Canadian Issue Sniper's Pocket Watch?
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Canadian Issue Sniper's Pocket Watch?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    119

    Default Canadian Issue Sniper's Pocket Watch?

    Good day all. Though not a weapon, it is perhaps weapon related. I've come into possession of a Canadian issue Waltham pocket watch and I was informed that it may be part of the issue kit to a sniper. It's a 17 jewel movement and clearly marked. The radium hands and numbers have long since lost their illumination properties, but the crystal is nice and clear with no clouding or scratches. The back is marked with G.S.T.P. (General Service Time Piece), the serial number, and the "C" broad arrow. It runs just fine but would probably benefit from a cleaning by a good watch smith. Can any of you lot verify, yea or nay, that it was indeed correct to type for sniper issue? Any idea of interest or value?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN1464.JPG  

    DSCN1462.JPG  

    DSCN1463.JPG  

    DSCN1465.jpg  


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Manitoba,Canada
    Posts
    2,289

    Default

    IF, you could find a mfg date for the item, that would help with identification and period of use. that would probably create more interest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    IF, you could find a mfg date for the item, that would help with identification and period of use. that would probably create more interest.
    Manufacturing date would be around 1940 (ish). I've seen the exact same watch but marked to the RCAF with a painted on serial number below the Waltham name and "RCAF" on the back, presumably a navigator's watch. It sold for $950.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    GunBoards.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    10,077

    Default

    Lawrence:

    Thanks for posting the photos. I don’t have any of my Brit or Canadian sniper references handy but if my memory is accurate your watch sure looks like the timepieces that are illustrated in the wartime period photos of the “kit” issued to the snipers.

    I have a minty and matching Canadian Long Branch sniper rig, the R.E.L. observer’s telescope, can, and folding tripod, not to mention a wartime Canadian Denison smock with Para wings. I’m missing a few of the smaller bits and pieces like your watch. I can’t count the number of boxes of miscellaneous stuff that I have sorted through at gun shows and garage sales hoping to find one but that prize has alluded me.

    Good luck with your sale.
    Purists of the world, unite!

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
    Samuel Adams

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard in NY* View Post
    Lawrence:

    Thanks for posting the photos. I don’t have any of my Brit or Canadian sniper references handy but if my memory is accurate your watch sure looks like the timepieces that are illustrated in the wartime period photos of the “kit” issued to the snipers.

    I have a minty and matching Canadian Long Branch sniper rig, the R.E.L. observer’s telescope, can, and folding tripod, not to mention a wartime Canadian Denison smock with Para wings. I’m missing a few of the smaller bits and pieces like your watch. I can’t count the number of boxes of miscellaneous stuff that I have sorted through at gun shows and garage sales hoping to find one but that prize has alluded me.

    Good luck with your sale.
    YOU LUCKY S.O.B.!!! If I was even remotely interested in collecting, the LB sniper would be my "holy grail"! I used to have a lovely collection of Long Branch No.4's including a near mint .308 DCRA model. As the years have rolled on, I've been divesting myself of the things I'd collected and/or had fall into my lap so a new generation of collectors can enjoy them and the associated history. If you are interested in the watch, I would entertain any fair offers.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,004

    Default

    Hello. I have been collecting and restoring military watches for a very long time.

    According to the movement serial number, your American Waltham 16 size, 9 jewel, pocket watch was made in 1940, give or take a year. I have never heard of pocket watches being issued to snipers, but anything is possible. For the most part, watches were issued to communications personnel, artillery, non-coms etc.

    There is one authority who wrote that GSTP stands for "General Service Time Piece," but this is not correct. It actually stands for "General Service Trade Pattern." During WWII anything bought off the shelf, and not to specific standards, like commercial rifle scopes, were designated as "Trade Pattern" items. The Uk bought lots of Swiss and American watches for use in WWII and these were marked GSTP or GS/TP on the back as well as an issue number to keep track of the watch. The Canadians did the same, though sometimes Canadian watches were only marked with the C arrow. The Waltham watches were very excellent time keepers.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 45Auto View Post
    Hello. I have been collecting and restoring military watches for a very long time.

    According to the movement serial number, your American Waltham 16 size, 9 jewel, pocket watch was made in 1940, give or take a year. I have never heard of pocket watches being issued to snipers, but anything is possible. For the most part, watches were issued to communications personnel, artillery, non-coms etc.

    There is one authority who wrote that GSTP stands for "General Service Time Piece," but this is not correct. It actually stands for "General Service Trade Pattern." During WWII anything bought off the shelf, and not to specific standards, like commercial rifle scopes, were designated as "Trade Pattern" items. The Uk bought lots of Swiss and American watches for use in WWII and these were marked GSTP or GS/TP on the back as well as an issue number to keep track of the watch. The Canadians did the same, though sometimes Canadian watches were only marked with the C arrow. The Waltham watches were very excellent time keepers.
    Thank you. I'm in the process of gathering all the information I can. One thing; you refer to this as a "9 jewel" but the works clearly state "17 jewel". Does this alter your assessment? As to the sniper issue, I'm still in the research stage, but one picture of a Canadian sniper's kit had a pocket watch with illuminated hands as "issue". Also, would you know if the Swiss watch was "sterilized" at the factory due to Swiss neutrality? I'm told it's probably a Girard Perregaux time piece. Your thoughts?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,004

    Default

    I see, yes it is 17 jewels! I should have been looking more closely at the watch itself and not in the record book. 9 jewels is what is listed for serial number 3055939, but the factory records are known to contain a few errors:

    https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/sear...ltham/30553959

    There is really no question that you have an American Waltham pocket watch. I have a couple of examples like yours which were issued to the Royal Navy (but with only 9 jewels). My assessment of what you have remains unchanged.

