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Vintage 18ct Gold Military Trench Watch - Borgel Case - Military Provenance - c.1915

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An Utterly Charming 18ct Gold Borgel Cased Military Trench Watch From (approx) 1915 with Military Engravings and Military Provenance

The Trench watch (wristlet) was a type of watch that came into use by the military during World War I, as pocket watches were not practical in combat. It was a transitional design between pocket watches and wristwatches, incorporating features of both. 

What’s On Offer 

This trench watch is housed in an 18ct gold Borgel case (with London hallmarks) and boasts a beautifully preserved enamelled dial which is in wonderful condition with original lume on the Arabic numerals and cathedral hands which has evenly aged to a beautiful caramel colour. In such beautiful condition and at such an age, this watch is a very rare find and a joy to offer for sale, especially given the provenance outlined below! 

The gold caseback bears the regimental mark of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and is underwritten by the initials GKS which we believe to be related to George Kingston Sullivan who was born in Ireland on 6th June 1876 and led a military life as a career soldier.

He served in the South Africa War of 1899 to 1902 being at times employed in mounted infantry operations and in other operations in Orange River Colony, Cape Colony and the Transvaal. He was awarded the Queens SA medal with 3 clasps and the Kings SA medal with 2 clasps.

Prior to 1914 he served with the Ist KOYLI including in Hong Kong and during the Great War with the 5th Battalion as Captain and Adjutant subsequently moving between Regiments and ranks in both France and Belgium. He transferred to the 2/10 London Regiment as a temporary Lt.Colonel then back to the KOYLI as a Major. He was wounded, mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross,(1916)  and O.B.E. He retired as a Lt. Colonel.

He married Frances Helen Skipton of Loversal Hall in September 1917 in Doncaster. after the war they lived in Flaxton, North Yorkshire where he served as the Secretary to the West Riding Territorial Army. He died 14th December 1961 aged 85 and was buried at Brodsworth, Yorkshire.


This watch has clearly been well looked after and treasured, it still runs and is absolutely wearable - a beautiful and rare piece of British military history. 

Additional information

Made from

Case: 18ct Gold

Dial: White

Crystal: Acrylic

Bracelet: Leather Pin Buckle Strap

Technical specifications

Winding: Manual

Movement Type: Mechanical


Jewels: 15


Power reserve:

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent

Model Reference: 

Date of issue: c.1915

Warranty: 12 Months VWS


Width (without crown):

Lug width:

Lug height: (lug to lug)

Wrist size: