Presidential Presentation Pocket Watch by Waltham
Presidential Presentation Pocket Watch by Waltham Presidential Presentation Pocket Watch by Waltham Presidential Presentation Pocket Watch by Waltham Presidential Presentation Pocket Watch by Waltham
Presidential Presentation Pocket Watch by Waltham

Presidential Presentation Pocket Watch by Waltham

  • This full Hunter Waltham pocket watch was presented by President of the United States Woodrow Wilson
  • Wilson presented the watch to Henry William Webster, the Captain of the British tug boat Champion
  • In 1919 Webster was rewarded for assisting the US vessel Piave when it ran aground on Goodwin Sands
  • Awarding Presidential watches for valor was part of a tradition first instituted by Abraham Lincoln
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Item No. 30-8285
Price: Available upon request
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description
This rare and highly significant full Hunter Waltham pocket watch was presented by President of the United States Woodrow Wilson to Henry William Webster, the Captain of the British tugboat Champion, in 1919. As part of a presidential tradition first instituted by Abraham Lincoln, Wilson presented this watch to Webster for assisting the US vessel Piave when it ran aground on Goodwin Sands. This handsome timepiece is a beautifully crafted as it is important. An intricate engraving of the Great Seal of the United States Adorns the front case, while a dedication celebrating the heroic action of the recipient is inscribed on the cuvette.

Crafted of 14K gold, this keyless wind watch is known as a Riverside Maximus, Movement No.6071142. The 23-jewel movement features a white enamel dial with black painted Arabic numerals and red five-minute indication and tells the time with blued steel spade hands. This is truly an exceptional piece of United States and naval history.

Circa 1900

Features the stunning engraved dedication: “From the President of the United States to Henry William Webster, Master of the British Tug Champion, in recognition of his humane services in effecting the rescue at sea, on January 31, 1919, of the master and crew of the American Steam Ship Piave.”

The USS PIAVE was a steam cargo ship built in 1918 by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. and owned at the time of her loss by U.S. Army Transport Service. She was launched and acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1918. On January 14, 1919, she steamed, with Lt. Comdr. H.L. Mortenson in command, on her maiden voyage towards England with a cargo of flour and pork destined for American troops overseas. The trip was smooth until its arrival at Falmouth on January 28th. The ship set out for Rotterdam that same day, but that night brought a fierce storm accompanied by a blinding snow. On January 29th, 1919, she ran aground on Goodwin Sands, about half a mile east of Gull Lightship in the Straits of Dover, off the southern coast of England. When attempts were made to refloat her PIAVE broke her back and sank into deeper waters. Although she lost her entire cargo, all hands were rescued thanks to the efforts of Capt. Webster, who had already been awarded a gold watch by the German government for services rendered to S/V Walkure in 1911.

In 1862, President Lincoln obtained permission from Congress to award very special pocket watches to masters of foreign vessels who were instrumental in the rescue of American ships and crews. This was known as the “Official Award to Non-Citizens of the United States of America for Saving Lives at Sea.” A rescue at sea was considered one of the noblest acts a person could perform. Such an extraordinary act of heroism, especially of an American by a non-U.S. citizen, was considered an act that deserved acknowledgment by the highest officer in the nation, and very few have received such an honor.

2 5/8" wide x 2" diameter
specifications
Maker: Waltham
Type:Watches
Stone:Gold
Diameter:2 Inches
Width:2 5/8 Inches
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