Watch lover rewarded with style

First published: 16-04-2010

Jimmy Butler, a major watch enthusiast, was recently awarded one for recent hard work, winding it up and watching it tick 15 seconds before the mainspring fell apart.

The timepiece lover, who is disabled by diabetes, buys watches to restore them and regularly frequents a pawn shop in his native Montgomery, Texas to get his next fix, the Houston Chronicle reported.

However, excitement for his art soon ramped up when he came to possess Henry W Graber''s 19th-century Size 18 Rockford, a lever-set, triple-sunk dial pocket watch that was given in exchange for work on a friend''s car for an afternoon.

Since then, he has consulted experts, leaving him at his "wit''s end" for a very good reason: "I''m just so worried that I''m going to be cheated or that someone will put it somewhere where it can''t be seen."

Mr Butler, ever the philanthropist, wants to use the prospective money from the watch sale to create a university fund for the three children of the person who gave the watch to him.

Graber, who owned the watch originally, is a Houston-recruited Civil War veteran wounded near Bowling Green, Kentucky, and held in a Union prison.

In the luxury watch market, LVMH, the world''s biggest luxury goods company, revealed that it registered a forecast-beating 13 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the first three months of 2010.

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