Old England brand 'Steering Wheel' wristwatches. Circa 1960s to no later than 1972. Old England was, as one would assume, a British company - but now long out of business. All the movements are mechanical, Swiss made, simple 1 Jewel, and manual wind.... Well except for an exceptionally rare, early piece that we recently acquired which has a completely different 17 Jewel movement. Cases are all metal with stainless steel backs, all have luminous hands including a sweep second hand. Note that due to age, the luminous paint on the hands does not hold much if any light now.
Manual wind watches are easy to live with, and it is a wonderful feeling to bring the little mechanical world to life by simply by rotating the small bit of metal (the crown) between your thumb and forefinger.
All 'Steering Wheel' wristwatches were originally fitted with Tropic Sport brand rubber sport bands, which are now difficult to find, and often cost more than a good leather band. The bands were black or white, this varied. Some of the watches we get do come with their original bands, though the white color ones we generally replace with rally sport leather bands, but we still do include the old white bands with the watches. Some of the original watchbands were replaced by previous owners, and in those instances, we go further by fitting new rally sport leather bands which are in keeping with automotive watches of the 1960s-1970s...... And are now agin popular with many of the new high end watch brands!
The outer steering rims are metal as are the spokes. The rims came three ways: With a sort of black powder coating or all chrome including the case. Both the Black and Chrome rims had chrome spokes. And.....as we have recently discovered, some exceptionally rare ones were all gold plated; rim and spokes. The rims and cases were always all the same dimensions. Due to the nature of the black coating on the rims, most have chipped a little over the years. With regard to this black rim coating, we offer these watches in refurbished "as found" condition, with the black paint touched up by hand if needed; or for an additional charge we can have the black paint entirely removed leaving the the final finish all chrome. You decide if you want as found/refurbished or all chrome, which is also correct.
The Old England Steering Wheel watches were originally sold through automobile dealerships, racing organizations, and other automotive groups. Some watches were produced specifically for various automobile sales and racing promotions, such as the Dodge Charger watch. Sometimes the watches were given out directly as special awards and promotions, such as with some of the Ford watches. One of the Ford racing watches we acquired, came from the estate of "Big Bob O'Rourke" who was the Chief Steward of the East Coast Division for NASCAR for 40 years. He was instrumental in developing some of the safety features seen in race cars and around race tracks today. The watch was presented to him as well as to some drivers at Daytona.
The Old England watches are great pieces of both automotive, and horological history. They are of course rare - very difficult to find due to so very many having been abused, and not survived. Please note that we have sold a good number of various steering wheel wristwatches, and we do try to keep the web site updated as inventory changes.