    Could it be a Swiss watch? No. It would be like asking a mechanic if a Ford Falcon strait 6 was made by Volkswagen. The Swiss were selling watches to everyone in WWII, and everyone knew they were doing so. I have several examples of Swiss watch brands with markings issued by Great Britten and the same brand names issued by Nazi Germany. The combatants were known to get supplies of Swiss watches through neutral countries and within diplomatic pouches.

    If you have a picture of a Canadian sniper's kit which includes a pocket watch then you have good evidence that snipers were issued watches. But there would be no way to know if your watch was issued to a sniper or some other service member authorized to be issued a watch. The only exception would be if you found the serial number listed in a Canadian sniper's records of issued equipment.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,670

    Default

    I have a British GS MkII watch that I picked up many years ago. At the time I did some research and came across this.. I will post the title then the relevant part of the article...
    -----------------------------------------------
    Military Timepieces:
    Watches Issued to British Armed Forces 1870-1970
    A. Taylerson, 'Horological Journal' Sept./Oct. 1995 (British Horological Institute)

    Watches, G.S.
    The key-wound pocket Watch of 1870 earlier mentioned was superseded by a keyless Watch (Mark II), and the latter was supplemented during 1903 by Paragraph 11845 providing that future manufacture of it would no longer rigidly adhere to Paragraph 4400 and "... watches of ordinary trade patterns..." would be provided as necessary.
    Through financial years 1905/06-1912/13 the 'Director of Army Contracts' recorded overseas purchases of clocks, watches and parts at only an average of about £ 60 a year. It seems safe to assume that supplies of both 'pattern' and 'trade pattern' watches came from the British watch trade. It is clear, however, that not many were issued with this Watch (Mark II). An Expeditionary Force Infantry Battalion of 1914 numbered 1000 men, but received only eight watches. One to the Signalling Sergeant and the others to be shared among 16 RE Signallers. Even if every commissioned officer wore his own watch, as required, one is forced to wonder how matters were actually arranged in that first hectic summer on active service. As the war progressed, of course, that situation altered and various patterns of available pocket watch had to be pressed into general service with British armed forces.
    In February 1918, therefore, Paragraph 20175, which is set out below in relation to the Watches, RA., promulgated a preferred pattern of Watch, G.S. An example of this is shown. It has a seven-jewel Model 1910 Williamson 'Astral' lever movement and the Denison screw-on plated case-back is unusual in being stamped 'G.S.'. Most of these case-backs carry just a Broad Arrow and the inventory number used for an old Watch, (Mark II). The Armistice saw a great many Watches, G.S. in hand but, nevertheless, that pattern was declared obsolescent in July 1929 when Paragraph A4728 introduced Watches, G.S. Mk II and designated the older watch Mk L Röhner illustrates a Mk I case containing a Rolex movement, but a non-luminous dial and hands spoils it for me.
    Both Mk I and MK II Watches, G.S. were formally described as: "Keyless, with leather thong: strong lever, 3/4 or full plate type, in metal case, with strong crystal glass, fully luminous", but the G.S., Mk II instrument specifically had a "15 jewelled movement...." and £1978 was expended overseas for some of them, in the Financial Year l935-6. This because "British movements (were) unobtainable". What I believe to be an example from that purchase, 3, has a Swiss Fleurier jewelled lever movement, Another such was a Rlex (fully luminous) similarly engraved 'G.S. Mk II'.
    The Watches, G.S. Mk I and Mk II were both specifically omitted (as 'obsolete'), when Paragraph 7422 promulgated a 1956 edition of the Vocabulary.
    Watches G.S.T.P. Or G.S./T.P.
    Any collector of British issue watches will have several 19'" jewelled lever pocket instruments with their plated snap-on case-back engraved G.S.T.P. or G.S./T.P. Not uncommonly (and in a different style) some have also been later engraved with the name of one of the High Street jewellers. 'Bravingtons London', 4. I believe that practice to date from 1946-48, when the of Ministry of Supply sold off various surplus watches and clocks to a value exceeding £ 2.000.000. Opinions differ as to the meaning of 'T.P.' Röhner prefers 'Temporary Pattern'. My own preference is for Mr. W. P. Roseman's 'Trade Pattern'.
    As carlier mentioned, the door had opened in 1903 to issue of watches "... of ordinary Trade Patterns...", but specific reference to Watches, G.S.T.P. Or G.S./T.P, was very uncommon in the literature I studied. Indeed, I remain uncertain as to which of the Swiss factories should be listed as suppliers of the movements. In supposing that the £ 3.664 spent overseas in Financial Year l936-37 was for G.S.T.P. Or G.S./T.P., the relevant report is not helpful. The entry reads: "Watches....Swiss. British supplies in excess of preference limits or unobtainable".
    About all it seems safe to state here is, that Watches, G.S.T.P., 4, were collectively deleted from the 1954 List at February 3rd 1957, when Watches, G.S./T.P. branded Omega, Record, Cortebert, Lemania, Thommen, Recta, Buren, Doxa, Unitas and F.E.F. Were individually struck out, also.
    However, bearing in mind that apparent discrepancies may be no more than the result of someone re-casing a movement, it seems worthwhile to mention that I have also encountered G.S.T.P, and GS/T.P. watches branded Damas (Beguelin), Cymy (Tavannes), Enicar (Fontainemelon), Helvetia (General Watch), Jaeger le Coultre, Montilier, Revue (Thommen) and Tissot (S.S.I.H.). In addition, of course there are also some American Waltham and Elgin pocket watches requiring explanation, whose only case-marking is a Broad Arrow, accompanied either by the movement number, or by a smaller secondary number, or by both. Movement numbers suggest a production in 1943 and 1944, but I have so far failed to trace any mention of them in my sources.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ok, happy to be corrected here, but the way I read this is the absence of a matching serial number on the watch to the parts of the case, means it was put into a reused case... It could just be that GS "TP" trade pattern watches were all done this way as they were bought from the trade, not made to order. I have no more info to hand on the trade pattern watches. Mine is English issued GS MkII, a Moise Dreyfus and has a serial number marked on the face of the watch as well as all parts of the case.
    On page 146 of Ian Skennertons book "The British Sniper", there is a picture and a list of CES for the No4T rifle which lists the "Watch, GS". This might only be the GS MkII or could include the GSTP.. either way, as I understand, the kits were made up in England from equipment sourced by England, so I would suggest a Canadian marked watch would probably not have been in the CES. Did Canada box up their own Longbranch snipers? I'll dig out another book and see what I can find....
    The comment above that the American made watches did not appear in any of the authors sources could be because they were sourced by Canada and fitted into cases ordered and supplied for that purpose?

