History of pocket watches
General Patton was a U.S. Army general, who commanded forces across the Mediterranean and European theaters in World War II. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful U.S. field commanders in history, and was well known for his bravado and determination. If you haven't seen the 1970 film "Patton" do yourself a favor and check it out.
To get a little deeper into the life of General Patton, HODINKEE interviewed his grandson, Robert Patton, to find out more:
HODINKEE: What does this watch mean to you?
ROBERT PATTON: In addition to its beauty as a vintage timepiece, the watch, inscribed as a West Point graduation gift in 1909, represents the loving relationship between George S. Patton, Jr., and his parents - and especially with his father, who was a lifelong source of support and inspiration to the future general. That a dedicated collector or museum might widely share and convey the timelessness of their strong bond is wonderful.
HODINKEE: What is your earliest memory of your grandfather's watch?
ROBERT PATTON: I had no idea of the watch’s existence until my father [General Patton’s son] gave it to me following a house fire almost thirty years ago that by sheer good luck didn’t damage it at all. Even then, while I appreciated its beauty, for many years I had no idea of its historical significance until I opened the back plate by chance and read the inscription inside.
HODINKEE: Do you know if he carried this watch in battle?
ROBERT PATTON: Historians have documented from the General’s written reminiscences that he carried the watch while on the Mexican Expedition against Pancho Villa in 1916 and then in World War One while serving in combat with the U. S. Army Tank Corps in 1918.
HODINKEE: How did it stay in such great condition over the years?
ROBERT PATTON: General Patton, like all military personnel, changed stations often throughout his career. In 1928, he and his wife purchased a home on Boston’s North Shore that would serve as a family base for more than 80 years. The watch was stored safely there and later at my own home ever since.