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Gold Unicorn (C.O.S.D.) that fed the UK and Armies of WW1 and WW2

  1. Seiji Apr 2, 2022

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    It needs no introduction

    Was awarded the British Empire's MBE and then the OBE
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    Updated: 9/13/2023

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    This is the auction for William Lawson's Gold COSD. Note: 53276 is not the reference number
    of the model. It is the serial number for the Dennison Case and the midcase.
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    Extract
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    Compared to MoD COSD
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    Similar cases to the more well known steel Dennison COSD.
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    MWR Comments from "Ziggy" Zygmunt Wesolowski is the military watch book author.
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    Another example of a different gold COSD. There seems to be only three ever found.
    Gold COSD.jpeg upload_2023-9-13_8-45-47.png

    upload_2023-9-13_8-45-40.png
     
    Edited Sep 13, 2023
    joeshoup, Mods, Rman and 10 others like this.
  2. YYTIN Apr 2, 2022

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    I'm afraid I would need one :)
    Looks very nice anyway !

    Edit : checking on the net it looks like a C.O.S.D WWII British military watch : is that it ?
    Still interested to have your story.
     
    JwRosenthal likes this.
  3. Seiji Apr 2, 2022

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    Only three known to exist.

    Comment from Ziggy Wesolowski, author of Military Timepieces
    2DD77214-11E6-4202-A496-ED56D4E9A39E.jpeg
    [email protected]



    From a collector:
    83C8298F-49BE-4E61-AF4D-8BA42EA80984.jpeg
     
    Edited May 31, 2022
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  4. JwRosenthal Apr 2, 2022

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    It’s pretty.
     
    cvalue13 likes this.
  5. Seiji Apr 2, 2022

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    Edited Oct 9, 2023
    Vitezi and YYTIN like this.
  6. DirtyDozen12 Thanks, mystery donor! Apr 2, 2022

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  7. YYTIN Apr 2, 2022

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    Thanks for sharing.
    A very special & beautiful one indeed : congratulations.
    I'm curious about your story : is it a lucky find ? the result of a very long hunt ?
     
    Seiji likes this.
  8. gbesq Apr 2, 2022

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    Very cool. Congrats!
     
    Seiji likes this.
  9. Seiji Apr 3, 2022

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    You probably already know this. Britain lost most of the food import channels due to the war with Germany. Nazi submarines were sinking freighters so quickly Britain was in major trouble.

    The War Agricultural Executive Committee was tasked with supplying food from domestic farms to support the war.

    After the war much of Europe still had shortages of food. The new headline is dated exactly the same as the watch. Dedication from the WAEC August 1947.


    F4CF194B-3B12-4B62-870D-9CB6BD7D1AF2.jpeg FB78C200-9CBF-4B1A-8393-D735425CA856.jpeg
     
    Edited May 27, 2022
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  10. cchen Apr 3, 2022

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    Interesting.... I severely underbid for this example a few years ago.

    Congrats on the catch!
     
    Seiji likes this.
  11. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Apr 3, 2022

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    Everything about this piece is cool. Love the dial and inscription.
     
    Seiji likes this.
  12. Seiji Apr 3, 2022

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    William Lawson was Director of Agriculture from at least 1923-1948 for West Sussex. Most likely 1914-1950 is likely. Below is likely a photograph including him. He was a politician, lawyer, and agricultural innovator interested in mechanization of farming. He was awarded a M.B.E (c. 1931). Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and invited to 1948 New Years Honors with Queen Elizabeth and awarded O.B.E.. 2022-03-30_18-37-32.jpg E024D7CB-5494-4302-B2C9-804DE7E0CBDF.jpeg A14B736E-6B9F-4913-A78E-7E52987856F5.jpeg

    OBE awarded in 1948 2.jpg
     
    Edited Apr 9, 2022
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  13. Seiji Apr 3, 2022

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    William Lawson is referenced in many books and government publications. This is just one of many. C5E61681-2017-4BED-8487-100A0AE73CAB.jpeg B1D455E4-EE10-4097-B2D2-851881685F23.jpeg
    D5A93D39-95F0-4373-8ABA-CF95A8CB618E.jpeg
     
    Edited Apr 3, 2022
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  14. Seiji Apr 4, 2022

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    The watch is likely in recognition for possibly a career achievement by his peers.
    His work with West Sussex goes back as far as I am able to tell 1914. This book
    mentions his work as Director of Agriculture for West Sussex increasing productivity
    of the farmers with adoption of tractors (vs horse and plough which was more prevalent
    in 1914).
    2022-04-02_14-12-38.jpg 2022-04-02_14-06-46.jpg

    2022-04-02_14-08-34.jpg
    2022-04-02_14-03-24.jpg
     
    Vitezi likes this.
  15. Seiji Apr 4, 2022

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    And the WLA actually were issued uniforms.
    2022-04-02_13-45-36.jpg
     
  16. w154 Apr 4, 2022

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    Ha… me too !

    It‘s a beautiful watch for sure. I do wonder if there was a surplus of movements ordered for the TC-COSD as the Extract of this is close to TC-COSD watches, and the case and engraving are later (1 year and 2 years respectively).
     
    Edited Apr 4, 2022
  17. Seiji Apr 4, 2022

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    All the 9kt gold Dennison cases for the COSD (I haven't seen the insides except mine)
    All report to have the same exact markings. So it is assumed they are all ordered at the
    same time.
     
    Edited Jul 8, 2022
  18. Seiji Apr 4, 2022

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    I am glad everyone backed out before it got bad. I am finding it is really hard to spot watches with an interesting history.
     
    Edited Apr 5, 2022
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  19. w154 Apr 4, 2022

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    Do you know the inscription on the other gold one Seiji ? My understanding was that the expected dates for COSD extracts cluster around May 1945. I assumed that the order for these movements would’ve been for a single purpose, and that all the non COSD cased watches (gold presentation watches, BOAC, etc) were probably built to use up supplies of the movements, COSD dials, COSD handsets etc. Obviously extremely hard to know after so much time has passed.

    edit… I see from the MWR quoted post that the other one was inscription free. My best guess would be a number of reworked COSD watches (or surplus COSD movements/dials/hands) were built up into gold presentation watch’s in in 1946 or early 47, and they’re were used as stock whenever a nice presentation watch was required. Each one probably has a fascinating history.
     
    Edited Apr 4, 2022
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  20. Seiji Apr 4, 2022

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    At this point, there is no evidence that many were made. A simple google search, auction houses, books, in many different languages only resulted in my watch showing up after three days of trying. First hand accounts of those that have had them indicate that they were all hallmarked exactly the same way (9Kt, .075, ALD, Birmingham Assay Office, 1946 case model 13322).

    I did the research on the COSD Serial Number Project posted on MWR. All COSD that look correct have Longines Extracts dating invoice dates to April-May 1945. It is widely believed that the original Tuna COSD were either removed from their diving tuna cases and refitted with MoD dials and improved water proof small crowns and given issue numbers. The others were repurposed in steel Dennison 13322 cases. At least my gold version was a presentation watch. I have no other usage information about any other gold COSD.