J W BENSON ‘The Field’ Ludgate Hill, London. No H.7123

87109

Good example of Benson's best quality plain watch, and larger than usual.

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Heavy double-back silver 'crystal' (flat glass) case hallmarked London 1918, sponsor's mark JWBLd (Benson). Benson’s top quality keyless movement jewelled to the 3rd, also engraved ‘BEST LONDON MAKE.' Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Signed enamel dial in perfect condition, original blued-steel hands. 54.5 mm diameter.

James Walter Benson ‘by Warrant to H M the Queen,’ London’s biggest and most energetic watchmaking and watch retailing firm of the second half of the 19th and the first half of 20th centuries. This model so named after being worn for four months by, and receiving a glowing testimony to its virtues from, the Hunting Editor of The Field magazine. NB: I presume the engraving to '...the Queen' refers to Victoria, and it is not the first time I have seen Benson's continuing to reference her after her death in 1901.


Benson’s London made watches (not Swiss imports) were marketed under the names ‘The Bank,’ ‘The Ludgate’ and ‘The Field,’ the latter being their highest quality. Benson’s were important enough retailers to insist on their own stamp being used when the case was hallmarked, and various different casemakers were employed, including Frederick Thoms. 


Case with 'WHJ' monogram, otherwise the watch showing few signs of use, the bow still tight and the covers unstrained in any way. Fully serviced and guaranteed.


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