A WATCH made by a 17th century Scots watchmaker has fetched almost £1 million at auction.

The timepiece, a Royal oval astronomical watch with an engraved portrait of King James VI and I, had an estimate of up to £250,000 but sold for £989,000 at Sotheby's in London.

It was designed in around 1618 by David Ramsay, who was the first master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and also served as Chief Clockmaker to the King.

It is one of two watches thought to have been made by Ramsay by order of the King. The second watch is on permanent loan in the V&A Museum in London.

It was part of a wider sale of pieces from a private collection of pocket watches which fetched a total of £3 million.

Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Watches and Daryn Schnipper, Chairman of Sotheby’s Watch Division, said: “Today’s offering was unprecedented. It is incredible to think that these immaculately preserved timepieces survived 400 years of tumultuous British history."