30th Apr, 2024 10:00

East Anglian, Antiques & Fine Art

  Lot 625


Rare 1950s Blancpain Fifty Fathoms wristwatch with paperwork

A very rare 1950s Blancpain Fifty Fathoms diver's wristwatch, circa 1955. Case numbered 1323. The 17 jewel automatic movement is an AS calibre 1361N, signed Blancpain. In circular stainless steel case with rotating bezel with black insert, case 41mm diameter. The black enamel dial signed ‘Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Rotomatic Incabloc’. The watch is accompanied by an extensive history file of service receipts with documentation and photographs detailing the restoration carried out by Blancpain in 2017.

Provenance: This watch has a charming history as it has been owned by the vendor since 1957. We have his notes which give a brief history of the watch.

Norman Malthouse was training to be a deep sea diver and, as a young man, he would save up his money to make his journey from Brentwood in Essex and travel on his Lambretta to the South of France each summer to Club Alpin Sous Marin in Cannes between 1954 and 1957. He recalls "During the summer of 1957 I was staying with friends and brushing-up my diving skills with one of the 'Club Alpine Sous-Marin' dive monitors having been instructed by him in '56. We were joined by two more people who were known to my friends as experienced divers and we set off in a small boat and headed for the rocks local to the Antheor lighthouse. All the chatting was in French of course, when one of these gentlemen turned to me, and in perfect English, said that he noticed that I did not have a dive watch. Next to no time he was taking his own watch off and offering it to me saying that he 'made them' and I could have this one at Factory price, this was an offer that I could not refuse." (The gentleman who gave him the watch was Jean-Jacques Fiechter, owner of Blancpain).

“I have worn this watch every day since then and it is still keeping good time, and I still remember that person and his favour to me".

Sold for £20,000


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For clients unable or not wishing to attend our sale we are happy to accept absentee bids. Absentee bids can either be left in person with our office team, phoned or emailed to us. We simply require lot numbers and descriptions and the maximum bid which you wish to leave. Absentee bids are then transferred to our auction pages and the auctioneer will bid on your behalf. If the lot can be purchased at a lower price than your maximum bid our auctioneers will always endeavour to work in your interest to purchase the lot for you as cheaply as other bids will allow. If the same bid is left by two people on a lot we will precedence to the bidder who leaves the bid first. 

We are happy to provide condition reports for online and absentee bidders and to supply additional photographs on any lot. We ask that condition report requests are submitted at least 24 hours prior to the sale. (Whilst every care is taken to give an accurate condition report, we accept no responsibility for any omissions or errors in our reports. It is the buyer’s responsibility to view the lots and satisfy themselves as to their condition.)


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We are happy to accept phone bids for our Fine Art and Collectors’ sales. Phone bids may be arranged in person with our office team, by phone or by email. We simply require the lot number and details of the lots which you wish to bid on and contact phone number / numbers. Our phone bidders will call in advance of your chosen lot / lots and bid on your behalf during the sale.
Telephone bids must be booked by 4pm the day before the sale but can be arranged earlier, we have limited lines and certain lots can be over-subscribed for phone bidding, in such instances we conduct a first come, first served basis and we encourage clients to book well in advance or risk being disappointed.

Auction: East Anglian, Antiques & Fine Art, 30th Apr, 2024


We are delighted to present the illustrated catalogue for Reeman Dansie’s East Anglian, Fine Art & Antiques auction. The sale will be held over three days and will include over 1500 lots, beginning with a single-owner collection of ceramics, which includes a range of rare 18th century English and continental porcelain figures. The rest of day one will see silver, jewellery, clocks, and watches go under the hammer: highlights include a 1950s Blancpain Fifty Fathoms diver's wristwatch, complete with excellent provenance (lot 625, £20,000-£30,000).


The second day of the sale will include works of art and East Anglian pictures. There are several choice single-owner collections to be offered on the day, ranging from Japanese lacquerware, to antique maps, and Chinese snuff bottles, as well as a superb collection of fossils amassed by the late David Thomas Turner (lots 901-942). The East Anglian section of the sale includes many well-loved local names spanning the centuries, from John Moore of Ipswich to Lucy Harwood. Highlights include a wonderful range of pictures by Thomas & Edward Smythe, and a collection of mostly 20th century works from the collection of Lord Phillips of Sudbury (lots 1025-1090).


Furniture and rugs will be sold on day three, where notable lots include a Regency breakfront bookcase (lot 1481, £2000-£3000) and an 18th century north Italian kingwood and marquetry inlaid commode (lot 1358, £2000-3000).


We look forward to welcoming you to the sale, whether you’ll be bidding online or in the room.





Saturday 27th April 9am - 1pm

Monday 29th April 9am - 6pm

and days of sale

View all lots in this sale

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