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Auction: Conflicts of the 20th Century
was auctioned on: 29 January 2021
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Estimate: US$2,000 - US$3,000
Price realised:  n. a.
Lot number 52, Views: 25

An Office of Strategic Services compass/wristwatch. [USA: 1942-45.] An OSS wristwatch, with a false face, the letters somewhat crudely marked in brown, with winding knob, one hour hand, but lacking the minute and the second hands, the watch set in a cheap metal case, the back plate hinged to open and reveal a small round compass, for direction finding. Original leather strap worn and slightly cracked. In later watch case. Another clever design from the OSS, for agents to use while in occupied Europe, and nobody would suspect that a wristwatch would be a hiding place for a small compass. The dummy watch has no mechanism, and the back plate opens to reveal a small circular compass. Alternatively a small compass could have been sewn into the hem of a piece of clothing, and perhaps that is why watches like this are rarely seen on the market. A clever device but perhaps too complicated for a simple compass.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Bonhams London
Title: Conflicts of the 20th Century
Date of the auction: 29 Jan 2021
Address: Bonhams London
New York