C H ERRINGTON, No 47858, for Bradley & Sons, Sheffield


Unusual Patent centre-seconds keyless stop/start watch.

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Good strong silver crystal (flat glass) case hallmarked Chester 1890, casemaker RJP (Robert John Pike, Coventry) and J.B. Nicely finished three-quarter plate fusee movement jewelled to the centre (3rd), with cap jewels on balance, lever and escape, the stop/start action by a castle-type wheel operated via a button in the pendant, the frame stamped C.H.E PATENT 5636. Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, spiral balance-spring. Lovely single-sunk enamel dial in perfect condition, blued-steel hands. 53 mm diameter.

Charles Hutton Errington, Coventry, Patent No 5639, December 1881: an improved method of stopping and starting keyless and other centre-seconds watches via the pendant. Later bought by H Williamson, the firm of Errington was one of the first successful machine-made watch manufacturers in the UK. This pre-dates the almost identical Patent No 8727, taken out by R Fennell in May 1889. Watches with this later patent, mostly bearing the name of E Wise, Manchester, are more common, but it is difficult to understand why this later Patent was granted.

George Bradley & Sons, Fargate, Sheffield, retailers.

NB. Although often called chronographs, this type of classic English watch is one with a stop/start (hacking) feature and does not zero the seconds hand. This was in order to set the watch exactly to time (hour, minute and seconds hands), such as with a longcase clock, something owners have mostly been able to do with English centre-seconds watches since the time of George Graham, and something wearers of even the best pocket chronometers are unable to do.

I have seen few of these watches, even fewer in their original cases, and none in such good original condition showing almost no signs of use. Serviced, guaranteed and most wearable.