    As I said at the start, happy to be corrected by documents on my comments. Very interested in everyone's thoughts.

    I cannot find a pic of the inside of the case back which is hallmarked and shows the makers name... I note the OP's is marked "Sturdy". Has anyone looked for the source of the case? EDIT TO ADD... a quick google search reveals "Sturdy" was a watch case maker in Toronto. Seems the whole thing was a Canadian project....

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2008_0510HTadjustments0090.JPG 
Views:	1 
Size:	825.8 KB 
ID:	3701473

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2008_0510HTadjustments0091.JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	828.7 KB 
ID:	3701475

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2008_0510HTadjustments0093.JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	834.1 KB 
ID:	3701477

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2008_0510HTadjustments0095.JPG 
Views:	0 
Size:	843.5 KB 
ID:	3701479
    Last edited by Son; 08-01-2020 at 08:38 AM.
    .....if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, but enough people call it a chicken, then it will be a chicken!

    think about it...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In my WVA free state mind!
    Posts
    47,026

    Default

    Love me some Swiss pocket watches #4 I have ..love to have one of those!
    nice info interesting new to me<>< dan
    "Christ’s Grace + being constitutionally solvently Give strength resistant To Marxism!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,463

    Default

    There is an photo in 'The British Sniper', Ian Skenneton, pg 146, which displays a snipers equipment. Included as item 9 is a Watch, G.S.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,670

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by staffy View Post
    There is an photo in 'The British Sniper', Ian Skenneton, pg 146, which displays a snipers equipment. Included as item 9 is a Watch, G.S.
    Already got that above....

    Now looking in "Without Warning. Canadian Sniper Equipment of the 20th Century" by Clive Law.

    Page 36 "of the 1588 sniper rifles manufactured by Canada the overwhelming majority were destined to the British Ministry of Supply"..., These were made to fill an order and were sent to fulfill the obligation....
    The British issued Army Council Instruction #943 to address "sniping rifle equipments". The list of gear to go into the box with the rifle only went as far as the cheek rest and two screws, scope, sling, scope can, scope lens caps, scope adjusting tool, lens cloth. No mention of Canada supplying watches or any of the other CES that made up the total kit.
    .....if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, but enough people call it a chicken, then it will be a chicken!

    think about it...

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,463

    Default

    So you have - must have being getting eye/brain strain taking it all in.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,670

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by staffy View Post
    So you have - must have being getting eye/brain strain taking it all in.
    That’s for sure! Same here, been re reading files all day. I played around seeking info on these watches almost 15 years ago, only because I stumbled on the one I have and bought it on impulse. I HAD to know all about. Learning more now, wasn’t even aware of American made watches in Canadian cases! Just wish I could have been more help to the OP, but I have run out of reference material. I used to belong to a collectors group, I’ll see if I can find them.
    .....if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, but enough people call it a chicken, then it will be a chicken!

    think about it...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •