Earlier I reported about the “Mercury 7” Quartermaster made for the astronauts who participated in Project Mercury.
We had a closer look at the watch of John Glenn, you can read the report here: Jaeger-LeCoultre and the U.S. market: Special watches – the Mercury 7 Quartermaster
Directly after I posted that report, I was contacted by another collector who have another of the Mercury 7 watches in his possession.
Of course I wanted to make a followup report on this and show you the watch!
But before we look closer at his watch, I like to report on the watches of Gus Grissom and Wally Schirra.
The Gus Grissom Mercury 7 watch was originally sold back in 2009 on auction and again up for auction in 2011, including a letter from his son Mark. The bid in the 2011 auction was not accepted, the whereabouts of this watch unknown.
In 2008, the watch of Wally Schirra was sold at auction including a letter of authenticity signed by Wally Schirra indicating that this came from his personal space collection. (1994 Cert by Wally Schirra), the whereabouts of this watch unknown.
So three of the seven LeCoultre Mercury 7 identified: John Glenn, Gus Grissom and Wally Schirra. All three having the same special dial and hands.
Alan Shepard we saw on the cover of Life Magazine from May 19, 1961 wearing what looks to be the Mercury 7 with the same bracelet as the Wally Schirra Mercury 7 watch above.
Left to identify are the watches of Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper and Deke Slayton.
Now I would like to return to the watch of the fellow collector who contacted me once I posted about the Mercury 7, Greg Selch (@livingstonsatnight). He contacted me directly after I posted about the John Glenn watch and he was kind enough to provide photos and letting me report about this watch here.
Here is the watch in question – clearly the same special dial as for all the other Mercury 7 watches:
This watch has been serviced at some point.
As you can see in the pictures, the crown must have been replaced, not fitting very well or signed.
Also, most likely at the same time, the hands have been replaced. The original hands looks to be regular steel hands which has been painted white. The paint might have started to come off or previous owner may have preferred these different hands…?
Even with these alterations – I am convinced that this watch must be one of the original Mercury 7 watches!
The case is of the same type as the watch of John Glenn, with an external locking ring.
And on the inside of the case back, same 112 instead of the normal Quartermaster 114.
The movement, Calibre K831/CW is correct, including the serial number which is only 108 numbers from the John Glenn movement number and with the U.S. import code.
The watch was sold in Milton, Florida. No provenance included in the sale.
Question is who’s watch was this originally? Alan Shepard, Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper or Deke Slayton?!
If I ever find out more about these Mercury 7 watches I promise to come back with another report!
Stay tuned as I will continue with other special watches for the U.S. market…