“The Turnip”: Churchill’s Breguet Pocket Watch

“The Turnip”: Churchill’s Breguet Pocket Watch

This post has been extend­ed and relo­cat­ed, but has been retained for the read­er com­ments below. For the updat­ed ver­sion click here.

11 thoughts on ““The Turnip”: Churchill’s Breguet Pocket Watch

  1. Jack, I rather found it “fair and bal­anced.” Mor­gan is an hon­est crit­ic, unlike some of the dis­hon­est ones. My anno­ta­tions from the Zoller bib­li­og­ra­phy of books about Churchill, avail­able online from the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project:

    Mor­gan, Ted.
    Churchill: Young Man in a Hur­ry 1874-1915. New York: Simon & Schus­ter, 1982, 608
    pp. Churchill: The Rise to Fail­ure 1874-1915. Lon­don: Jonathan Cape, 1983.
    An excit­ing and learned work on the peri­od, espe­cial­ly thor­ough on the
    Dar­d­anelles attack, which cost Churchill the Admi­ral­ty. Hand­some­ly bound with
    illus­trat­ed map end­pa­pers. Although Mor­gan pro­ject­ed two more vol­umes he was
    unable to con­vince his pub­lish­er to accept them; a shame, because this is a well
    writ­ten, deft­ly argued work.

  2. I have “Young Man In A Hur­ry” by Ted Mor­gan. Found him hard to read. Con­sid­er him a revi­sion­ist. Mor­gan is very neg­a­tive about Churchill.

  3. Odd­ly enough, “brain of a genius” does track to some­thing said ABOUT WSC, by Charles Hob­house, at the time Chan­cel­lor of the Duchy of Lan­cast­er, accord­ing to Ted Morgan’s biog­ra­phy, YOUNG MAN IN A HURRY: Hob­house thought Churchill “was just a spoiled child endowed by some chance with the brain of a genius.”

    But it does not track to any­thing Churchill said; it would seem more like­ly that Breguet Watch­es them­selves coined that paean.

  4. Was it WSC who said, “To own a Breguet is to car­ry the brains of a genius in your pock­et”?

  5. The watch was orig­i­nal­ly acquired by the Duke of Marl­bor­ough in 1890. It is a minute repeater chrono­graph, with a fly back sec­ond hand.

  6. I just saw this post. Very inter­st­ing Richard. What mod­el Bregeut, specif­i­cal­ly, did WSC car­ry? Any­one know?

  7. I am not a time­piece expert, and only have his grand­son to go by. But Breguet recent­ly spon­sored a Lon­don din­ner for The Churchill Cen­tre and the watch is pic­tured in the pro­gram.. The pock­et watch’s reverse bears a Spencer-Churchill coat of arms and is very old; per­haps Breguet didn’t put their name on all the faces. What you see attached to the ring in the low­er pho­to is not a watch but a small round gold case for hold­ing gold Sov­er­eigns (see last para­graph).

  8. Two dif­fer­ent watch­es are shown in this arti­cle. The one at the top with sub­di­als is key­less and lacks Breguet’s char­ac­ter­is­tic hands, and the oth­er at the bot­tom has a plain pen­dant and asso­ci­at­ed chain. Are they both by Breguet, or just the low­er one, and which of these was worn by Churchill through­out his life?

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