clock for your fireplace?

We found this really unusual French Clock, made in the shape of a Fireplace.

The “Fireplace Clock” features a swinging “cooking pot” as the pendulum!

The body of the clock is bronze, with red marble base and an enamel chapter ring with engraved centre dial.

The clock is approximately 19 inches high.

Circa 1900, it is signed GLT, which I believe to be (Guilmet) Paris.

The listed price is £1600-

As a young kid, my earliest memory of the famous Portobello Rd is mostly made up of my visit to this wonderful shop.

So I am happy indeed, to feature a clock from the London Antique Clock Centre.

The shop is still at:  87 Portobello Road,  Notting Hill Gate, London  W11 2QB.

Email :

Categories: Rare Clocks Tags:

Rare, vintage Rolex “Ultra Prima Chronometer”

July 6th, 2010 No comments


We are delighted to introduce an extremely rare, high grade gentleman’s vintage Rolex “Ultra Prima Chronometer”, manual wind wristwatch, with subsidiary seconds, in beautiful 9ct. Rose Gold. C.1936. Rolex, model # 2467.

The silvered dial in superb and totally original condition,with some attractive ageing adding to the handsome vintage appearance. Original, classic Blued Steel “Feuille” hands. The dial signed “Rolex Chronometer Swiss Made” with subsidiary seconds.

The case in superb condition, and of an elegant and most distinctive Art Deco design, signed “Rolex 25 Worlds records Geneva Suisse. RWC Co.” ( Rolex Watch Company) with Rolex serial case numbering and ref #2467.

The Rolex is struck with British Import hallmarks for the year 1936.

A most charming and elegant mid-size Gentleman’s wristwatch, case diameter: 30mm.

The movement used in this beautiful and extremely rare timepiece is of the very highest grade and in excellent condition. Signed “Rolex Chronometer Ultra Prima Timed 6 Positions 18 Rubies. Chronometer # 70997”.

This wonderful vintage Rolex is extremely rare indeed as it not only possess one of the highest grade “Chronometer” movements produced by Rolex during this Vintage period, but also is an extremely rare case design, seldom seen.

The magnificent “Ultra Prima” movement was the highest grade of movement next to the “Kew A” movements, used by Rolex in international competitions to obtain the coveted “Kew A Chronometer Certificate“, the highest accolade in horology.

An 18 Jewelled movement with Gold train, Ruby capped end stones over the balance and escape wheels, the Rolex”Ultra Prima” movement had all pinions, pivots and wheels hand finished to the highest Chronometer standard.

This handsome, rare timepiece was at the very top end of Rolex’s production in the 1930s, designed to compete at the very highest levels, successfully retaining Rolex’s position amongst the very best of its Swiss and international competitors.

Stock # 3208,                Date: C.1936             Case: 9ct. Rose Gold.

Rolex Model # 2467   Case diameter: 30mmPrice: £6,850.00

This rare Rolex is availleble from:  Anthony Green Antiques

Vault 54  The London Silver Vaults – Chancery Lane – London WC2A 1QS

Email :

Bielefeld in London ca.1780 Silveroid Pocket Watch

July 6th, 2010 No comments

For a 330 years old watch, it sure is in very good condition!

The watch is Fusee chain operated with  verge escapement movement.

It has a very attractive design on its gilt surface.

Movm. size 48mm.

Size: Height 6.7 x Width 5 x Depth 2.2 cm

Condition: excellent with some age signs

This watch is currently availlable from Old’n’, a very good source of rare watches.

Categories: Rare Pocket Watches Tags:

Rare, Swiss two-tune gunmetal musical watch

July 4th, 2010 No comments

Very scarce, large Swiss two-tune gunmetal musical watch, circa 1890.

Two-tone fully restored enamel dial decorated with musical instruments and foliage. Nickel 10 jewel cylinder movement. Roller musical mechanism. Sprightly tunes. Two-tune musical watches from any period are quite rare.

The watch was recently sold.

We thank Steve Bogoff , the “dealer’s dealer”  for the inclusion of the two tune gunmetal watch , in  the Rare Watches Blog.

Over the years, initially from his shop in New York and then later in San Francisco Bay, Steve Bogoff has earned a reputation for service, integrity, and knowledge.

Picard Freres & F. Russer of Chaux De Fonds

July 2nd, 2010 No comments
Picard Freres & F. Russer

Maharaja Patiala Watch

At the turn of the last century, the firm of Picard Freres & F. Russer, operating out of the famous watch making region, Chaux De Fonds in Switzerland, made ornate, 18 carat Gold Pocket Watches, for the increasingly affluent American market.

However, the watch making firm of Picard Freres & F. Russer is not included here because of the watches they made for the American market.

This firm belongs in the Rare Watches Blog, because of the “four fabulous pocket watches” that they made for the four wives of the Maharaja of Patiala.

How this came about is described below, as taken from “The tales of Bebe Golhan” .

What is more, we now have an image of the last of the famous “Patala Watches” (talk about rare!) very kindly provided by the current owner of the watch.

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala had only 10 wives, including the main wife, the Maharani Bakhtawar Kaur.

Of course like all Maharajas at the time, he had all kinds of “consorts” and “Concubines” but these were not wives.

The Consorts & concubines could be ignored and even ill treated by the Maharaja (and they frequently were) but that was not the case with the wives, or the Ranis, who were mostly from powerful Royal Families in the region and represented important political family alliances.

In any case, the Maharaja had enough trouble with the 10 wives/Ranis, as there was a lot of jealousy and attention seeking within the Royal Household!

Of the 10 wives, there were four very beautiful sisters, who were Princesses from a Himalayan Kingdom and were said to be the favourites of the Maharaja.

There was always tension between all of the Patiala Ranis and this was specially so between the Maharani and the four Rani Sisters.

Here is a story from “Tales of Bebe Golhan” as told by Bebe Golhan, the famous Royal Nanny to Six Generations of the Royal Family of Kapurthala.

The Maharaja had purchased a beautiful gold watch with phases of the moon for the Maharani from Garrard, the Royal jewellers to the King of England, at the time of the visit of King George IV and Queen Mary, for the Delhi Durbar in 1911.

When the Four Rani Sisters found out about the Maharani’s watch, they apparently went in to a “collective Sulk” lasting many weeks and made every one’s life miserable in the Palace.

Finally to make them happy the Maharaja promised the Rani Sisters, that he would buy for each of them, watches even more beautiful than the Maharani’s watch.

The Maharaja did not want to use the same Jewellers as the Maharani’s watch as that would have caused problems with the Maharani.

So he turned to his close friend Kanwar Jasjit Singh of Kapurthala for his help in finding the right Jeweller for making the watches for the Rani Sisters.

Unlike the Patialas, who were close to the British, the Kapurthala family had always been Francophiles (which was a source of continuing irritation for the British) and had extensive contacts in France.

Kanwar Jasjit Singh of kapurthala recommended F. Russer, a French/Swiss Jeweller to his friend the Maharaja.

Working with a Swiss watch maker company called Picard Freres, which was based in the famous watch making region of Chaux De Fonds, F. Russer had made many pieces of exquisite jewellery as well as many beautiful clocks for the Kapurthalas

Picard Freres & F.Russer also made ornate 18 carat Gold Pocket watches, mainly for the upper end of the American market.

The Maharaja ordered the Jeweller to make four “Most most beautiful Gold watches in pure Gold, with day, date, month and the phases of the Moon“.

The Maharaja commanded that watches be “better than the Maharani’s watch made by Gerrads of London”.

As commanded by the Maharaja, Picard Freres & F. Russer of Chaux De Fonds specially hand created four fabulous watches, using Gold of high purity and extremely ornate design for the case, with the Phases of the Moon and all other features, as desired by the Maharaja of Patiala.

The four exclusive hand made watches made for the Rani Sisters of Patiala were far superior to any other watch Picard Freres & F.Russer company had ever created.

The four Rani Sisters loved the watches, and were once again their usual beautiful bubbly self, making the Maharaja very happy.

The Maharani was apparently none the wiser about what had gone on in the Palace!

And so every one lived happily ever after in the Palaces of the Maharaja of Patiala!

Only one of the above mentioned Patiala Watches is known to have survived and was apparently passed down to one of the Grand daughters of the Maharaja now living in Delhi, India.

As a final interesting twist to the tale, the said Grand Daughter presented the the last of the watches of the Rani Sisters of Patiala, to one of the descendants of Kanwar Jasjit Singh of Kapurthala!